Cueva de Don Justo

Don Justo's Cave

Useful Information

Location: La Restinga. At the southern cape of El Hierro
Open: closed(?) [2005]
Fee: free [2005]
Classification: ExplainLava Tube
Light: none.
Dimension: L=6,315m, VR=143m, A=150m.
Guided tours:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The cave of Don Justo, Cueva de Don Justo, is located on private ground. It is not regularly open, and it is a wild cave with no development and no light. It seems the cave is gated now and then, but at the same time it is promoted as a tourist sight. We do not have current information about the accessibility of the cave. However, if you visit the cave, please be carefull and do not destroy or litter anything.

This cave is located in the El Lajial pahoehoe lava field on the southern tip of El Hierro island, near Orchilla lighthouse. It extends over the mountainside of Irama o de Prim (254m asl) for a distance of 1,360m and a vertical range of 135m. There are numerous parallel lava tubes, at some places up to eight. The connected passages have a total length of 6,315m, which makes it the longest lava tube on the island, the third longest on the Islas Canarias, and the 13th longest in the world (NSS, 2005). But there are numerous mistakes and wrong numbers on the multiple pages about El Hierro on the web. The cave is not 30km long and it is not located on Lanzarote, there is no other cave with the same name on Lanzarote.

Cueva de Don Justo contains a well developed troglobitic fauna, all species are endemic to El Hierro and seven are exclusively found in this cave. Unfortunately the troglobites are threatened by tourism, garbage dumping, vandalism, and the invasion of alien species such as cockroaches. This is the reason, why the Cabildo de El Hierro (local island government) placed a gate at the entrance some years ago. This gate was later destroyed, and it is not clear if it is repaired by now. So again, please, if you visit the cave, be careful. Do not litter the cave and do not destroy anything.