Cueva del Fantasma

Cave of the Ghost

Useful Information

Location: Venezuelan Guayana
Open: no restrictions
Fee: free
Classification: Speleologyerosional cave SpeleologyTectonic cave Lower Precambrian sandstones and quartzites of the Venezuelan Guiana Shield
Light: n/a
Guided tours:  
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The Cueva del Fantasma (Cave of the Ghost) is located in the Venezuelan Guayana, a remote region of huge crystalline plateaus, quarzites and metamorphites of Precambrian age. This landscape is the place where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's book The Lost World takes place. The huge plateaus locally called tepui, were the place were the last surviving dinosaurs were discovered in the book.

In reality there are no dinosaurs, but still the tepui are enormously interesting. Precambrian rocks, among the oldest rocks on earth, composed mainly of sandstone with high content of quartz, often quartzite, resited erosion for billions of years. Nevertheless they were eroded, and the plateaus are only a small rest of the formeally huge plain. Cut into islands by rivers, which formed valleys and gorges. Cueva del Fantasma is interpreted as the remain of an impressive gorge. The narrow gorge collapsed at the rim and was thus closed to form an enormous cavern.

This cave is so huge, it is big enough for two helicopers landing on the floor. A waterfall coming down one wall forms a small pond at the floor.