A short and scenic river loop with a power punch of offerings. Grab a chance to get up-close and personal with a Sulphur spring and a fascinating cave maze!
This river expedition, includes the exploration of an impressive cave system and also brings you up close and personal to one of Trinidad & Tobago's few Sulphur springs. The loop is nestled away in the eastern part of Trinidad's Northern Range, in the remote village of Cumaca. To get to our start point for this expedition, you embark on an 8 km/5 mi 'jeep road' drive, a short distance after the Valencia junction and into the village of Cumaca. For this leg you will enjoy mystical views of Northern Range Valleys and the Central Plains.
From our start point, the traverse to the caves takes about 1 HR. The trail terrain is quite easy to navigate; it passes through abandoned cocoa estates and after a gentle incline you descend into the Oropuche River for an upstream trek.
The Sulphur Spring
A short while into this trek, you are certain to get a slight whiff of the Sulphur deposits coming from this cold spring; to some this is not so pleasant... while others can't wait for a Sulphur splash! WHY??... Be it truth or myth, it has been claimed by many as a great way to naturally detox your skin. This is based on the premise that the high silica content in the water, gives it this capability. Softening rough or dry skin thereby fostering eternal youth, is also another claim.
This being said, scientific studies do indicate that the mineral content of sulfur has been shown to help persisting skin conditions like psoriasis, acne and eczema.
Within seconds of leaving the Sulphur Spring, we make our ascent to the caves. Venturing inside the cave, can be eerie initially, but muster up the courage and you wont regret it; making your way through this maze of chambers is quite the adventure!
This segment requires a headlamp or flashlight, we strongly promote the use of red-light, as this seems to significantly reduce the disturbance to wildlife within the cave system.
Some Cave Trivia:
* this cave system houses some impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations. These are essentially elongated structures comprising various minerals (mainly calcium based) deposited from solution by slowly dripping water.
*A stalactite hangs like an icicle from the ceiling or sides of a cave. Stalactites form when water containing dissolved calcium bicarbonate from limestone rock drips from the ceiling. As the water comes into contact with the air, some of the calcium bicarbonate precipitates back into the limestone to form a tiny ring; this gradually elongates to form a stalactite.
* A stalagmite on the other hand appears like an inverted stalactite, rising from the floor of a cave. They grow upwards from the drips that fall to the floor and tend to spread outwards more; they tend to have a wider, flatter shape than stalactites.
* These structures are still being formed and much like our coral reefs, they grow at an alarmingly slow rate; less than 10cm every thousand years. With this being said, we strongly insist on non contact with these formations, as this will very likely disturb their growth or cause them to break.
Back to Base
Our return to the start point is a scenic river meander. Here you get the opportunity for various bird sightings, photo 'opps' amongst the many peace lilies and of course, your well deserved plunge into some of her crystal clear emerald pools.
Oh... did I mention the possibility of River Otter sightings?!
Cumaca, Trinidad and Tobago
Transfers from lower Cumaca to trail head
Trail and/or water shoes
Shorts/sport leggings (dry fit)
Sport top (dry fit)
Nutrition & water for 4 HRS
Helmet (10 TTD rental fee)
Gloves (5 TTD rental fee)
Headlight/flashlight (10 TTD rental fee)
Suggested daypack items:
Waterproof phone case/bag
Back pack with water reservoir (15 TTD rental fee)
Estimated total distance:
Map of Route
Elevation Profile of Route
Estimated total elevation: