Cueva Alfredo Jahn

Useful Information

Location: Cambural, Birongo, Miranda State.
4 km west of Birongo, Miranda State. From Higuerote follow R-20, R-26 west to Birongo, 15 km, turn left on Via Cueva Alfredo Jahn before the bridge.
(10.4761257, -66.2708004)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=4,292 m, VR=67 m, T=22-26 °C.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Rodolfo Castillo (2006): Park Profile – Venezuela Alfredo Jahn Cave Natural Monument ParksWatch. pdf
Address: Inversiones Climbing Venezuela, C.A., Caracas, Venezuela, Tel: +58-426-5169879, Tel: +58-414-1963208, Tel: +58-212-9143633. E-mail:
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.


1952 beginning of scientific exploration by Juan Antonio Tronchoni, Eugenio De Bellard, and Roberto Contreras from the Speleology Section of the Venezuelan Society of Natural Sciences.
1973 registered in the National Speleological Cadastre by the Sociedad Venezolana de Espeleología (Venezuelan Society of Speleology).
12-DEC-1978 declared a Natural Monument.
2000 outbreak of histoplasmosis affected a group of 34 college students and a professor who were in the cave for 20 minutes.


The Cueva Alfredo Jahn (Alfredo Jahn Cave) is, despite being protected and actually not suitable for tourism, considered the most visited cave in the country, with an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 visitors each year [2005]. The problem is that the cave is a river cave and thus most sections are quite dangerous and requires serious climbing Due to the development of tourism in the nearby city Higuerote, the number of visitors increased substantially. Full day tours from the beach hotels to the cave are offered for groups between 2 and 12 participants. It is reached on a partially paved dirt road on the left bank of the Casupal Creek. The cave has numerous entrances, at least 15 which are known. Normally Boca 6, the entrance number 6, which is considered the easiest, is used. There seem to be guides at the entrance, unfortunately its unclear how they are organized and what open hours they have. Actually the full day tours seem to be the much safer way.

The cave was named in honour of Alfredo Jahn (*1867-✝1940), who was a famous scholar in Venezuela. His full name is actually Alfredo Jahn Hartmann, as in Venezuela the mother's maiden name is used as a second last name. He was often called Papa Jahn, as he was the nestor of numerous sciences in Venezuela. He was a pioneer in areas such as geography, geology, topography, astronomy, anthropology, linguistics and botany. He was also a mountain climber and explorer and was one of the first Venezuelans to climb the peak Bolivar in the Sierra Nevada of Merida. The cave was originally known to the locals as Cueva de la Tapa de Cambural (Gate of the Cambural Cave). The Cambural Creek vanishes inside the cave and reappears 600 m further down the valley, hence the name. It was renamed by the first explorers in 1952.

The cave was discovered by Juan Antonio Tronchoni, Eugenio De Bellard, and Roberto Contreras from the Speleology Section of the Venezuelan Society of Natural Sciences. Later it was explored by the Sociedad Venezolana de Espeleología (Venezuelan Society of Speleology). It is a complicated cave system with three levels, and the resurgence of two rivers, the Casupal river and the Cambural river. With a surveyed length of 4.2 km it is quite long, but all statements that it was the longest or third-longest cave of Venezuela are nonsense. There are four caves which are longer than 10 km, actually [2023]. However, it is the largest cave in the central region of Venezuela.

The Cordillera de la Costa (coastal range) is a mountain ridge which runs east-west along the coast from Caracas to Higuerote. The mountains consist of metamorphic rocks, mostly schists, from the La Mercedes and Las Brisas formations. But between the insoluble layers, there are layers of mable, which are karstified.

This cave is rather popular and there are official guided tours. However, there is no way to separate reliable guides from others, and so it's the problem of each visitor himself to take the necessary precautions. First of all, the cave bears the risk of histoplasmosis, especially in the drier sections. The main precautions are wearing masks in the dry sections, and washing your clothes and equipment thoroughly afterwards. If you get flu like symptoms afterwards, make sure to inform your doctor about the histoplasmosis, with the right antifungal it is less dangerous, but most doctors do not check for histoplasmosis. Bring at least three light sources with you, which are waterproof. Bring a helmet with a headlamp, clothes which may get dirty, good walking shoes or shoes for walking in water. Also, this is a full day trip, and you are at least 5 hours in the cave, so you should bring some snacks and drinking water in a waterproof bag. The address we have given is the address of the company Inversiones Climbing Venezuela, which offers tours into the cave. Unfortunately, we have no reviews, so we cannot recommend them. However, their website is quite detailed, and they actually tell the same things we tell, so it seems they are competent.