Cueva de Los Verdes

Cave of Los Verdes


Useful Information

Location: Lanzarote, Canarias. North east side of the island, along LZ-1.
Open: All year daily 10-18, last tour 17.
[2010]
Fee: Adults EUR 8, Children (7-12) EUR 4, Children (0-6) free.
Groups (+): Adults EUR , Children (3-18) EUR .
[2010]
Classification:  Lava Tube
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=6,100m, VR=300m.
Guided tours: L=2,000m.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: D=40min.
Address: Cueva de Los Verdes, Lanzarote, Tel: 34-928-848-484.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2014/07/21 08:08:41 $

History

 
1964opened to the public.

Description

The Cueva de Los Verdes (Cave of Los Verdes) is a lava tube which was formed by a lava flow from the erupting volcano Montaña Corona about 3,000 t0 4,000 years ago. The lava flow crossed the Malpaís de la Corona to the sea, a distance of about six kilometers. Malpaís is a Spanish word describing this kind of arid, volcanic landscape, which may be translated badlands. The cave has some 20 openings to the surface which are called Jameos. They were formed by roof collapses, have generally an elliptic form when a longer section of the cave colapsed. The debris of the roof often forms ramps which allow rather easy descent into the cave.

Verdes is the Spanisch word for the colour green, but the cave was named after someone with the family name Verdes, who either discovered or lived in the cave, both stories are told.

With a length of more than 6km this cave was the longest lava tube in the world for a long time, until the mid 20th century. It was then outrun buy a number of much longer lava tubes, and today the  Kazumura Cave in Hawai'i with a length of 65,500m [2010] is the longest known lava tube in the world. Still this outdated superlative is rewritten and found even in newer literature.

According to legend the inhabitants of Lanzarote used the cave to hide from pirates and slave traders here. It seems the native Gunaches hid here from the Spanish invaders. Then again the locals hid during the 17th century when the islands were raided numerous times. We read the comment that the cave became a deadly trap for invaders, but could not find any more detailed explanation, so we must interpret this as an legend.

The cave was developed as a show cave in the early 1960s by César Manriques, and opened to the public in 1964. His friend Jesús Soto created a very sophisticated and artistic electric light system. The fact that throughout the cave Gregorian Chants are played is rather disturbing. One wider part of th passage has been turned into a concert hall with a perfect accoustics seating 300 people. It is not used very often, as the cave lacks rather basic amenities like toilets.

One of the highlights and probably the most intensively photographed part of the cave is filled with a sweet water later. The cave lake reflects the walls and cielings and the phantastic light makes this an impressive sight.

Of particular interest for biologists is the Langostino Blanco, a troglobiotic lobster of white color which is perfectly adapted to the conditions of life in those caves. This species is endemic, which means that it exists exclusively here!


See also


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