Cuba // Artemisa and Pinar del Río //

Cueva del Indio

From the Cueva de San Miguel it’s a two-minute drive or a twenty-minute walk north to San Vicente’s most captivating attraction, the Cueva del Indio. Rediscovered in 1920, this network of caves is believed to have been used by the Guanahatabey Amerindians, both as a temporary refuge from the Spanish colonists and – judging by the human remains found here – as a burial site. Well-lit enough not to seem ominous, the cool caves nevertheless inspire a sense of escape from the humid and bright world outside. There are no visible signs of Indian occupation: instead of paintings, the cave walls are marked with natural wave patterns, testimony to the flooding that took place during their formation millions of years ago. Only the first 300m of the large jagged tunnel’s damp interior can be explored on foot before a slippery set of steps leads down to a subterranean river. It’s well worth paying the extra peso for the boat ride here, where a guide steers you for ten minutes through the remaining 400m of explorable cave. The boat drops you off out in the open, next to some souvenir stalls and a car park around the corner from where you started.

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