Fontein Grot

Fontein Cave


Useful Information

Location: North of Huliba, near to the east coast of Aruba which is named Guadirikiri. Aruba map 1:25.000 Sheet 3. The place shown as Fontein on this map is not the cave! The cave is located at the road.
Open: All year daily 8-16.
[2018]
Fee: Park: Adults AWG 10, Children (0-17) free.
Helmets and flashlights rented for AWG 6.
[2018]
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: none
Dimension: L=95m, Ar=1,700m², A=20m asl.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: Pieter Wagenaar Hummelinck (1979): De Grotten van de nederlandse Antillen / Caves of the Netherlands Antilles, Utrecht: Natuurwetenschappelijke Studiekring voor Suriname en de Nederlandse Antillen, 1979. 176 pp, 148 figs includes many photos and surveys, SB. In Dutch and English.
Rare book on caves in an obscure Caribbean island.
Address: Arikok National Park, Santa Cruz, Aruba, Tel: +297-585-1234.
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.

History

1836 drawings first documented by a protestant minister named Bosch.
1870-1886 Father A. J. van Koolwijk collected a great number of antiquities.
1890 Alphonse Pinart published detailed information on the Amerindian rock drawings.
1957 cave paintings studied by Wagenaar Hummelinck.
1987 manuscript by Father A. J. van Koolwijk rediscovered and published.
APR-2009 postage stamp of 200 cents value showing the Fontein Cave issued by Post Aruba

Description

Fontein Grot was used by the native inhabitants of the island for cave paintings. Genuine pre-Columbian drawings by the Arawak Indians decorate the cave ceiling and walls. These paintings consist mainly of polychrome geometrical motifs, and imprints of hands.

The cave opens into a large chamber, on the ceiling of which the cave paintings are to be found. After some meters the ceiling slopes down steeply, but it is possible to climb up into another 95m of passage. This passage contains some huge stalactites and stalagmites.

This cave is the home of the Long-tongued bat (Glossophaga longirostris elongata). The animals use the cave as resting and breeding place. When they leave the cave early in the evening, they search for nectar and pollen from the trees and cacti of the island. They are an important member of the local ecosystem, as they pollenise the plants they feed on. Those plants would not bear fruits and produce seeds without the bats.