República del Perú


Peru is the third largest country in South America, lies entirely within the tropics, and has three major regions:

  1. A narrow coastal belt, which is mainly desert.
  2. The wide Andes mountains area, which contains most of the caves, which is up to 6000m high.
  3. The Amazon rain forest.


Caves in Peru were first made famous by the visit of the great German explorer, Baron Alexander von Humboldt in 1802 and later by Raimondi in 1868. In 1932 Cesar Garcia Rosell visited many caves and in 1965 published Cavernas, grutas y cuevas del Peru. The most significant finds have been made by the London based Imperial College Karst Research Expedition in 1972.

Language - Spanish and many local Indian dialects.


  • (1982): Perou 82, Expedition en Foret Amazonienne d'altitude
    Contents: Le contexte geographique, Le contexte historique, Le contexte speleologique.
    SB. 150pp. In French.
    Describes the French expedition to Cajamarca, High Amazone and a survey of previous expeditions.
  • Garcia Rosell (1965): Cavernas, Grutas y Cuevas del Peru, 52pp Lima 1965, in Spanish.
  • Yves Sammartino (): Speleologie Bibliographie Peru,

Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.

Peru holds several superlatives with its caves. However, this kind of statistics may change rather fast when new discoveries are made. It seems Sima Pumacocha with a depth of -638m is South America's deepest cave. Millpu de Kaukiran, also known as Sima de Millpu, Sima de Racas Marca, Grutas de Guagapo or Gruta que Llora, is -407m deep and second in Peru and third deepest of South America. The shaft SP1 in Sima Pumacocha is 282m deep, which makes it deepest shaft in the Andes and second deepest in South America.

Peru has also the world's highest surveyed caves. Qaqa Mach'ay, 125m deep, lies at 4,930m asl, Cueva Puyo at 4,585m asl, Tragadero Puyo at 4,570m asl, and Sima Pumacocha at 4,375m asl. As always, this list is preliminary and also result of the interpretation of existing information. However, it is impressive, how many caves in Peru are amongst the highest caves of the world.

Sights of Peru

 Gruta de Huagapo |  Cueva de la Lechazas |  Lima Catacombs |  Caverna de la Olada |  Agua Sulfurosa

Additional Information about Peru

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