By Tamara González Durán

Situated in the Caribbean Sea, Isla de Mona presents an opportunity in perseverance in the exploration efforts of the cavers who step on the island. Locating caves in the north cliff of Isla de Mona requires constant planification. Each corner of the island embodies its particularity and adaptation is a must for the cavers exploring it. Here, we will be addressing the initiative, achievements, and the learning experiences of our cave exploration team on the north cliff of Mona since 2016. Considering that Mona is a remote island, any arrangements toward searching for caves to survey need to include the environmental conditions where the island is situated. Caves have been located, explored, and surveyed in the north cliff with each one being a story of its own on how it was found. Caves show evidence of past human activities that can be imaginarily recreated while we survey and wonder what might be ahead at the next station. The growing experiences have defined the will of the workgroup when the exploration expeditions have been more of learning than achieving the goal. This just makes the cavers ponder how they can keep going further to explore the north cliff caves of Isla de Mona.


  1. Heading towards Rifle, a cave known since the nineteenth century, there is a trail that takes you with ease to Cueva Frio, from there it more cumbersome.
    Never went to it, U should get permission from dnrA for camping, NO campfires on the northern side of the island. This is greatly aided with the hunter’s trails insensibly created for the hunters that end close to the Booby nest site. With Aralsi you can spend sometime carrying supplies close to the Northern coast and establishing a base camp.
    DRNA norms since all the irresponsible BOy Scouts that have died in Mona; along with a close to half a dozen hunters, has practically closed the island for effective exploration.
    The VIgilantes are not the best help for this. My experience reflects that outside of finding their wat bl8indfolded to thekitchen cannot traverse their way to any of the easier caves along the western side. I give them no credit. Outside of Tony Nieves and Aralsi, and myself few know their way around the place. The northern coast is rugged, dangerous and inless U camp us there provides for limited exploration,.
    Glad to hear that some of us finally took it on. Delighted that U found evidence of human activity within the caves. Those I reported for the Western and Southern coast have all been practically looted. And more disheartening, the DRNA personnel took the task of extracting the cultural material without adequately recording it in situ site to through them in the so called Museo: which in in Puerto rico means a place for dumping artifacts with little or no evaluation and reports to back them up.
    I am hoping my group and I can go to Mona before the year is over. Hopefully, before tje senseless hunting season.

  2. Great presentation, congratulations!!
    I am based in Haiti and have been exploring and mapping caves here with Mike and Pat. They may have mentioned some of our discoveries. I have certainly heard lots of stories about Mona from them! Like Mona, Haiti has lots of caves, our team has found hundreds but we believe that there are thousands that remain to be explored and mapped. I look forward to hearing more about your discoveries and wish you and your team the best. Have you discovered any water filled caves?

    1. Hello Brian! Yes I have heard Mike talk about the caves and the rock art that some of the Haiti caves harbor. Thanks for being interested in the speleology work in Isla de Mona. There’s plenty going on there in many other fields apart from the caves. The exploration from recent years have not produced any caves filled with water in the north cliff. There is a well known cave named Cueva del Agua in the southwest of the Island that has water inside. There are caves in the Mona with shallow holes in the ground floor filled with rain water. Most of the caves in Mona are dry caves. The geological history of Mona defines the reason why caves filled with water are not the ones that distinguish the Island and why it would be very difficult to find one in the north cliff. Keep on exploring in Haiti Brian!!!

  3. Gracias Tamara… Very Nice. Continuidad en los estudios de la Isla de Mona, podra ser una base muy util para el presente y el future.. Gracias

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