The next adventure was one that I was looking forward to since I found out about it. The plan was to see two caves, Cavernas del Rio Camuy and Cueva Ventana, and somehow end up in the surf town Rincón PR for the next couple of days.
The first thing on today’s to-do list was to pick up my rental car. I had the option of either renting for $30/day or $97/week. Hmm…I decided to rent a car for the week which was healthier for my bank account. I was talking to the guy who kept switching from speedy Spanish to extremely crappy English and then he handed me two pieces of paper and said, “ok sign y sign.” So I did. What did I sign? I have no idea but he handed me car keys and I was happy.
My best friend for the next week
The first cave I stopped at was Cueva Ventana. Not a lot of people know about this location but it is starting to gain fame so get on it before the masses start showing up. The trail head is next to a Texaco gas station and the difficulty level is about a 1/10. Here are some pictures:
If you pass this great parking job, you’re going in the right direction
About a minute past the car, you’ll see a small hole to your left. This is the entrance to another cave (I’ll call it Cave One for simplicity). You can go this way or keep walking. Both will get you to Cueva Ventana.
Here are some shots from Cave One:
If you took the Cave One entrance, you’ll pop out of the big hole on the right. If you didn’t, you’ll walk around and see these entrances. The entrance to Cueva Ventana is the smaller one on the left. I hope you remembered to bring your flashlight because you’ll be walking through complete darkness for a couple minutes.
The entrance to Cueva Ventana
The walk through the middle is pitch black and you can hear all of the sleeping fruit bats above you in the cave but it is worth it. And here are some shots:
The next stop was Rio Camuy Caves. Right before I got on the tour, I found this little guy.
Look how tiny this guy is! See the plastic fork next to him?
Here are some pictures of the Rio Camuy Caves:
A million fruit bats live in the cave to the left and the rock to the right reminds me of delicious flan
After the caves, I took a scenic route through the Northwest side of PR and ended up in Rincón. I made the observation that the Northwest side of PR is very similar to North county San Diego…and driving through Rincón was like driving the coast highway stretch from Solana Beach to Carlsbad Village. I think the only difference is that I can drive along San Diego until I find a spot that is pumping…while here in PR, it seems that the surf only breaks in specific locations.
When I showed up at the hostel in Rincón, it was closed. Efff… I called them and nobody picked up. Double Efff… I just drove for nearly two hours after the caves only to find an empty hostel. And now it was getting dark and I had to find a place to nod out for the night. Luckily I found a spot nearby and crashed a resort lobby for internet access.
All in all, a great day and nothing to complain about while sipping on Presidente and kicking back at a beachfront resort in Rincón.
A Few Notes:
Cueva Ventana: You take the PR-22 West, PR-10 South, drive for about 8 minutes and then park at the Texaco gas station on your left. You pay $2 for parking and the trail head is to the south of the gas station. This hike is about 20 minutes if you want to just want to walk there and walk back. Bring a flashlight and you don’t need boots or anything fancy for this walk.
Rio Camuy Caves: Take the PR-22 West, exit 77B (77A is North, 77B is South), drive for about 15 minutes and you’ll see signs for it. It costs $15 for each adult and parking is $3
– There are a few tolls along PR-22. If your rental has autoexpresso, just drive through and you’ll see a green light as you pass showing that you’re good to go
– Tons of cops prowl PR-22 and I witnessed many non-law abiding citizens get pulled over
– Apparently signaling while you turn or change lanes makes you look like a wimp, so nobody uses their indicators here
– Talking or texting on the phone while driving is encouraged here in PR
– So is swerving into other lanes and slamming on your brakes randomly
– Anytime you feel like it, feel free to honk your horn as many times as you like
– Every other car here either has a large dent in a door, a huge gashes on the side, or is completely missing a bumper…which attests to the fine PR driving skills