Rio Camuy Cave Park – Puerto Rico

The Rio Camuy Cave system, located in northwestern Puerto Rico, is a site not to be missed. This natural wonder is an easy day trip from San Juan. If time permits, it can be combined with a visit to nearby Arecibo Observatory, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, as we did. The Rio Camuy Cave is part of a huge complex of limestone caverns and underground waterways that have been carved out by the Rio Camuy. Stretching for miles, the Rio Camuy is the third largest underground river in the world!
 

Visiting Rio Camuy Cave  

 
The Rio Camuy Cave in Camuy, Puerto Rico (Parque de las Cavernas del Rio Camuy) is located in a dense tropical setting. After purchasing your tickets and waiting for your assigned number to be called, you board a tram that will take you through the lush environment to the entrance of the cave. Try to arrive at the park early to avoid long lines and waiting times.
 

Tram-Ride-to-Rio-Camuy-Cave-Entrance

Tram Ride to Rio Camuy Cave Entrance

The tram ride on the way to the Rio Camuy Cave entrance is an experience in itself. Be sure to have your camera ready. You will be traveling along a tight, winding route, passing through beautiful tropical scenery. Before entering the cave your guide will explain how to use your headset and recorder that is provided to you at no additional charge.

 

Inside the Rio Camuy Cave

 

Entrance-to-Rio-Camuy-Cave-Puerto-Rico

Entrance to Rio Camuy Cave Puerto Rico

The entrance to the Rio Camuy Cave is spectacular. This area of the cave is huge and fairy-tale like. I wasn’t prepared for how large and beautiful this opening to the cave would be. Your guide will point out various points of interest along the way and tell you when to listen to the recorded message using your headset. The recording explains the history of the cave and other interesting facts about the cave system.

 

Rio-Camuy-Cave-Stalagmites-and-Stalactites

Rio Camuy Cave Stalagmites and Stalactites

The Rio Camuy Cave is beautifully lit revealing many colorful stalagmites and stalactites. Our guide described the scientific names of the different formations within the cave as well as the names of many imaginary formations along the way. She pointed out the Christmas Tree, the Halloween Witch and George Washington. Use your imagination and you will see them all! The caves are also home to what was described as a colony of thousands of bats. The bats don’t usually come out during the day so you’ll be safe!

 

Stalagmites-and-Stalactites-in-Rio-Camuy-Cave

Stalagmites and Stalactites in Rio Camuy Cave

You will get quite close to some of the stalagmites and stalactites as you travel throughout the cave. Photography is always allowed but touching of course in not. The walkway is paved and lit but can be quite slippery due to water seeping into the cave. There are handrails along the way and you will be encouraged to use them for your safety. Also, be sure to wear shoes that grip well in wet surfaces, such as hiking boots or tennis shoes. Sandals and flip-flops are definitely not recommended. I had a difficult time walking in certain areas due to the slippery surface and I was wearing shoes that gripped well and I was holding onto the railing so please be careful!

 

Rio-Camuy-Cave-End-of-Trail-View

Rio Camuy Cave End of Trail View

The end of the Rio Camuy Cave walkway will lead you to the stunning sight above. The river is flowing below and water is dripping from above, it’s a pretty cool view. You will return to the same entrance to the cave that you entered in but along a different path so everything you see will be different. Our guide was helpful in pointing out the best areas for photography and let us linger a while to take additional shots. We never felt rushed or that we were crowed in our group. Although the Rio Camuy Cave is not one of the largest or even one of the most beautiful caves we have visited, it was very pretty and an extremely interesting cave to visit. And, the area surrounding the cave is beautiful too.

 

Bridge-Near-Rio-Camuy-Cave-Entrance

Bridge Near Rio Camuy Cave Entrance

The bridge near the Rio Camuy Cave entrance is where you will wait for your tram ride back to the visitors center. After your tour of the cave, which will take approximately 1-1/2 hours, you will wait in a covered waiting area next to the bridge pictured above. After boarding the tram you will be driven back to the visitor center where you will find restrooms, a gift shop and a cafeteria for your convenience.

 

Things to know before you Go

 

Rio Camuy Cave Park is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8:30am until 5:00pm (last tour at 3:30) or when the park reaches maximum capacity. The park operates on a first come first served basis and only allows a certain number of visitors per day. To assure your spot in line, it’s best to arrive early as lines tend to get long later in the day. The caves will close on rainy days due to possible flooding.

I suggest calling the park at 787-898-3100 before going to get current information. As I mentioned the park will close suddenly if it’s too rainy or if they reach maximum capacity for that day.

Directions from San Juan:

From the San Juan area, take Route 22 west to Arecibo – exit 77b. Then Route 129 south to Km 20. There are signs for you to follow once you get off of Route 22. Driving time is approximately 1 hour from San Juan.

Have fun and let us know about your experience at the Rio Camuy Caves Park!

 

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14 Comments

  1. Connie Davis

    We have our 16 month old grand son w us. There are 8 adults- would this be something we could hike w him. His dad would have him in a backpack style carrier. His dad is a good athlete and is use to hiking w him. Just wanted your opinion. Also, do you recommend any eateries in that area for dinner after? Thanks for your post it makes it helpful to fellow travelers.

    • I would not recommend entering into the caves with a 16 month old baby, especially in a backpack carrier. The walkway can be slippery due to the water that seeps into the cave. There are handrails for your safety but I still had a difficult time walking in certain areas due to the slippery surface and I was wearing good hiking shoes. As for eateries, there are several local eateries in nearby towns that you can check out after you leave the caves. We always enjoy the local food, it’s really tasty. I’m sorry I don’t have the names of any of them but maybe you can ask the locals while you are at the caves for recommendations. Have fun!

  2. Wonderful photos… I’ve been to a few caves in my life, but these are in a dense green environment.
    So, Puerto Rico is a lot more interesting than I thought.

    • The caves are in an environment almost as beautiful as the caves themselves. And yes, Puerto Rico is a very interesting place to visit!

  3. Great post! We visited several years ago and love it. We’ve been to several caverns throughout the world and Camuy Cave is still by far the best.
    Carmen recently posted…Bonnet House Museum and GardensMy Profile

  4. Cool blog Barbara, some of the best hd images seen so far…

    • Welcome to our blog and thank you for your compliment! It’s nice to know that you are enjoying our site and our photographs!

  5. Hoping to go this year, I will definitely be checking this out!
    Becky Padmore recently posted…In BIG pictures: the Côte d’AzurMy Profile

    • That’s wonderful, Becky. You will find so many fun and educational things to see and do in Puerto Rico. Not to mention the endless number of stunning beaches to visit. I look forward to hearing all about your trip to Puerto Rico!

  6. I have never been to Puerto Rice, but now you have me thinking that I should plan a trip…I love it when there is more than just the beach to visit!
    Val-This Way To Paradise recently posted…Pictures From Udawalawe National Park, Sri LankaMy Profile

    • I think you’d enjoy a trip to Puerto Rico, Val. There’s a lot more to see and do there than beaches, although it is home to Flamenco Beach, a world class must see beach on the smaller island of Culebra!

  7. Deborah

    Camuy Cave looks spectacular! A part of Puerto Rico I wasn’t aware of and look forward to experiencing. Thank you for all the helpful hints to assure an enjoyable time!

    • You’re right Deborah, the Camuy Cave is spectacular. I think a lot of people that visit Puerto Rico are not aware of the caves or that they are an easy day trip from San Juan. I’m happy this post helped prepare you for your visit there. If you have any questions about the caves or the surrounding area please let me know!

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