Cuba Exploration - Cuba: Speleological Finding in La Gegira, Gibara

Written by By Alexis Rojas Aguilera

The vice president of the Karst Speleological Group from the eastern province of Holguin ,
Jose Pino, heard of a peculiar natural pit in La Gegira, in the municipality of Gibara, from a
friend that lives in Tierra Buena, a town in the nearby area.

As soon as he knew about it he got in touch with Arturo Rojas, the head of a team of
speleologists and divers from the Speleological Committee of the province. By the end of
November, a preliminary cartographic research had shown no known cavities or signals of it
in the area suggested.

Then, Arturo summoned his team and by December 4 the „whole group“, including Pavel
Gonzalez, Walmer Perez, Celso Perez, Maikel Cordova, Yordanis de la Cruz, Osmel Silva
and Orlay Leyva, were in the area.

„Very soon we walked into the woods to the get to the Poza de Martin, as it is called by the
locals. We explored it and found nothing interesting.

Hopeless, as we were getting ready to return, our guide Domingo Paz said that there was
another similar opening in the ground about 50 meters from that place. We were already there
so we decided to take a look“.

Arturo took a deep breath; his eyes were filled with emotion. „As soon as I saw the sinkhole
my heart started to beat faster. The color of the water, the abruptness of the field, the difficult
access, and the virginity of the environment, were signs. This nameless place in karst maps
could have a few surprises for us“.

Chance took them there on Orlay’s birthday and as a result they decided to name the cave
Cumpleaños (birthday).

In an interview with ACN Walmer said that as they were on a preliminary exploration they
did not rely on the necessary resources to carry out a more thorough investigation, so they did
what the circumstances allowed them to do, which was a lot as Maikel ––another member of
the team–– noted.

After midday Arturo walked into the cave followed by Walmer and Orlay.

They checked water surface temperature: 24 Celsius degrees.

They went down up to 20 meter by an almost vertical pit; they run into a narrow gallery and

About 30 meters down they decided to walk through one of the many galleries around them
and suddenly, beneath them, they found a large hall decorated with stalactites, speleothemes,
stalagmites, columns, and other geologic cavern formations.

They cannot believe what they see. They measured the hall in about 100 meter long and 70 m
wide. It’s incredible.

Down there they observed some specimens of the aquatic fauna in caverns such as lucifugas,
shrimps, blind fish and some other specimens they couldn’t identify. And they returned to the

Near the entrance of the pit, Pino, Celso, and Pavel are waiting ready to jump in. Arturo
and Walmer recharged their oxygen gear to work with conventional pressure as they cannot
attempt to take a look at the bottoms they were able to perceive from the beam of their light

They went back and near the hall they found a similar one. They are fascinated but cannot go
on. They need to get out as good sense commands.

It’s mid afternoon, December 6. They return home and before night they had already informed
the direction of the Speleological Committee of the province on the news of the important
finding, which soon spread nationwide.

International reports

  • Höhlentauchausbildung 2000 ( Andreas W. Mattes (Matt))
  • La región kárstica de La Gegira
  • Lucifuga – Blind Cave Fish in Cristalitos de Papaya
  • Reisebericht: CAVERNA DE TANQUE AZUL
  • Cuba: Speleological Finding in La Gegira, Gibara
  • Las cavernas inundadas, pasaje a lo desconocido
  • Taucher-Tom articles

  • NACD Journal – Expédition Cubano Alemana Caletones 2011-
  • UWS Magazine NSS CDS – Salado
  • Wetnotes – Fidels Unterwelt Höhlentauchen auf Kuba

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