In the Bet Shemesh area and have a spare 90 minutes for an enjoyable family hike?
Then I would suggest a visit to Ma’arat Hetumim. Bring a flashlight with you since this Karst formed cave is quite large and it will enable you to see while you go down steps to visit the pool of spring water. This natural cave is home to many bats. Please don’t “blind the bats” with your flashlights. To enable them to sleep through the winter (hibernate) the cave is closed to visitors from November through March.
Why is it called Ma’arat Hateuomim (Twins Cave)? There is a legend that a barren woman drank the water of the spring and gave birth to twins...
From Bet Shemesh follow directions towards Moshav Zanoach. The main road to Zanoach (the valley road), is officially route 386, but is known locally as route 10. Continue driving (south) on route 386 after the Zanoach intersection. After ½ kilometer you will see a sign for Ma’arat Hatumim. Make a left turn onto a dirt road. Drive ½ kilometer on the dirt road until you get to a parking area.
From the parking area, follow the red trail in the wadi (canyon) named Nachal HaMa’arah. Enjoy the winding trail up and through the dense vegetation commonly found in the Shfeila region. Within 25 minutes you will reach the cave.
Added treat: 10 minutes in the canyon past the cave there is a natural rock slide. Use your spare 1.5 liter plastic bottle to sit on and enjoy the ride...
Looking for more than just a licensed tour guide? Chaim Friedman from LeChaimTours can give you a personalized itinerary to suit your schedule and priorities. Explanations geared for both kids and adults.