Cueva de Martín Infierno

Useful Information

Location: El Colorado.
(21.895111, -80.152087)
Open: only for speleologists with permit.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave SmileCaves With The Tallest Stalagmite
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=793 m, VR=197 m, A=650 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Cueva de Martín Infierno, El Colorado.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1967 cave discovered by Sancti Spíritus speleologist Alejandro Romero, speleological exploration by Dr. Antonio Núñez Jiménez and the Samá Group of the Cuban Speleological Society.
1990 declared a National Monument.
2011 stalagmite filmed for TV.
2012 full re-survey of the cave system by the Proyecto Bellamar.


The Cueva de Martín Infierno (Martin Hell Cave) is one of the few caves we listed, which is actually not open to the public. To visit this cave you need a permit, which is only given to speleologists, and sometimes it is revoked a day before the trip for unknown reasons. The second problem is that this cave is actually undeveloped, so a tour requires full caving gear and as it more than 200 m deep, climbing gear. A visit is a three day expedition with horses to get to the cave with all the caving gear. So, as you now know why you will not be able to visit this cave during your holidays in Cuba, here's the reason why we listed it anyway: this cave contains the second-largest stalagmite of the world.

The largest stalagmite in Cuba and second largest of the world is 67.2 meters high. The diameter at the base is 30 m, and it is estimated to weigh 100 tons and to be 5 Million years old. By the way, it will never become the largest stalagmite of the world, as it almost touches the ceiling.

Nevertheless, an explanation of the cave name is the legend about a runaway slave named Martín. He escaped from a hacienda located in Trinidad, and ranchers with their fierce dogs organized the persecution. He hid inside the cave, but as he feared to be captured, he went deeper inside as allowed to man and reached Hell. So he is now imprisoned in Hell.