Caverna Rio dos Bugres

Caverna dos Bugres

Useful Information

Location: Rio dos Bugres. From Urubici 3.5 km on SC 370 towards Rio dos Bugres community, then left into the valley.
(-27.9656396769425, -49.50934020602771)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: Per person BRL 5, Children (0-6) free.
Classification: SpeleologyBurrows
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Caverna Rio dos Bugres, Rio dos Bugres, s/n, Urubici - SC, 88650-000, Tel: +55-49-99128-2937, Tel: +55-49-8409-8257. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Caverna Rio dos Bugres is a mysterious cave. According to legend, it was inhabited by the indigenous people. Several openings at the hill are followed by more or less round passages, some of them meet and form bigger chambers.

As far as we know, the actual origin of those caves has never been determined, so we guess the indigenous people theory is only part of the story. As a matter of fact, their form is not easily explained by natural processes. So if it was made by natives, they would have dug them, but why should they dig round passages? They are not Hobbits.

Our personal opinion is that these are actually burrows of extinct megafauna, e.g. the giant sloth. They dug their borrows like animals do today, but they were much bigger. And the round tunnels are typical for burrows. After the extinction of the megafauna about 10,000 years ago, some paleoburrows were reused by indigenous human populations. Recent searches indicate that these structures were used as temporary shelters as well as for ritual purposes. In the interior of some paleoburrows, researchers discovered stone tools, ceramic artifacts, human burials, and inscriptions engraved into the walls.

To reach the caves, you must drive on a single lane dirt road for 7 km. From the end of the road it's a 300 m walk. The cave is on private property and the owners keep the place clean, so they ask for a nominal fee. We have no idea how the fee is collected, because there are no open hours, but we guess there is some sort of box. Please pay the fee so the place stays open and clean for other visitors. We guess you can ask at the Pousada Caverna Rio dos Bugres hotel in front of the cave.