In Cuba, The Climbing Is Irresistible

Sasha DiGiulian for National Geographic


One of the world’s top female rock climbers explores Cuba’s complex climbing potential.

When we first start hiking to the cave all we can see is flat terrain with a perimeter of limestone cliffs in the distance. It isn’t until we veer down a discreet dirt path to an unanticipated opening that we realize that this could really be something.

When we walk into the narrow entrance, the hole suddenly gapes, and my face is frozen in awe as I take in the colossal chandeliers of rock looming two hundred feet above me. Vegetation colors the structured limestone in hues of yellow and green, and an illuminating beam shines down from the entrance.

As I walk farther inside, the glow of the beam fades, but brightness bouncing off scattered white rocks provide hints of light to guide me. I scramble through a narrow passageway that sneaks through two boulders pressed up against each other.

I can see light at the other end.

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