Known for its soaring interiors, million-year-old stalactites and stalagmites, and namesake underground river, Rio Camuy Cave Park (Parque Nacional de las Cavernas del Río Camuy) in Puerto Rico attracts nature lovers and casual visitors alike. The 268-acre (108-hectare) complex is most famous for its cave tour, but it also offers picnic pavilions, walking trails, and a playground.
Three crater-like sinkholes and one cave are open to the public at Rio Camuy Cave, the third largest underground river cavern system in the world. These attractions are accessed via a trolley ride that whisks visitors to the cave entrance. Led by a park ranger with guided audio, the 90-minute cave tour offers insight into the geologic history and ecosystem of the area, while also stopping at a spot where you can hear the Camuy River roar past. The cave’s open ends allow in plenty of sunlight.
Rio Camuy Cave Park is easily accessible from San Juan on a day trip. Many travelers visit as part of an organized tour for the benefit of guided commentary and round-trip transportation. This trip is sometimes combined with a visit to the nearby Arecibo Observatory, where you can listen to the sounds of the universe from the world's largest radio telescope.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Park entrance is limited and often capped by 10am; ensure your entry by booking ahead.
- The cave has a cement walkway with handrails, but it is usually wet and slippery so be sure to wear closed-toe shoes with a good tread.
- On-site amenities include a restroom, gift shop, and cafeteria.
- Camping is permitted in summer.
- Dress in layers, as the cave can get chilly, and bring an extra shirt in case yours gets wet.
How to Get There
While a guided tour is the most stress-free way to visit the park, independent travelers can take a private car or taxi to access the site on their own. Fee-based parking is available. The park is roughly a 90-minute drive from San Juan, in the karst region of the north coast.
When to Get There
The park is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8am until 5pm, but note that parking closes strictly at 2:45pm, the last tickets are sold by 3pm, and the last tour is at 3:30pm. Entry to the popular site often capped by 10am, so it’s best to book in advance. The park sometimes closes during heavy rain due to potential flooding.