San Pedro de Macoris and the Cave of Wonders

Capital of the eponymous province, San Pedro de Macorís. is located at the mouth of the Rio Magua, halfway between Santo Domingo and La Romana, on the south coast of the Dominican Republic, bordering the Caribbean Sea. The town itself is of little interest, apart from its cathedral. However, the rio Higuamo, surrounded by lush vegetation, offers some superb views, particularly from the Mauricio Báez cable-stayed bridge. On the road between La Romana and San Pedro de Macoris, the aptly named cueva de las Maravillas is in fact a Cave of Wonders!

The entrance to the Grotte des Merveilles.

- © Christophe Hiltgen / EASYVOYAGE
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The Cave of Wonders

Located more than 25 metres underground between the Soco and Cumayasa rivers, the Cave of Wonders is just 500 metres from the motorway linking San Pedro de Macorís (15 km away) to La Romana (20 km away). There are 135 steps leading down to the cave, but you can take a lift back up to the surface.

The Cave of Wonders, cueva de la Maravillas in Spanish.

- © Christophe Hiltgen / EASYVOYAGE

The Grotte des Merveilles was discovered in 1926 and became known as the Grotte de Jagua. It wasn't until 1949 that it was named the Grotte des Merveilles. It wasn't until 2003 that it was opened to the public and protected, which is why many of the pictograms are unfortunately damaged, as anyone could come and do anything. It is considered to be the first rock art museum in the West Indies.

The underground lake.

- © Christophe Hiltgen / EASYVOYAGE

It is renowned for its rock art, with more than 500 Taino pictograms to be admired along a 240-metre-long route set aside for the public (out of a total of 840 metres). All this amid stalactites, stalagmites and other columns, not forgetting an underground lake.

A walk in the surrounding countryside also allows you to admire iguanas and the national flower, the Bayahibe rose. Recently, you can also lose yourself in a labyrinth.

Many iguanas live next to the Grotte des Merveilles.

- © Dianna Tatkow / Shutterstock

The Mauricio Báez cable-stayed bridge

The Higuamo River, which rises in the north of the province of San Pedro de Macorís in the Cordillera Oriental, flows southwards into the Caribbean Sea. Shortly before reaching the port of San Pedro de Macorís, at its mouth, it is crossed by an impressive cable-stayed bridge, the Mauricio Baez Bridge.

The superb Mauricio Báez cable-stayed bridge in San Pedro de Macorís.

- © Carlos Horton / Shutterstock

This 606-metre-long suspension bridge was inaugurated in 2007, replacing an earlier suspension bridge, the Puente Ramfis. It is the longest span in the Caribbean. The port of San Pedro de Macorís used to be the most important in the country, as it was from here that large sugar-laden ships set sail.

Where do we sleep?

⭐ The Bahia Principe Grand La Romana 5*

A little isolated, the Bahia Principe Grand La Romana is a 24-hour all-inclusive resort bordering an immense beach. Opposite, you can admire a small island belonging to the hotel: a boat takes you there every hour. The Victorian-style homes are set in 950,000 m² of tropical gardens. Gastronomy is on the menu, with a gargantuan buffet and speciality restaurants. In the evening, the pueblo is the place to be for all kinds of entertainment: shops, billiards, bar, all-night snack bars, shows and discos! And the beautiful Cave of Wonders is just 5 minutes away.

Bahia Principe Grand La Romana 5* La Romana
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Bahia Principe Grand La Romana 5*

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Practical information for the Grotte des Merveilles

⏰ Opening hours of the Grotte des Merveilles

The Grotte des Merveilles is open from 9am to 4pm.

👛 Price of the Grotte des Merveilles

Admission costs $10 ($5 for children under 12). Access to the labyrinth costs $5.

🚗 How do I get to the Grotto of Wonders and the Mauricio Báez Bridge?

From Santo Domingo, head east on Route 3 and you'll cross the Mauricio Báez Bridge, bypassing San Pedro de Macoris. Continue on the same road for 25km to reach the Grotte des Merveilles.

👉 Additional information

Please note that photography is prohibited. Tours are conducted in groups of no more than 25 people, every 25 minutes. Please note that the cave is accessible to visitors with reduced mobility thanks to its lift and ramps. For more information, visit cuevadelasmaravillas.com.do

by Faustine PEREZ
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