Cueva de Ardales

Cueva de Doña Trinidad - Cueva de la Calinoria

Useful Information

Location: Near the samll town Ardales, Guadalteba (Málaga).
(36.87276, -4.828887)
Open: All year Tue-Sun after appointment.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave ArchaeologyPainted Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=1,500 m, A=55-600 m asl, T=16 °C, H=80-100%.
Guided tours: L=400 m, D=90 min.
Address: Cueva de Ardales, Museo de la Historia y Tradiciones de Ardales, Cerro de la Calinoria, CP 29550, Tel: +34-952-458-046. E-mail:
Reservation: E-mail:
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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1821 cave discovered after an earthquake which opened an entrance.
1850 mentioned in the Diccionario de Madoz.
1860 purchased by Trinidad Grund, renamed Cueva de Doña Trinidad, and developed as a show cave.
1896 cave closed after the death of Doña Trinidad.
1918 visited twice by the famous Abbé Henri Breuil.
1931 declared a National Monument.
1985 renovated and reopened to the public.
1998 declared a World Heritage Site.


The Cueva de Doña Trinidad near the town Ardales is a karst cave with cave paintings. The entrance to the cave was the result of a collapse caused by an earthquake in 1821. The cave was immediately purchased by Trinidad Grund who operated a bath with thermal springs in the municipality of Carratraca. She developed the cave, renamed it Cueva de Doña Trinidad, and opened it to the public. Doña Trinidad was the daughter of the Russian consul. After the death of Doña Trinidad the cave was closed. It was visited by Abbé Breuil, the famous French archaeologist in 1918. After two visits to the cave, he published his discoveries of paintings and engravings in various papers. In 1931 the cave was finally declared a National Monument.

The next phase of the cave started with its rediscovery in 1985. The cave was studied again by archaeologists, the trails renovated, and the cave reopened to the public. Only two years later, in 1987 the Parque de Ardales was created to protect the cave. A museum, the Museo de la Historia y Tradiciones de Ardales, was founded which displays the discoveries from the cave and other excavations. The museum operates the cave until today. The number of visitors is restricted to 1,000 per year and 15 per day.

The cave has a length of 1,500 m, about 400 m are developed. The cave contains over 50 paintings from the Upper Paleolithic (Solutrean and Magdalenian, 18,000-14,000 BC) which are mostly located at the Galería del Calvario. They show animals, like hinds, horses, goats and a fish. In the Sala del Saco and the Sala de Las Estrellas Mesolithic (~8,000 BC) and Middle and Upper Neolithic (~4,000 BC) remains were discovered. The Galerías Altas (Upper Gallery) contains Upper Paleolithic (~20,000 BC) engravings, paintings and other remains.