These ancient caves were carved by tectonic movement and water currents passing over limestone for millions of years. Today they’re a deep network of tunnels — many that never see light. Here visitors will find stalactites, stalagmites, unique rock formations, subterranean rivers and caverns, and fossil remnants of the past. There is also interesting wildlife throughout, including bats, fish, insects and frogs who call the caves home. The rock formations take interesting shapes for which they are named such as “papaya,” “altar,” “lion’s head” and “coral.”
In total the caves stretch nearly 2,700 meters and with water dripping from the ceiling and flowing below, the caves have a mystical, almost otherworldly feel to them that is best for the adventurous at heart. First discovered by native Guatusos, it is estimated that the caves are somewhere between 15 and 20 million years old.
The Venado Caves are located just east of the Arenal Volcano National Park, about a 40 minute drive from La Fortuna and not far from the small village of Venado. The caves are open from 9 am to 4 pm, with an admission cost of $20. As the caves often get muddy, you’ll need clothes that can get dirty and several sources of light to explore them.