Puerto Rico is known for its stunning beaches, but this tiny Caribbean island is home to many breathtakingly beautiful natural wonders. Figuring prominently among these are the remarkable Camuy Caves, located in the northwestern region of Puerto Rico.
Camuy Caves History
An hour and a half’s drive from San Juan will take you to the largest underground cave system in the Western Hemisphere, and the third largest in the world. The Camuy River created the caves more than a million years ago, carving the caves as it meandered through the countryside. Taino petroglyphs found inside show that members of the tribe, Puerto Rico’s original inhabitants, were familiar with the caves. The caves have been a popular destination for spelunkers since local kids first led professional cave explorers to the entrance in the 1950s. The Puerto Rico Land Administration opened the caves to tourists in 1987, and there has been a steady stream of visitors ever since.
Exploring the Camuy Caves
Visitors to the Rio Camuy Cave Park ride open-air trolleys to the Cueva Clara entrance. Once there, a guide leads them through the 170-foot high cave. Light from the entrance allows them to see rock formations and stalactites that hang down like huge icicles. They are then led to view the Tres Pueblos Sinkhole, measuring 400 feet deep by 65 feet across. On the way out of the cave, visitors can see a section of the Camuy River flowing underground.
The Spiral Sinkhole is also open for viewing, however visitors will need to walk down more than 200 steps to see it. There is no tram into the Spiral Sinkhole.
The more adventurous might opt to take a tour of the Cathedral Cave. Visitors rappel down into the cave, where they can see Taino cave paintings, and hike out through the caves.
Camuy Caves Tips
In addition to the caves, the complex boasts a theater, gift shop, cafeteria and walking trails. To ensure the safety of tourists, the caves are closed in heavy rain. Park operators limit the number of people allowed in the caves at a time, which can lead to long wait times. Try to arrive as early as possible to avoid the long wait.
Camuy Caves Contact Information
Parque de las Cavernas de Rio Camuy (Rio Camuy Cave Park)
Carretera 129 Km. 18.9
Camuy, Puerto Rico
Post time: 12-11-2016