Puerto Rico > Puerto Rico Points of Interest > Attractions & Places to Visit on the North Coast of PR > Camuy River Cave Park
Be ready to be wowed as soon as you enter this wondrous natural attraction, tucked into the karst region of the north coast. Rio Camuy Cave formally named Parque Las Cavernas del Rio Camuy, designated the First Natural Delight of Puerto is “one of the world’s largest cave networks”. This is an excellent day trip just about 1 hour an 20 minute drive from San Juan, Puerto Rico. If you don’t want to drive yourself, you can conveniently book with a cavern tour guide who provide transportation from San Juan.
Rio Camuy This cave is the third largest underground cave system in the world, Rio Camuy runs through it. The main part of the cavern is massive, with a ceiling over 10 stories high. Photos can’t capture the beauty of this world class wonder, Camuy River Cave Park is among the top ten attractions you can’t miss in Puerto Rico. Parques Nacionales (Puerto Rico National Parks) manages this 300 acre park, offering walking tours in both English & Spanish, through this enormous cave. This day will be part of one of the best day trips you can enjoy during your vacation in Puerto Rico, see our Puerto Rico North Region Attractions guide to see the suggested itinerary.
The Rio Camuy Cavern Tour
You will be given a set of headphones, available in Spanish and English.
Your tour begins with a fun trolley ride down the steep rolling mountainside that children will love. The adventure begins as the trolley zig zags down the mountainside, deep down to the cave entrance where the amazement of the cavern awaits. You’ll wish the ride took longer…the temperature gets cooler as you drop down into the nest of the mountain covered with lush greens that glisten to the rays of the sun.
There are a few steps before heading through the tunnel that leads to the entrance of the cavern. The rest of the way you’ll be walking on concrete walkways with side rails. Please read the suggestions below for tips on recommended attire and care when touring the cavern.
You’ll enter through Cueva Clara, you’ll walk through diverse tunnels, some reach as high as 170 feet and span as wide as 200 feet. Depending on the time of day, heavenly sun rays come through the window pictured below. As you go deeper into the cavern you’ll be wowed by the size and magnitude of this place. Again, photos can’t really capture the splendor of the cavern, you have to be here to experience it.
Natural works of art such as spectacular stalagmites and stalactites were carved and formed by waters of the Camuy River, which is estimated to be approximately 45 million years old.
At one of the highest points of the cavern, you’ll see the largest stalagmite in Puerto Rico, an impressive sight.
As you walk, you’ll see nature at work, water streaming down the walls, forming more spectacular structures right before your eyes.
During your exploration, you’ll feel the heat of hundreds of sleeping bats and hear the sounds of Camuy River running underneath.
Next you’ll be entering Sumidero de Empalme (Empalme Sinkhole), a breathtaking magical spot where the sun rays shine through the sinkhole entrance 450 feet above.
This sinkhole feels more like an enchanted room. Wellsprings gently flow to create a mesmerizing melody, you can’t help but think that perhaps this is the source of the fountain of youth Ponce de Leon so desperately sought.
The rays of sunshine radiating through through the opening above makes the waterfalls sparkle, the foliage glisten and the trees are perfectly lit by the true master landscape architect. There’s so much beauty to take in at the Empalme Sinkhole.
Your tour guide will take you through the last part of the tour, a party for your senses if you’re into caves. You’ll be able to observe more stalagmites and stalactites and hear some cool sounds. You’ll walk through a tunnel and then over a concrete walkway suspended over the underground river, where the sounds of the water and bats seem to be right out of a Batman movie scene. As a matter of fact, the sounds of bats used on a Batman movie were recorded at the Camuy Cave.
Entry / Ticket Process
- At the entry, you will pay parking fee. The attendant will give you a number, hold on to it, you’ll need it for the tour.
- Once you park, head over to “Boleteria” (Ticketing Center) & buy your tickets.
- With your tickets purchased, relax and wait for your numbers to be called. They are not going to call your exact number. For example they may call numbers 50 and under. If your number is 45, then that is your group. Numbers are not necessarily given in order. The first group in the morning could have received #150, you may arrive later and receive #5. (we explain this, because we’ve noticed visitors getting frustrated because they don’t understand it and feel other groups have gotten ahead of them).
- The trolley comes around about every 15 minutes, each call takes from 30 – 60 people.
Note: There are no bathrooms inside the cavern, be sure to use the restrooms before the tour. Smoking is not allowed. No food may be consumed inside the cavern.
- Arrive before 10am
- Dress in comfortable clothing, bring an additional shirt just in case you get wet during the tour.
- Wear non-slip closed toe shoes. Although you’ll be walking on concrete walkway through the cavern, it is uneven and wet.
- Last trolley goes out at 3:30, weather permitting. Give yourself enough time to buy tickets and make it for the last group so you don’t waste a trip. Get there no later than 3pm and that’s cutting it close.
- Please Note: There are some travel guides published that state you’ll visit the underground river, this is not accurate information. The river is underground and not accessible to the public. In the town of Utuado, there are some tour companies that will take you the Tanama River, where you can go rappelling, caving and tubbing on the underground river.
- Adults: $18
- Children of ages 4 – 12: $13
- Children of ages 4 and under: Free
- Seniors of 65 + – $9
- Parents, Teachers & Chaperons: $14
- Students: $12
- Cars / SUV’s: $4.00
- Buses: $5.00
- Motorcycles: $2.00
Hours of Operation
- Wednesdays – Sundays and some holidays: 8am – 5pm. Last tour is around 3:30 so get there by 3:00 to be sure you get tickets.
- Phone: (787) 898-3100 or (787) 898-3136
Please call for updated info or visit the official site.
Hurricane Maria Update: Cleaning underway, opening date unknown.
Facilities at Parques de Las Cavernas del Rio Camuy
- Gift Shop
- Camping during summer months
- Salón Romance: $600.00 (deposit of $150.00)
- Reservación merenderos (picnic area): $25.00 (deposit of $25.00)
- Área 5 merenderos: $100.00 (fianza $50.00)
Map & Directions – Camuy River Cave Park
- Address: Carretera 129 Km. 18.9, Camuy, P.R.
- Phone: (787) 898-3100 and (787) 898-3136
Directions: Drive from San Juan is about 1 hour, 20 minutes. Camuy River Cave Park is located on Carr. (Carretera) 129 Km. 18.9 from Arecibo to Lares. To get there from PR22 take the Exit (Salida) 77B which connects with Carr. 129 towards Lares.
Suggested Itinerary: You can easily do Camuy River Cave Park and the Arecibo Observatory in one morning / afternoon. We highly recommend you get to the cave park at opening time, and then drive to the Arecibo Observatory. For the most convenience, book a cavern / observatory tour with a trusted tour guide.