Listed on the 2003 National Register of Historic Places, Cueva del Indio is a prehistoric rock-turned-art site in Puerto Rico’s Las Pierdas. The name of the cave means “Cave of the Indian” in English and there is no admission fee to visit this place. However, please take note that there is a $3 parking fee and a $1 walk-in fee here.
The cave is open at all times since it isn’t really a park in the true sense of the word, but you won’t have much to do here if you go at night since the main attraction is the Mesoamerican art known as petroglphs, which refers to the numerous wall carvings created by Taino Indians.
The petroglphs have been dated as pre-Christopher Columbus period, meaning these were made even prior to the 1493 arrival of the Genoese explorer in Puerto Rico. Cueva del Indio is made of natural limestone, and most of it is underwater, an interesting feature of this maritime cave.
More than just a cave, Cueva del Indio offers visitors a panoramic view of the surrounding coastal area where seven arches as well as rock formations made of limestone are visible when waves hit the shore.
Get a Glimpse of the Taino Tribe
You can get there by taking Highway 22 past a mall called Barceloneta Outlet and turning into a few country roads. You will see the rural side of Puerto Rico along its northern coast during this drive. A sign – “El Coayuco, La Cueva del Indio” – posted on the road is your assurance that you didn’t get lost on your way here.
When you get to the cave, it would feel like you were transported back in the time of this indigenous American people known historically as the Taino tribe.
Because of its location, you need to walk to the cave’s entrance across exposed limestone which has a sharp cut. Make sure you wear the appropriate footwear because you will need to climb down a wooden ladder in order to get inside the cave. This is both the entry and exit points of the cave, so if you have vertigo, the better option is to see the petroglphs from several openings above the cave.
If petroglphs are not your thing, you can still visit the place and enjoy surfing. There is a wide selection of surfing schools as well as surf shops where gear rental or surfing lessons may be booked. Exercise caution when surfing, swimming or snorkeling, though, as there are sea urchins, rips, and jagged rocks in the vicinity and underwater.
Playa Cueva del Indio, or the beach, is where most water sports action takes place in this area, especially surfing. Walk a little further and you can find the beautiful grottoes as well as some mystical-looking coves. And while Los Tubos Beach is considered a mecca for amateur surfers, deep sea fishing can also be had in the waters of Cueva del Indio.