There are hidden places that are waiting to be discovered by the most adventurous people. This is the case of El Chicho, the most important subway cave in the Dominican Republic. A few minutes from Bayahibe, from where most of the tours to Saona Island depart, we can find this cenote that forms a unique landscape, but also has more kept secrets.
An ancient displaced community and petroglyphs that show the importance of this point for the Tainos make the experience of Chicho's Cave something unique in the whole country. So let's get to know all the details about this sacred spot for the ancient inhabitants of Hispaniola.
Chicho Cave is a spring located underground, which is one of the most impressive places in the Dominican Republic.
Its natural pool of crystalline water is formed under stalactites and stalagmites that have been formed over millions of years. That is why this place has a geological importance that is worth knowing, since these cenotes are very interesting and strange, kilometers away from the coast.
One of the most popular activities in the Chicho Cave is scuba diving. The good underwater visibility allows us to swim and snorkel in this beautiful spot.
Unlike other cenotes, here we find a freshwater lake, which comes from the water that collects over the caves and is filtered until it fills it.
For scuba diving lovers, you should know that it is also possible to scuba dive in Chicho's Cave. The most interesting thing is that the natural pool is connected to another one that must be accessed by going underwater, an activity that is highly recommended if you want to get to know this magical place in depth.
But the description of the Chicho's Cave is not limited to aesthetics, and there is a lot of history and culture both inside and outside of this place.
The most recent past of this spot involves the Padre Nuestro community, who formerly lived in these lands. When the Parque Nacional del Este was created in 1975 they were displaced to the outskirts of its boundaries. For this reason, today we can see the remains of the villages of Padre Nuestro on the excursion to Chicho's Cave, and learn about the communities that once lived in the jungle.
It is worth mentioning that this natural area changed its name in 2014 from Parque Nacional del Este to Parque Nacional de Cotubanamá, in honor of an ancient Taino leader.
The Tainos are the second part of the history of Chicho's Cave. In its interior we can observe different petroglyphs, which are engravings on the rock that the ancient inhabitants of the island left as a legacy. The study of these engravings has led to the conclusion that the Chicho's Cave was a sanctuary for the Tainos, something that adds to the mystique of the place.
Chicho's Cave is a sacred site that, first of all, must be visited with great respect in order to preserve it properly. In addition, we recommend to any visitor who is going to visit this place not to forget some basic things.
The first thing is to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or cap to be able to deal with the intense sun on the 45-minute walk to Chicho Cave.
For walking, it is also advisable to bring good walking shoes. Some booties and a bathing suit will not be superfluous if you want to swim in the lakes of Chicho's Cave.
Water for the walk is also advisable, as it will be a total of 1 hour and a half round trip.
As it is a jungle area, we also recommend you to bring a good mosquito repellent to keep those pesky insects away.
Chicho's Cave is located northwest of Cotubanamá National Park, very close to the town of Bayahibe. To get there from Punta Cana or any other point on the island, we recommend you use private transportation.
Once you arrive in Bayahibe, you can take the 45-minute walk to the Chicho's Cave along a well-marked trail on your own. There is also the option of hiring a guide to explain everything you need to know about the history and nature of this place, which is highly recommended.
There are also horseback excursions from the town of La Romana. For more information, please contact Jackcana Tours.