The Dominican Republic’s first inhabitants left behind signs of their presence in numerous underground caverns found across the country, where they once took refuge or performed rituals. Today, hiking into these mysterious chambers, marked with petroglyphs and pictographs, is a thrilling experience. From easy entry to Indiana Jones-style expeditions, there’s a cave to suit everyone. Southeast, Cotubanamá National Park reveals caves punctuated with emerald freshwater lagoons.
Just outside of Santo Domingo, Los Tres Ojos National Park is an easy walk into one of the largest underground caverns in the country, linked by a series of lagoons. Near La Romana, Cueva de Las Maravillas reveals hundreds of pictographs. Scape Park, in Cap Cana, takes you into the tunnels of Iguabonita Cave, with its impressive limestone formations. Los Haitises National Park is home to caves that are reached by boat, and boast a high number of pictographs. The most challenging and adventurous of all is Cueva Fun Fun, as the name suggests, not least because you’ll have no option but to rappel into its entrance. The least visited, yet most impressive caves are in the southwest, including El Pomier, and Las Caritas de los Indios.
There’s a cave to match every age and fitness level.
Ancient Taino caves, tucked deep inside the DR’s rainforests and parks, offer the most adrenaline-filled spelunking adventures.