Puerto Rico was blessed with 2,000 caves and counting. The Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) has documented 211, with more to be discovered and explored. Whether you’re a family with children, a more adventurous thrill seeker, scuba diver, or beach lover wishing to admire a beach cave that’s magazine-worthy… Puerto Rico offers many adventures to choose from and for visitors staying in the capital city of San Juan, most of them are about 1.5 hour’s drive away.
Our travel guide will introduce you to the best caves to explore in Puerto Rico including limestone caves in the Karst Region, underground river caves, beach caves and grottos, and submarine caves. On the rugged northern coastline, you’ll be able to explore a cave with great archeological value and go sightseeing natural arches with great beauty that served as filming locations such as Pirates of the Caribbean.
Table of Contents - Best Caves to Explore in Puerto Rico
Explore world-class caves the whole family will enjoy.
Enjoy exciting adventures such as underground river caves. The most popular and thrilling cave tours may include a combination of cave tubing, and body rafting on underground river caves. Thrill-seekers can choose tours that may include a combination of rock climbing, rappelling, and spelunking.
For beach lovers who don’t wish to get away from the shore, Puerto Rico has many sea caves, we’ll show you our favorites, the most accessible, the safest to explore, and the best times to visit them.
- Cueva Golondrinas at Playa El Pastillo in Isabela
- Cueva de Las Golondrinas Beach in Manati, Puerto Rico
More Caves in Puerto Rico
Award Winning Cave Tours in Puerto Rico
You may explore some caves on your own, but most adventures are best explored with an experienced local guide for safety and to get the most out of the experiences. There are various destinations in the Caribbean offering caves to explore, but Puerto Rico shines offering tours to breathtaking places with 5-star rated professional guides elevating the experience.
Two local guides in Puerto Rico were ranked on the coveted Traveler’s Choice Award by Trip Advisor – Top Overall Experiences in the World & Top Adventure Activities
Caves & Caverns to Explore in Puerto Rico
In the verdant mountains along the north in the karst region you can explore the most impressive cave systems, combined with exciting nature activities such as river trekking, and cave tubing. The Karst region extends from the Loiza River in the town of Loiza across the center of the island to the coastline of Aguadilla. Caves in Puerto Rico are living caves, continuously change by nature’s geological forces. Fauna in Puerto Rico’s caves include Trogloxenes such as bats, Troglophytes, and Troglobios.
Following are the best and most popular caves in Puerto Rico.
Cueva del Indio, is one of the most breathtaking locations on the island of Puerto Rico. You can easily spend a full morning here, exploring the cave, the Seven Arches along the cliffs, tidal pools, and walking the shore. Cueva del Indio was one of the filming locations of Pirates of the Caribbean, Perfect Getaway among other Hollywood movies. Near the entrance of the cave, you’ll be able to admire columnar basalts.
Featured Tour to Cueva del Indio
With so many rave reviews from happy travelers like you, one of the top rated tours to Cueva del Indio made it to the coveted list of Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice list… earning the 12th spot on Top Adventure Activities in the World.
Location of Cavern: Camuy, Puerto Rico ⎮ Distance from San Juan: About an hour and 15 minutes drive from San Juan.
The Camuy River Cave Park is a world-class natural treasure, the third-largest cave network in the world, carved over a million years ago. Formally named Parque Nacional de las Cavernas de Camuy, is certainly the most impressive cave system on the island of Puerto Rico. Although impressive, visitors will be surprised to learn they’re only exploring the major cave and two sinkholes, Camuy River Cave has 220 subterranean caves stretching over 286 acres. It is believed that there are more caves to be discovered yet. Underground runs the Rio Camuy, a nine-mile river, the third-largest underground river in the world, the two largest underground rivers are in Yugoslavia and Papua New Guinea. Camuy River Cave Park is a very family-friendly attraction, average physical condition is required to explore the cave. There are cement walkways throughout the tour, making it the most accessible for most travelers. Children and adults will be amazed by the impressive stalactites, stalagmites, and the impressive sinkhole. The caves expand to three towns, Camuy (entrance to the park), Lares, and Hatillo.
Family-friendly cave, good for children. The cave is very accessible, there are cement walkways throughout the tour, and non-slip shoes are recommended. Reservations are recommended but tickets may be purchased the day of visiting, just give yourself a good 2 hours to get there in case of traffic and get there in the morning to be sure you get a ticket for one of the tours. If you don’t have your scheduled tour until the afternoon, there are more places to visit nearby.
Location of Cavern: Arecibo, Puerto Rico ⎮ Distance from San Juan: About a 1 hour and 10 minutes drive from San Juan.
Temporarily Closed – Prepare to be wowed at the window… Photos are a disservice to Cueva Ventana, the scene you encounter at the window after hiking through the forest and passing through the dark cave is truly rewarding. The tour guides are bilingual and very friendly. The best and top-rated tours include Cueva del Indio, one of the most scenic places on the north coast of Puerto Rico.
Family-friendly, good for children. Hiking shoes are recommended, hiking level is about a 2.
Best Places for Cave Tubing in Puerto Rico, Adventure & Thrill Seekers
Location of Tanama River and Cueva del Arco: Utuado, Puerto Rico ⎮ Distance from San Juan: 1 hour and 20-30 minutes
Get away from it all and immerse yourself in one of the unbeaten paths of Puerto Rico where you’ll encounter few crowds and experience one of the enchanting treasures of Puerto Rico. In the enchanting karst region bordering the towns of Utuado and Arecibo, you’ll find one of the most fun and thrilling adventures in Puerto Rico in the most spectacular river on the island. A 15-minute hike into the lush forest takes you to the Tanama River, responsible for the carving of beautiful works of art turned into caves, natural arches, and tunnels where the river waters flow freely.
This breathtaking location is full of wonders to admire with a mixture of activities such as river trekking, refreshing under spring waterfalls, swimming in natural pools, body rafting, and cave tubing through tunnels. Those that are craving more challenging activities can go rappelling and rock climbing.
Your visit to this area will give you several breathtaking sights to explore:
- Cueva de Arco or natural arch is one of the most beautiful formations in the karst region of Puerto Rico. To get there, you’ll river trek between the imposing walls of the canyon that lead to Cueva del Arco (Arch’s Cave). Cueva del Arco has a height of 120 feet and spans 70 feet. This cave / natural bridge is the largest of six in the karst region. Cueva del Arco is officially in the town of Utuado.
- Portillo, an underground river cave, some tunnels are over 1,000 feet in length.
- There are a number of other caves to explore such as Cueva del Arco Superior located above Cueva del Arco. Puerto Rico’s natives use to enjoy this cave, so you’ll be walking into an important place of historical value in Puerto Rico.
Tours to Tanama River and Cueva del Arco
The most popular tours include cave exploration, cave tubing, body rafting, and hiking, typically limited to small groups. Other tours include more challenging activities such as rappelling and rock climbing.
Our Favorite Beach Caves in Puerto Rico
Along the coastline, you can take romantic walks to find beach caves and grottos. There are many beach caves around the coastline of Puerto Rico, most of them along the north, you’ll find various ones in Cabo Rojo, we’ve found a few in Guanica and also other towns along the west. We’ll introduce you to our favorite and most accessible beach caves.
Both of the following beach caves are named after the swallow birds that abound and nest in the caves. These beach caves are accessible and safest to enter during the late summer months, we found the month of August to be the best.
Time to visit the beach cave: Late summer months, best in August.
We love the beaches of Isabela, and we honestly don’t like to share this beach much because we often go early morning during the summertime and we typically have it to ourselves, other times we may encounter a few locals fishing offshore and guests that come down from the amazing resort Royal Isabela. Playa El Pastillo is at its best during the summer months, the tide is lower, the water is calmer, you can do a little snorkeling at the east end, float at tidal pools, and… the greatest reward is seeing Cueva Las Golondrinas, named after the swallow birds that nest on the cave which is officially a grotto. We wait for the raging Atlantic waves to retreat after the winter months and reveal the cave once again. If you wish to surprise your loved one with something special, get a picnic basket together, sit down really close and simply enjoy the views and sounds of the ocean together from the cave, you won’t forget the experience.
Location of Cueva de Las Golondrinas: Manati, Puerto Rico ⎮ Distance from San Juan: 45 minutes
Best time to visit this beach cave: Summer Months
Photos simply don’t do justice to this dreamy spot.. a small beach in a protected cove where crystal clear water runs in from the more open water of the Manati coastline facing the Atlantic. During the summer months, the water is calmer and extra clear. The active and strong ocean waves of the winter months that come in through the entrances become calmer during the summer months allowing beachgoers to enter and explore. Right outside you’ll be able to sit down on shallow water, once inside you’ll find gorgeous turquoise and emerald green water filling the cave’s uneven surface creating a series of natural pools of depths from 3 to 5 – 6 feet.
Please wear water shoes, the surface may be slippery. Most of all, please be considerate of the beautiful sea life that calls this cave home, from sea urchins to schools of fish and coral, they’re living organisms that deserve our care and respect. Please be mindful when stepping and walking around the cave.
Day Trip Suggestions
- A visit to this beach cave is complete with two other great beaches in Manati. Be sure to visit Mar Chiquita, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. Before or after your hike to Cueva de Las Golondrinas, you’ll be passing Poza de Las Mujeres, also gorgeous and best to visit during the summer months.
- Combine your visit to this beach cave with Cueva del Indio in Arecibo.
- Head to Pozo del Obispo in Arecibo.
Submarine Caves in Puerto RicoPuerto Rico
Beautiful Pit Caves in Puerto Rico
Pozo de Jacinto is a pit cave about 30 feet deep, formed by the crashing waves of the Atlantic, located along the northwest coast of Puerto Rico in the town of Isabela. With so many scenic spots along the coast of Puerto Rico, this pit cave is often missed by visitors, but in islands such as Aruba, a natural bridge that resembles Pozo de Jacinto is actually one of the top attractions. If you enjoy rock formations, natural bridges, caves, and the ocean, Pozo de Jacinto is certainly worth a visit, and it doesn’t take up much time to admire it due to the easy access.
A perfect day trip to Pozo de Jacinto is planning a beach-hopping day to the beaches of Isabela. From Jobos Beach, you will take the trail from the parking lot and within a few minutes you’ll be at Pozo de Jacinto, you’ll also enjoy sweeping views of the coastline.
- Although we’ve personally seen teens jumping off during the summer days when the water is calmer, it is NOT RECOMMENDED NOR SAFE to jump in the water. This pit cave is a great place to visually admire it and enjoy the surrounding sights.
- There are no lifeguards, guards, or guardrails around the pit, so please walk with care and never leave your children unattended and never stand along the edge, please keep a safe distance.
More Caves in Puerto Rico
In 2012, one of the largest cave systems in Puerto Rico was declared a nature reserve, located between the municipalities of Morovis and Ciales. This site is of great importance with both natural and cultural importance to Puerto Rico. Roberto Martinez and Ovidio Davila were responsible for the study of this cave system and designating it as a nature reserve. We do not recommend you visit on your own, Proyecto Cabachuelas in Morovis offers regular guided tours (see details below).
+ Information & Tours
Information current as of April 12, 2022.
- Tours can be coordinated during weekdays for groups of 10-12.
- Every Thursday they run tours but you must make a reservation in advance.
- Duration of tours are 3-4 hours.
- Cost of regular tour below. Other tours are offered at different rates. See FB page for full details.
- Tourists is $85 per person.
- Residents of Puerto Rico – $55 per person.
- Children ages 8-12 is $45.
- Seniors 60 and over is $45.
- Residents of Morovis $35
- For Reservations call, text or WhatsApp at +1 939-450-1295
We love hiking in Isabela, one of the unbeaten paths of Puerto Rico, where you’ll be immersed in nature with few to zero crowds. Put on hiking boots and head to the Guajataca State Forest, offering well-marked trails, one leading to Cueva del Viento. The trails leading to the cave are nice with interesting flora and fauna to observe along the way. The cave is very accessible, you simply go down wooden steps to explore this beautiful cave that surprisingly gets few visitors, those of us that love it, would like to keep it that way, it is a very peaceful adventure. Be sure to take a flashlight or lantern, there are no lights inside the cave and no organized tours so you’re on your own. Feel free to stop at the ranger station at Km 9, where you may park your car and head to the trails from there. The few people we encounter during the times we’ve hiked there are locals taking a morning walk.
Location of Cueva Lucero “Star Cave”: Morovis & Ciales, PR
Cueva Lucero is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This cave is one of the most important archeological sites in Puerto Rico, where aborigines dwelled and left hundreds of pictographs and petroglyphs. Currently, there are no organized tours to Cueva Lucero, but locals who like to do rock-climbing and spelunking are blessed to experience this historical and archeological gem.
Map of Caves in Puerto Rico
Tips for Exploring Caves in Puerto Rico
What should I wear during a cave tour?
When exploring a cave, we recommend you wear proper shoes to protect your ankles that are non-slip. Some caves such as Cueva Arco and Arenales require river trekking, check with tour guides for their recommendations. You may need lights for those caves you explore on your own, tours typically include all equipment necessary.
Should you I explore on my own or book a tour?
Many locals explore caves on their own, however, they may know the area and explore in groups. Some caves may be explored on their own, read the details on this page for each particular cave. We strongly advise visitors/tourists including locals that don’t know the cave areas to book a tour with a knowledgable and professional guide for your safety and full enjoyment.