CUEVA SORBETOS

January 22, 2015

Adam Haydock in Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico

Cueva Sorbetos!!!  one of the most beautiful caves I have ever been to.

Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
This is a beautiful cave system that I have been to a few years back but wanted to come back to and get some awesome pictures from .   We had to park the car is a really shady neighborhood but there were workers at the factory that allowed us to park on the street and they said that our car would be fine since most of the people were working and not home that day.   
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
We hiked past the hydrologic plant and found the trail to the entrance of the cave which is situated across the tanama river. We swam across and entered the small entrance to Cueva sorbetos.  Carlos and Jorge want to rebuild the entrance door and leave this cave to only be accessible to people that can get a key to unlock the gate.  These people must have experience in conservative cave practices and tread lightly due to all of the delicate and very rare white soda straws that exist in this cave.
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
We walked down a breakdown pile and got to the main trunk passage.   It is muddy brown, pretty big, and has a stream of sorts running through it.  It would just be another cave with a rotundra room and a large trunk passage room if it wasn’t for the all the soda straws in this cave.  The straws  decorated the walls above our heads and near joints in the rock.  There must have been 10s of thousands of these straw formations and some had flutted indentations and helictite protrusions growing off of them.  
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
We continued to walk down the passage until we got to a small passage with thicker mud where every inch of the passage was covered in straws above us and to the side of us.  It was like a crystal passage of white teeth shimmering as we passed though this section.  Everything appeared to be held up by pillers of white calcite formations and thin straws. 
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
Unfortunatly a lot of the straws were broken off in this room so it is unfortunate to see as it became more apparent why Carlos wants to lock this cave up for key access only.  “Wild tours” by tour companies are taken into this cave and they want to regulate it a bit more so the spelunkers do not continue to break the straws.  I cant just blame them for it as I am sure locals and other people come into this cave and may have damaged it in the past but We continued down the passages and We took more breaks and slowed down a bit until we got into the main trunk passage and the remaining part of the cave.

Adam Haydock in Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
We could hear water passing through this section and there was a river to our left where a sump dive was conducted in the past according to some of the local cavers but the reports on their findings are unknown.  I am inclined to believe they didn't find anything as this is a popular cave.
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico

We got a shot from the top down of this passage facing the rotundra room and the end of the cave as well as a shot from the bottom up leading to one of the most amazing crystal rooms I have ever seen.

Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
We continued up the breakdown pile in the rotundra room and admired the massive white formations and the stalictites hanging from the ceiling. They were quite interesting to see as they were some of the largest I have ever witnessed.  We went down and crossed the passage room into the crystal room which should be called the chandelier room due to some of the most intricate white calcite formations I have ever seen.   
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
There must have been thousands of these straws some ranging more than 2 feet long!
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
Some of the other formations were stained and embedded with a dirty pink gold tint which gave this room a lot of color and dynamic to what we were looking at.
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
 Some of the other formations had large helictites growing from the formations which had shades of yellow, pink, and a cream color white.  
Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
Some others were more translucent than others.
It was fascinating to sit here and stare into these crystal formations and look closely into how they formed the way they did. 
 Cueva Sorbetos Puerto Rico
After a while, we started our traverse out and passed an area where there was a particular concentration of straws over 2 feet in length and some were reaching the ground.   I took a selfie here but I just can’t take the right selfie without laughing my ass off or making some kind of goofy face! 
Adam Haydock in Cueva Sorbetos

Afterwards we snapped a few more photos and made our exit into the remaining hours of the day and washed off in the Tanama river. What a great way to wash off!! 
Hike from Cueva Sorbetos
Hiking back was even nice as we noticed plants that sell for 30 to 50 dollars in Chicago, growing naturally in the forest. 
Walking back from Cueva Sorbetos
We made it back to the car and booked another hotel in Arecibo which gave us some time to go to Cueva Del Indio and get a good head start for the following days caving activity to Cueva Perdida.

 
Adam Haydock in Cueva Sorbetos Puerto RIco
 

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