Explore Cueva de las Maravillas - the Cave of Wonders
Cueva de las Maravillas
Photo: Tatiana Morozova / Shutterstock.com
Cueva de las Maravillas
Cueva de las Maravillas is one of the main tourist attractions of the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic.
This magnificent underground cave, located on the road between the townships of La Romana and San Pedro de Macorís, is home to a wealth of well-preserved indigenous Taíno petroglyphs.
The cave was rediscovered in 1926 by a group of explorers from San Pedro de Macoris. Dating back thousands of years, the pictographs are surrounded by dramatic stalagmites and stalactites. Overall, the effect is well deserving of the Spanish name Cueva de las Maravillas, which means “Cave of Wonders”.
What you'll see inside the cave
Among the attractions inside the Cueva de las Maravillas you'll find the Water Mirror, an artificial lake that mirrors the ceiling of the cave, and the Grand Panel that features a wide variety of pictograms representing not only human figures, but also owls, snakes, iguanas, among others, being the most common those that represent funeral rituals like the owls and bats. There are over 500 pictograms in total throughout the cave’s half a mile length.
This is a magical trip to the center of the earth that takes just 45 minutes, where visitors can wander sections of the cave accompanied by tour guides who describe the rock art in different languages (English, French and Spanish), while the gentle passage of visitors throws light and shadow dancing around the corridors of the cavern.
Taíno petroglyphs, Cueva de las Maravillas
Photo: Tatiana Morozova / Alamy
Need to know
A tour of Cueva de las Maravillas is possibly the most accessible cave tour in the Dominican Republic, with a wonderful lighting system, sturdy paths, accessible ramps and even an elevator.
To protect the ancient art on display, it is forbidden to take pictures, record, use music devices, litter inside the cave or touch the walls. It is also recommended to speak softly during the tour. It is recommended to wear comfortable, airy clothes for the trip, and sensible footwear is an absolute must.
How to get to Cueva de las Maravillas
Cueva de las Maravillas is a protected area under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Natural resources. This means access is safe and easy, and you’re expected to pay a small fee for entrance.
Entrance costs RD$300 (around US$5.15) for adults and includes a tour.
The cave is located about fifteen minutes east of San Pedro de Macorís in the direction of La Romana, between the Soco and Cumayasa rivers. A taxi ride from either San Pedro de Macorís or La Romana should cost you US $20 at most.
Three minutes after crossing the bridge over the Soco River, you’ll see a large fence on the left indicating the entrance to the site. The ticket office is just off the main road, and you can buy your entrance tickets from the car. It has a parking lot with capacity for 50 vehicles and 18 buses, so parking should be no problem even in the Dominican Republic’s high season. It even has a helipad and an airfield!
Written by Nora Pérez.
Published December 2020
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