Mexico/Campeche: Volcan de Murcielagos – Vortex of Five Miillion Bats

This place is very little known, but it’s one of the most amazing wildlife nature spectacles on earth – 5-7 million bats flying out of a cave at sunset in a tornado-like vortex! It’s not really a cave, but rather a cenote, supposedly 600m deep, although not vertical, with the water at the bottom of the cenote at around 400m deep. After a short hike to the cave, you stop at the edge of the entrance to the Cenotes and wait for sun to set. The show starts after sunset, with just a couple of bats flying out first, and then the sound of them growing down in the depth of the cenote, before a swirling tornado appears. In Spanish this place is called “Volcan de Murcielagos” aka Bat Volcano. It’s absolutely insane and unbelievable to see this happening right in front you – some bats literally touch you in flight as they swerve from the main vortex. It’s not just one bat species, but 8 species of bats – 7 fructivores and 1 insectivore – live together in this cenote, making it the top third cave in the world for bat biodiversity. It’s very difficult to either photograph or film as all this happens in the dusk and the bats fly at high speeds, but nevertheless, here’s what we managed.