Camuy Caves, San Juan
Located in the central west region of Puerto Rico Camuy has one of the most spectacular natural jewels of all Puerto Rico. The Rio Camuy Caves was carved by the third largest subterranean river in the world, Rio Camuy. Visitors are taken by trolley along lush tropical foliage where the tour begins at Cueva Clara, a cave 170 feet in height. You are then guided along the amazing stalactites and stalagmites aweing at the huge cavern while you hear the faith sounds of bats. Once you're done, another trolley will take you back to the platform overlooking the 400 foot deep Tres Pueblos Sinkhole.
After you've done this part of the tour, pay a visit to the Spiral Sinkhole and Cave. Walk the 205 steps down into the sinkhole. The cave is off limits to all but experienced spelunkers. This sinkhole is believed to have once been an enormous cavern and is an impressive sight. Pictures do not do this place justice.
Open Wednesday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The last tour departs at 3:30 p.m., or when the park reaches its daily capacity. Entrance fees are adults $15.00; children 4 – 12 $10.00; children 4 and under are free.
Jason and I planned to hit the caves only because they were so close to the Arecibo Observatory. I'm glad that we went, I was expecting something like Howe's Cavern's like we have here in NY, but I got so much more. You start the tour by decending down 200 feet into a ravine. You ride on a sort of wheels train. I suggest keeping your hands and feet inside the train at all times, the reason being spiders. As we decended and asended the steep hill, I noticed these huge, huge, huge spiders and there webs all along side the path and up in the trees. All I can say is absolutely creepy. So we get to the bottom and our tour guide gives us a history lesosn on the cave, but I can't help but notice all the beautiful stalagtites and stalagmites at the entrance. The guide takes you through the caves and past at least 2 of the sink holes tha tmake up the caves. One of the sites pointed out along the route is an area with a water trickling down from way up high. At this point tourists and locals alike begin filing water bottles and socking rags and putting them in baggies. I asked the guide about it, she told me that rumor has it that the waters from this particular stream have been rumored to have healing properties and that locals call it The Fountain of Youth, of course I went over and scooped some up in my hands to drink, it tasted like Spring Water, but really cold. I think the tour took about an hour from start to finish. This tour isn't free folks, $10 for an adult and $7 for children. They offer English only and Spanish only tours, make sure to listen for which line you need to stand on. There is a really cute gift shop here with the usual touristy trinkets and t-shirts with the usual high prices. There is also a food stand here, Jason opted for pizza which was totally gross. Get here early to buy your tickets, they are time stamped. and usually gets sold out by 2. We arrived around 11 and our tickets were already time stamped for 1:30. Good news is that you can get your tickets and return later closer to your scheduled time.
Rent a car for the day and take a drive to see the Camuy Caves. If you're afraid of bats, the dark or creepy crawlees then don't go. I had a very close encounter with a 2 inch cave criquet which I mistook for a cave spider. Our quide quickly pointed out that the cave spider is MUCH BIGGER than a cave criquet.