This is my favorite hike by far. Cueva Ventana ("Window Cave") is a beautiful, scenic hole in the side of a mountain that opens up to a lush, green valley down below. You'll trample through mud, hunker down under low-hanging stalactites, dodge around stalagmites, and never look up (there are bats, of course) while wandering through the cave.
All this winding around through two caves leads you to one of the most spectacular views in all of Puerto Rico (but I may be biased).
The hike to this cave is half the fun. You climb down into a small opening under enormous, ancient tree roots, and you get the feeling of a tomb raider. But, if you're claustrophobic or don't feel up to lowering yourself down a cave wall, there's an additional path that bypasses the first cave and leads you straight to the easier hike to Cueva Ventana. There's something for everyone! I'm pretty sure I saw one Puerto Rican woman doing the whole thing in heels.
This is a must-visit site for anyone touring the northwest central part of Puerto Rico. Another tidbit is that it's practically free! You can find the directions on PuertoRicoDayTrips.com, park at the adjacent Texaco gas station.
UPDATE (2014): There is now an easier way to access this awesome view! There are now boardwalks for ease of access, and you must pay $11 to tour the site. You get a flashlight and hardhat for safety.
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Exploring the "Window Cave"
The literal translation for Cueva Ventana is “Window Cave,” and once you get past the inescapable reality that one must trek through rocky, steep, dark, and bat-swarming terrain lasting roughly five minutes, there’s no question you’ll realize how worthwhile the journey is. The passage finishes off dramatically with one of the most breathtaking landscape views that Puerto Rico has to offer.
I had done my research prior to going, which meant that we were equipped with lanterns and flashlights. We were lucky to come across a few explorers who'd explored the cave already that morning and didn’t mind doing it again to guide us through much more quickly.
A few more caves are in the surrounding area—such as Rio Camuy Cave Park, which we didn’t get the chance to explore—but Cueva Ventana is a must-see. It’s best to arrive early, as the place has become more popular.
The entrance fee per person was $5. It would have been amazing to visit during the evening as the sun was setting, but I can’t imagine the extra depth of darkness all around.