Parque de las Cavernas del Río Camuy Camuy, PR
the Río Camuy, which can be spotted at the park’s main sinkhole, is the world’s third longest underground river
nature park/reserve


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The Northwest region of Puerto Rico is known as “karst country,” a stretch of uneven terrain caused by the erosion of the island’s limestone, and resulting in one of the world’s largest systems of underground caves. Parque de las Cavernas del Río Camuy has for decades been the site where visitors from the island and abroad are introduced to the fascinating underground geography of Puerto Rico. The karst landscape aboveground is itself impressive, made up of hills with sharp peaks, known as “mogotes,” as well as dramatic sinkholes, known as “sumideros.”

The 268-acre park is maintained by the Compañía de Parques Nacionales. It first opened to the general public in 1987, only three decades after modern exploration started but centuries after the caves here were used by the native taínos, as revealed by stone carvings. One of the more surprising facts about this cave system is also the reason for the park’s name: the Río Camuy, which can be spotted at the park’s main sinkhole, is actually the world’s third longest underground river. Speleologists have yet to explore the whole cave system, so who knows what more surprises it holds.

Tours depart from a visitor center after a brief documentary on the park and the region. A trolley takes visitors past lush vegetation that includes bamboo and banana trees as well as many species of ferns down to the Tres Pueblos Sinkhole. Visitors can peek in to glimpse the underground Río Camuy. To get a sense of its depth, follow the roots of the trees that grow here as they extend over a hundred feet below ground to reach the water source.

Back outside be sure not to miss New York artist Tom Otterness’s sculpture of a giant coquí located in this area. A winding walking path then leads visitors over to Cueva Clara, an almost 200 ft. tall cave with stalactites drip-dropping mineral-rich water onto the cave floor, from which stalagmites grow.

The park offers various other services and tours, including picnic and camping areas, so be sure to call ahead for availability and applicable fees. The Parque de las Cavernas del Río Camuy is your gateway into a world of unparalleled natural beauty awaiting to be discovered.
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