Dunston Cave

Useful Information

Location: Asa Wright Nature Centre, Northern Range of Trinidad and Tobago, 10k north of Arima.
Open: All year daily 9-17, visits only after appointment!
Guided walks daily at 10:30, 13:30.
Fee: Residents: Adults TTD 30, Children (0-12) TTD 10.
Non-Residents: Adults USD 10, Children (0-12) USD 6.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:
Address: Asa Wright Nature Centre, , Tel: 667-5162. E-mail: contact
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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1967 Asa Wright Nature Centre established.
1972 cave renamed in honor of engineer John Dunston.


Dunston Cave is a small undeveloped cave located at the Asa Wright Nature Centre. The cave was named Dunston Cave in 1972 in honour of engineer John Dunston. He was an entomologist studing insects in this area and helped to protect the oilbird colony from poachers. Formerly it was known as Guacharo Cave. Guacharos or Oilbirds are the main feature of this cave, some 130 of them live here. The Asa Wright Nature Centre is a sanctuary in the rain forest of Trinidad and especially famous among bird lovers. It is developed with trails and there are daily guided walks.

Guacharos (Steatornis caripensis) are exceptional and rather rare birds. They are found along the northern coast of South America, in Venezuela, Colombia, and on the island Trinidad ans Tobago. The birds look similar to owls or hawks. The nocturnal birds have echolocation like bats, during night they forage on fruits, during day they stay at caves.

Oilbirds are very sensitive to disturbance at their roosting cave, so the continually increasing amount of visitors is actually a problem. The center carefully manages access to the cave, only a limited number of visitors are actually able to see the birds. The Oilbird Project is a proposal for an infra-red oilbird observation system. A remotely controlled infrared camera installed at Dunston Cave could be controlled from one of the buildings of the park.