The place literally means “Window Cave” in English. Its Spanish name is, by far and large, more romantic-sounding: Cueva Ventana. This scenic “hole” from a mountain’s side opens to a green, lush valley. You can have a more laidback yet equally exciting adventure as you dodge the numerous stalagmites and hunker down under low-hanging stalactites.
Bats wander throughout the cave but don’t let that keep you from exploring it. Climb down a small opening in the cave wall or go on the path which bypasses the first cave to lead you to Cueva Ventana. Last year, though, boardwalks have been put up to make access to Cueva Ventana easier. And for $11, you get a hardhat and a flashlight when you explore the site.
What does the Window Cave offer individuals looking for something… unusual? Stalactites and stalagmites that reach out of the ceiling and the floor like some awesome jagged teeth in the cave’s gaping maw aren’t even the highlight, which comes at the very end of the short path through a solid rock formation that Cueva Ventana has naturally created.
The path ends “dramatically” when it opens into the cliff’s face as the most spellbinding hole that frames the beautiful valley of Rio Grande de Arecibo. This scenic vista has attracted millions of visitors year in and year out. Several more interesting passageways surround Cueva Ventana, including some that are long enough for exploration but short enough for spelunking.
A word of caution, though: avoid loud talking and laughing, screaming or making any other noises that can disturb the bats that sleep in the cave during the day and make them agitated. You want your trip to this majestic cave to be a walking daydream, not a waking nightmare. Additionally, wear weatherproof footwear with good grip to avoid slipping.
You will see the trail leading to Cueva Ventana near a gas station on Road #10’s hill. If you are coming from San Juan, it’s best to take Exit 75B that’s on the main highway. This trail is rather short and, in 15 minutes, you would already have seen the first entrance to one cave, but this in not yet Cueva Ventana. This one has a large room which you enter to connect to Cueva Ventana.
If you choose to explore the first cave before moving on to Cueva Ventana, all you have to do is get into that bigger opening located to the right. This cave’s end path has another opening where you can see many colorful birds that, literally, live in “holes in the walls.” Here, even before you get to the main attraction of Cueva Ventana, you can take some awesome photos of this cave.
This cave is no stranger to cinema but “picturesque” may even be an understatement when describing the seemingly-ethereal beauty of Cueva Ventana. If you have seen films such as “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Runner, Runner,” and “Treasure Island,” you will see why Cueva Ventana was featured in all of them.
Remember that a visit to Puerto Rico will not be complete without including Cueva Ventana on your itinerary. Even the geography-challenged tourists will marvel at the incredible topography of the place and feel like the Rio Grande de Recibo carved this entire area just for the visitor’s pleasure. Oh, and you can also see golondrinas in Cueva Ventana, those cute tiny birds we know as swallows.