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Caves of Trinidad & Tobago

Key Researchers: 
Prof Paul Shaw (Emeritus)

The caves of Trinidad and Tobago are an important natural resource. They are valuable for recreation, for the conservation of rare species, and specialized biotic communities, as potential archives of past climatic change, and as sensitive indicators of the overall health of the environment, in particular of water quality. As such, they require active monitoring and conservation.

However, the caves of the two islands are not as well known as those in other Caribbean islands, such as Jamaica, where speleology is an established pastime. Over the past two centuries, there have been sporadic bouts of interest in caves for different reasons - the exploitation of the Guacharo or Oil Bird (Steatornis caripensis), for example, or the elimination of vampire bats as part of rabies control. Overall, though, the exploration, mapping and scientific study of the caves has been carried out by dedicated individuals and groups at different times. Much of this information is difficult to come by, and in some cases, even the caves themselves have been destroyed or become 'lost'.

The aim of this site is to extend awareness of the caves and to create a forum, which will lead to better understanding and conservation. The first step has been to bring together all of the known literature into a bibliography (click here for a pdf document), and summarise what is known about each cave from the literature and visits to the sites. The directory (click here for a pdf document) gives details of GPS co-ordinates, directions, cave plans, history of exploration, important features and conservation status.

This is very much a work in progress. If you wish to contribute to the development of the database, or just discuss the caves, please contact Professor Paul Shaw via

The research is supported by a grant from the Research & Publications Committee of The University of the West Indies, St Augustine.


Bibliography of known literature on Trinidad and Tobago caves: pdf document (166 Kb).

Directory of Trinidad and Tobago caves: pdf document (334 Kb).


The Jamaican Caves Organization. An invaluable site to show what could be achieved. The information on field safety and access applies just as well to Trinidad and Tobago.

The Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists Club. Runs monthly meetings and field trips, including cave sites.


The Geological Society of Trinidad and Tobago

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