Cuevas de Semán

Useful Information

Location: Jesús Enrique Lossada, Zulia State.
(10.798, -72.431)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=18,200 m, A=1,200 m asl, T=12 °C.
Guided tours: L=1,000 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: C. Galán (1991): Hidrología del Sistema del Samán Bol. Soc Venezolana Espeleol. 25: 15-25.
Address: Cuevas de Semán, Sierra Lossada Ecotourism Project. E-mail:
Adelmo Urdaneta, Tel: +58-426-324-37-47.
Alexander López: +58-424-602-61-77.
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.


1990 cave discovered and explored by the Sociedad Venezolana de Espeleología (Venezuelan Society of Speleology).


The Cuevas de Semán or Cueva del Samán (Seman Caves) is the longest cave of Venezuela, located very remote and at a height of 1,200 m asl in the mountain ridge Serranía Perijanera at the western border of the country. It's pretty hard to get there, 40 km of unpaved road from the nearby city. Despite its remote location the locals try to draw tourists to their village, in the hope to generate some income. For this purpose the Sierra Lossada Ecotourism Project was started, which developed ony of the cave entrances with a concrete staircase and a wooden railing. It is a stop on the Zulia Ecotourism Route.

The cave is home to a population of some 5,000 guacharos or oilbirds (Steatornis caripensis). The Socuy River flows through the lower part of the cave system. The area is inhabited by the Japreria, an ethnic group of Caribbean origins. They live in this area for a very long time and have visited the cave, leaving footprints and other remains. The cave is a basic element in several of their legends. Scientific exploration started in 1990, the Sociedad Venezolana de Espeleología (Venezuelan Society of Speleology) organized a total of seven expeditions over a period of four years.

The tours start with a rather lengthy walk along the Río Sucuy, which is crossed 14 times, mostly on rope bridges. Finally, the huge cave entrance is reached, where a concrete staircase was built down to the cave river. The tourist route is 500 m long, and not further developed, but mostly level. The cave river is crossed several times. Then the visitors return on the same route to the entrance.