Hidden Treasures in Cueva Lucero
Near the city of Ponce, lies Juana Diaz. It is a small city in Puerto Rico that has become a popular destination as it is home to an extremely important archaeological site – the Lucero Caves. Not only are they significant because of their size and for the spectacular cave wall carvings, but also they are symbolic of the culture in the region. The discovery of the Lucero Caves, also known as Cueva Lucero, has proved to archaeologists that inhabitants of this region have been exploring this cave system for centuries.
The old signature and the date 1822 that has been carved into the cave wall, grabs everyone who visits Cueva Lucero’s attention. It is a reminder of a brave explorer who left his mark for future generations to see. Many such historical graffiti writings are found throughout the caves. However, it is the more recent carvings, vandalism and nearby mining activity damage that has concerned the Juana Diaz authorities. Steps have been taken to try and reverse excessive damage and protect the ancient drawings that still adorn the cave walls. Tours and expeditions of the caves are now done with the assistance of a guide, who can educate visitors on the history and cultural significance of the caves, but also ensure that the caves are not damaged in any way.
There are various rooms and passageways in the Lucero Cave, and each has its own unique drawings, carvings and petrogliphs to view. Some of the rooms are extremely dark, and must be lit with a torch while others are flooded in natural light that enters through the roof of the cave. Drawings and carvings include pictures of faces, snakes, animals and fascinating ancient symbols. Amongst the dates and engravings, the cave also has a great range of natural features, such as breathtaking plant and wildlife outside the cave and geological formations and water obstacles in some of the rooms.When traveling through Puerto Rico, it is recommended that visitors explore and discover the beauty of the Lucero Cave, investigate its marvelous cultural significance and take in the breathtaking landscapes that protect this archaeological gem.