Upon reaching the gate, we were welcomed by Mr. Luis de los Santos -53 years old at the time of this report- who guided us to the place where the huge ferns grow. Luis is a talkative man, perhaps because he is alone most of the time or perhaps because of his great passion for the place.
He gave us all the information about the area we were visiting. He knew quite well that the landscape is better appreciated in silence and for that reason he steps to the side when it is a perfect time for contemplation.
It seemed that the land we were walking on was fossilized quartz sand dunes piled up during the Triassic Age. According to Luis de los Santos, this area is an “encyclopedia of the soil”. If you pay close attention, all the layers of soil and sediment show the evolution of the area.
The walk in the middle of the field was long and yet nice. As we neared the cave, the sound of a stream was heard more vividly. Soon we reached the area where the cave was located. In fact, it is a ravine surrounded by native forest.
Thanks to the microclimate generated by the steep descent of the land, there lives a beautiful fern understory in the shelter of trees. The humidity comes from water flowing to the surface. The place is full of lichen, which suggests the purity of the oxygen in this place.
We began to descend slowly and carefully for a couple of meters to go deep into the ravine. Once we entered the cave, we found a large variety of native vegetation and crystal clear water running through the area. On one side of the ravine, we found several ferns of unusual size, some of them exceeding a meter in diameter, and others that could hardly be seen. The place was humid and yet cozy. We stayed there for a while looking at the species and appreciating what Mother Nature had put together in this forsaken place of the planet.
After enjoying this untouched place, we came out of the cave towards a natural view point from where we had a panoramic view of the area.
It is possible to see new native species in this region like the armadillo, which is similar to the mulita, the red eagle, the Southern screamer or the dusky-legged guan.
Finally, our tour ended in the same place where it began. We said goodbye to Luis and began our journey back feeling pleased with the tour.
We hope that with time direction signs are used to make it easier for visitors to find the place. The huge ferns and the wonderful microclimate of the place are worth visiting.
half a dayDifficulty
ExtrasPrint this outing
Useful DataHow to get there
The fern cave is located 8 kilometers from Tacuarembó along the country road leading to Zapara.Opening hours
all day.Bear in mind
It can only be visited with the help of the guide. It is highly recommended to wear comfortable and safe footwear. On the other hand, it is very important to watch your step along the way until you reach the entrance gate to the cave.