As kids we all remember the mysterious treasure map we had, and how it led us to a spot in the yard or park where we dug up an empty box. Then there were the pirate Captains who buried their loot to keep it safe from other pirates and prying eyes… I’ve always wanted to go hunt for that hidden loot! Now I know that many of you want to go hunt around for any buried treasures too! Well unfortunately, there is no treasure map leading to spoils.
The good news is that while there are no real life buried treasure chests, there are still hidden places where you can find some cool stuff! In this article I’ll cover the different types of treasure chests, ruins and shipwrecks that are scattered throughout the Caribbean. Some of these places are accessible by everyone, others require some work or special circumstances to be able to reach them… but isn’t the hunt half the fun! Buried Treasure Chests Ruins Shipwreck locations Hidden Items that are found in the Caribbean
Buried Treasure Chests
Everyone has heard of pirates burying their loot to keep it safe. And while it’s true that many pirate captains did bury chests full of treasure, few if any have ever been found! It’s also important to note that these were not ancient treasure chests with gold coins spilling out. These were often buried on beaches or remote islands, in the days when pirates were on the high seas and needed to get their loot home. Even if they managed to survive being buried on a beach where thieving natives could dig it up, th e chances of surviving under tropical heat for hundreds of years with no ventilation is highly unlikely.
The reality is that many pirates never made it home and just had to toss their treasure overboard to lighten their load and keep the ship afloat! Those small amounts of coins and gems would have long since corroded away, or been carried off by scavengers. There might still be some buried chests out there somewhere, but if so they are likely in desert climates where there is very little humidity. UPDATE : Some of the buried treasure chests have started to be recovered off the coast of Santa Margarita, Columbia! You can read more about that here .
There are many well known historic ruins throughout the Caribbean . When I say ruins, I’m mostly talking about the colonial era of pirate history between 1600 and 1800. There are many ruined forts, castles, churches and old stone structures that were built by settlers in the Caribbean, but they all pale in comparison to the magnificent fortress-city of Cartagena de Indias . This city is unlike any other historic ruin in the world! It is a must visit destination for anyone going to Colombia. For those of you who can’t afford a trip right now, there are still many other ruins around the Caribbean which have been well preserved or excavated and turned into museums . You will find that most colonial era ruins have incorporated themselves into modern day cities. The best example of this is Havana , which is built around the old stone fortress El Morro . Update : For some pictures of my visit to Cartagena, click here
As I mentioned in a previous article , many so-called treasure hunters have tried to search for pirate treasure by combing over known ship wreck sites. On one hand you can’t fault them for trying their luck, but its also important to note that shipwrecks are mostly random events, and the prospect of finding a wreck simply because you looked hard enough is less likely than winning the lottery. Let me put it this way… If I had ten dollars for every person who told me they were planning on searching old wrecks for treasure, I could retire!!