The Cave of the Sleeping Paintings

At the very edge of the Hatillo Dam, situated in the very center of the Dominican Republic, visitors will find a cave that features some of the most beautiful pre-Columbian paintings to be found on the entire island.

The paintings were made hundreds of years ago in what is now called the “Hoyo de Sanabe” Cave, and is found in the Aniana Vargas National Park, one of the country’s most beautiful protected areas.

Visiting the cave requires a scenic ride through some of the country’s most beautiful regions.

To reach the area visitors must go on the road that will lead them straight to the Hatillo Dam parking area, where everyone must continue on foot for a 30-minute hike.

The upward climb will provide the visitors with breathtaking views of the dam. Once the downward climb begins to the cave, the visitors will enter a tropical forest. At the end of the trail they will find the cave.

Once inside the cave the visitor will marvel at the beautiful pre-Columbian paintings made by the Tainos, the original inhabitants of the island.

Many of the drawings relate to the Tainos’ religious symbols.

Other drawings represent deities and the figures of animals that still inhabit local rivers and forests.

Visitors are advised to wear protective masks when entering the caves, to avoid inhaling fungus that can penetrate the airways.

Expert guides from the Ministry of the Environment must accompany all visitors inside the caves.

The drawings are carefully cared for by the local guards, as well as the cave’s overall habitat.

For more information, please contact the Vice-Ministry for Protected Areas, at

809-567-4300 or through email:

By Adolfo Lopez
Environmental Consultant

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