Conch Bar Caves

Useful Information

Location: Conch Bar Caves National Park, Conch Bar, Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands.
(21.832007, -71.810205)
Open: no restrictions.
Local Guides: after appointment.
Fee: free.
Local Guides: after appointment.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SmileAbove Ground Caves
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=24,000m
Guided tours: local guides
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: William F. Keegan, David Steadman, Dick Franz (1998): Indian Cave, Middle Caicos pdf
Michael J. Lace, John E. Mylroie, Joan R. Mylroie, Nancy A. Albury (2018): The Rock Art of Bahamian Caves: Multi-Scalar Distribution Patterns and Preservation Management, Journal of Caribbean Archaeology, ISBN 1524-4776. pdf
William F. Keegan (1993): Inagua Archaeology, Miscellaneous Project Report Number 51, Department of Anthropology, Florida Museum of Natural History, May 1993. pdf
Address: Middle Caicos Coop, Tel: +1-649-941-7639.
Conch Bar Caves, Turks & Caicos Islands, Tel: +1-649-247-3157.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


MAY-1998 excavation at the cave.


Conch Bar Caves or Indian Caves were used as sacred sanctuaries by the native Lucayan Indians. They left petroglyphs on the walls. Tours through the caves with local guides can be arranged by contacting Middle Caicos Coop.

The caves are karst caves, located in very young biogene reef limestone. There is a theory that they were formed while the islands were more humid and covered by soil, which was the source for the necessary carbon dioxide. This would fit very well for to the last cold age. However, cave formation on islands is often a result of salt and sweet water mixture corrosion, which was obviously not examined. So far there has been very limited scientific research on this topic. And there are numerous caves in the hills around the small village Conch Bar, mostly quite small. As far as we know there was never a decent survey which examined all caves.

Rather strange is the locally used term above ground cave. The caves are located in limestone hills surrounded by flatland, so the hills with the caves protrude "above ground".

The main cave is probably Indian Head Cave aka Indian Cave, which is a large cavern with multiple large skylights. Indian Cave is located adjacent to Dragon Cay Resort (formerly Blue Horizon Resort), west of Conch Bar, Middle Caicos Island. It was excavated in 1998 by the archaeologist Bill Keegan, the ornithologist David Steadman, and the herpetologist Dick Franz.

It seems the caves do not actually have names. They are called Conch Bar after the nearby village or Indian after the archaeological remains, both in singular and plural. As there are hundreds of Indian Caves in the World, we decided to use the name Conch Bar Caves.