Cueva de Damas

Caverna de Damas - Caves of Damas

Useful Information

Location: 9 km northeast of the town of Damas, Garabito county, Puntarenas province. 16 km north of Quepos, 58 km south of Jaco. 9 km northeast off the highway CR-34.
(9.546384, -84.173462)
Open: closed.
Fee: closed.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave. Middle Eocene limestones.
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=286, VR=21 m, A=45 m asl.
Guided tours:
Bibliography: Dusty Pilot (2015): Trapped In The Damas Cave - Costa Rica: Terror Beneath The Rainforest, My Costa Rican Nightmares, Volume 1. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN-10: 1548051330, ISBN-13: 978-1548051334.
Andrés Ulloa (2013): Geotourism potential of underground sites in Costa Rica Tourism and Karst Areas. 6. 43-56. researchgate
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.


~1925 discovered.
1960 first survey by Eng. Mario Sáenz A..
2006 end of cave trekking tours.
APR-2007 resurveyed by the cavers of Grupo Espeleológico Anthros (GEA) and new grade 5 map drawn.


The Cueva de Damas (Caves of Damas) is named after the nearby Damas river. It is a dry cave located on the eastern side of Río Damas. At the end of the tour the river offers a refreshing bath. The cave is dry, horizontal and rather easy, but there are a few squeezes, which are narrow and require crawling.

Damas cave is home to various animals, especially thousands of bats (Saccopterix sp.). There are troglobite spiders, crickets, cockroaches and other insects living in the cave.

The cave is listed because it was used for cave trekking tours by the owners of the land until 2006. The Americans who owned 356 ha of land had established a sort of private reserve and were doing tourism including cave tours, horseback riding, trips to the hot springs, and other activities. It seems they decided to sell the ground probably due to old age. The land has been sold to Manuel Antonio, a real estate agent. Since then, he tried to develop the estate along the river into an ecologic village named Rio Palma for rich retired Americans which care for low footprint living. It seems he had no success so far. Also, he opened MidWorld Costa Rica, which offered zip lines, ATV tours through the jungle, abseiling and hiking tours since 2011. They did not reopen the cave tours though, probably because there is actually no proper road connecting the two properties. In 2020 their website went offline, later replaced by a Covid page, it seems they closed completely for the years of the pandemic, but have not reopened in 2023, which makes it likely that they went corrupt. We guess the cave is closed for good. It seems the whole idea did not work out, although the nearby Joya de Damas farm successfully sold several pieces of land. The cave is still used on some webpages for advertisement, also the publication above tells, the current owner allows cave trips, however, we were not able to find any operator who actually offers them. Even the local cavers have not published any update on the state of the cave so far.

There is also a sort of adventure story available from Amazon, which was written by Dusty Pilot, who apparently lived for 10 years in Costa Rica. You should not take it too serious, the cave is only 200 m long and getting lost requires some effort and stupidity. You should interpret this story as what it is: entertainment.