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Cave exploring and mystical underground lakes in Viñales, Cuba

Updated: Mar 15

Tropical jungle plants with a thatched hut and lagoon at underground caving in Viñales, Cuba called Cueva del Indio. ©AlonzoWright for Manifesting Travel
The tropical lagoon outside the underground cave in Viñales, Cuba. ©AlonzoWright

Are you into cave exploring? You might be surprised to find out Cuba has a number of interesting cave and cavern networks running through the island. Che Guevara was even known for commanding revolutionary fighters from them. Most folks will agree that some of the best caves on the island can be found in the Viñales region. While most people think of it for the tobacco growers and cigar rollers, the nearby mountain range and mogotes make Viñales well known for world-class rock-climbing and subterranean adventures alike. The area is so special it's been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Many caves have underground lakes and reservoirs that provide some of the most unique travel experiences anywhere and are definitely not what people think of when traveling to Cuba. They can range from the extreme adventurer types of caves where you're donning your own headlamps and rappelling ropes to more easy-going caving tours (diet adventure travel, if you will). 


There's so much more to explore in our Cuba Travel Guide.


Caving Tours at La Cueva del Indio in Viñales

If you’re looking for one of the more agreeable subterranean adventures, La Cueva del Indio, or Indian Cave, might be exactly what you need. While you still need good mobility, it’s relatively easy to navigate because the pathways have been evened out, it’s not terribly tight if you have claustrophobic tendencies and it’s well lit. Which means you can really see the full scale of the huge stalactites and stalagmites lining the surfaces.

Typically, tourist attractions aren’t that appealing to us, but in this case, if we told you that you could take a boat ride through an underground cave in Cuba, you might change your mind just like we did. The pièce de résistance, and the most beautiful part of the caving tour, is the boat ride at the end. It’s beautiful to see the light bleed into the darkness as you float through a crevice in the rock and into a tropical lagoon with a waterfall.   


**for the cave spelunker and underground caving enthusiasts among us

If you're a serious underground caving enthusiast or cave spelunker (which is a semi-hilarious word few people have ever heard of before), this is likely not going to be your kind of thing. But if you have your family in tow, this is a great attraction for families with kids.