What is it within our hearts that makes us want to travel, explore, and see beyond what we can wildly imagine?  What makes you want to come here?  What makes you read the next sentence?  Your next thought.  What is our experience?  What do we all have in common?  Life.  Experiences.  Love.

Which is why, without a doubt, come to Cueva Ventana and change your channel to the “Window Cave” or “Eye of the Island.”  Of all the caves in Puerto Rico, this is one of the prettiest (although sometimes crowded).

You’re heading towards the northwest corner of Puerto Rico, driving west on PR-22 towards Arecibo/Utuado and taking PR 10-down south about 10 minutes till you see a Texaco gas station on your left. You’ll see the signs you can’t miss it.  Park at the gas station and grab your gear for the 25 minute hike.

There are places we see in photos that immediately leap out at us and we just absolutely know we will be there. For me, one such place has been Cueva Ventana. The journey and the path up the hill. Walking, breathing, sweating, thinking, adventuring, experiencing. Climbing….

This place will bring you those things and much more, if you allow it. Even if there’s too many people here in your opinion when you visit. Perhaps it won’t bring you anything at all save for at least a pretty great view once you get past a little darkness.

It just depends on your point of view that day I suppose…

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for. The damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center. You find the jewel and it draws you off. In loving the spiritual, you cannot despise the earthly.”

Joseph Campbell

Cueva Ventana Puerto Rico – a metaphor if you will.

Why not?

Because if you really think about it – this trip – down to every last detail you may have missed… parallels the story we tell of our lives, doesn’t it? Why are you traveling to Puerto Rico?

There’s a reason this metaphor goes as far back with philosophers such as Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” from his work in The Republic to modern day epics like Star Wars when Luke enters the cave to face what he’s most afraid of.

Luke:  “What’s in there?”

Yoda:  “Only what you take with you.”

It’s not just about “hey, let’s go see a cave” – it’s about you going within.  It’s about getting lost.  A cave is both metaphorical and literal.  There’s a lot to explore in Puerto Rico but this is one of the easiest and a very rewarding one.  It’s about facing our fears.  It’s about being in the middle of where you want to be.  It’s just a step outside your comfort zone. It’s about being in the unknown, yet knowing, that at the end of this, at the very least, you’re getting a pretty wonderful view and that you’re going to get there with somebody special by your side.  It’s personal and different to each of us.

Now, on another note and getting back down to earth. Some facts about Cueva Ventana. This place is beautiful to say the least and will give you those awe inspiring photo moments we all love. This place is also sacred as in Taino Indians were here way before the Spanish came to Puerto Rico.

CROWDS:

One note about getting here, as we’ve been here many times and during different points in life. We cannot tell you enough times that you have to see this place without the crowds if you can.  Sure, it’s still not that bad if you have people here (people are courteous and take turns getting all the way to the front so you can take your pictures) – but wow, having this place to yourselves it’s what it’s all about.

The best times for this are obviously weekdays as early as possible or an hour before sunset. But if you’re itinerary does not allow this it’s still a great trip to be had and you just may get a few moments to yourself at the edge of the stunning views that look over the countryside and Rio Tanama.

COST:

The first few times we came here this was a free place to check out. However, due to the advent and popularity of people posting pictures on social media this place even became popular with the locals. Soon, they started charging about $5 to enter and made various improvements to the trails leading up to the cave and have maintained the property in a pristine state. On our last visit, we feel it got a tad ridiculous with the price increase to $10 and having to wear a helmet. Some things in our opinion should be free or at least reasonably affordable. It’s still quite a view for $10, however we did want to note that it wasn’t always like this.

THE HIKE:

You have two options to get to the “eye of the island.” Your first option and most adventurous route is to go under a tree hole (yes, look for the tree with a hole), and like Alice step into the looking glass. Come out at the other end and re-enter the darkness of the cave. This opening is where your other hiking option is (less strenuous). Once inside the dark cave, stay along your right hand side throughout. Bring your headlight. You’ll soon see a slither of light towards the right and make your way there. Now it’s up to you to see what you want to see.

MORE INFORMATION:

http://cuevaventanapr.com/

DIRECTIONS – PR10 SOUTH – ARECIBO/UTUADO

Puerto Rico 10
http://goo.gl/maps/9eoOv

 

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