Puerto Rico Tourism Co. contributes $68K to reopen Camuy Caves attraction
The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. and the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources signed an agreement to speed up the reopening of the iconic Río Camuy Caves Park, which has been closed since Hurricane María hit in 2017.
Through the agreement, the Tourism Co. assigned $68,000 in materials and equipment needed to recondition the attraction that the DNER has been trying to rebuild and reopen, but lacked money to do so, government officials said.
The DNER will now be able to complete the recovery work and reopen the facilities to the public, agency officials said.
“The Río Camuy caves system is unique in the world,” said Tourism Co. Executive Director Carla Campos. “The conservation of this valuable natural resource and tourist attraction for everyone’s enjoyment is of utmost importance, which is why we took on the task of identifying the services, materials and equipment necessary to support the DNER in the project. They will be delivered to the DNER in the coming days.”
The plan calls for repairing the entrances to the caverns, the electrical system, the bathrooms, outfit the theater with a new air conditioning system, buy hardhats for employees and visitors, and buy a new passenger vehicle for visitors.
Natural Resources Secretary Rafael Machargo-Maldonado recognized the importance the natural attraction has for the region’s economic development.
“This is why we’ve joined forces with the Tourism Co. and Foundation for Puerto Rico to achieve the reopening of the park,” he said.
Meanwhile, Camuy Mayor Gabriel Hernández said, “It’s essential to be able to open these facilities as soon as possible, which are the engine of economic development not only in Camuy but also in Lares, Hatillo and the northern region.”
The DNER estimates that the first phase of reconstruction could be completed in early December, when the public will be able to again visit the popular attraction in a safe manner. The agency will promote visits to the park in its natural state, walks and physical activity throughout the caverns.