Cuevas dels Hams

Coves dels Hams - Cave of the Fish-Hook


Useful Information

Location: Rd. Ma-4020 Manacor – Porto Cristo Km.11.
2 km West of Porto Cristo, East coast of Mallorca. From Porto Cristo rd PM-402 to Manacor 1 km, turn left.
(39.5449827, 3.3201169)
Open: APR to OCT daily 10-17.
NOV to MAR Tue-Sun 10-17.
Last tour 16.
[2023]
Fee: Adults EUR 17, Children (3-12) EUR 11, Children (0-2) free.
Residents EUR 2 discount.
Online booking EUR 1 discount.
[2023]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightLED Lighting LightColoured Light LightSon et Lumière
Dimension: T=20 °C
Guided tours: L=350 m, D=60 min, in five languages.
Photography: allowed ("we encourage you to take many photos of the park, share them on social networks and tag us @cuevasdelshams")
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Cuevas dels Hams, Carretera Mancor - Porto Cristo S/N, E-07680 Porto-Cristo, Mallorca, Tel: +34-971-820988. 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

02-MAR-1905 discovered by Pedro Caldentey.
1910 electric light installed.
1953 new light system installed.

Description

The name of the cave, Coves dels Hams is derived from the typical form of several formations, looking like fish-hooks, which are called hams in Mallorquí, the local dialect of Catalan. Those "hams" formations are actually SpeleothemHelictites, which are abundant in the chamber called An Angels Dream.

The cave was discovered by Don Pedro Caldentey Santandreu (*1886-✝1950) on 02-MAR-1905. He was quarrying for so-called onyx, which is actually flowstone. But instead of some small caves filled with flowstone he discovered a huge cave with many beautiful speleothems. Instead of mining them, he decided to develop the cave as a show cave. In 1910, he installed a unique light system in the cave which was powered by a mill with generator. There was enough water to light the cave for 16 hours. This was extraordinary, as the town of Porto Cristo had no electricity at that time.

The tour starts at the original entrance. The first chamber is called 2 Marzo (March 2nd) after the day of its discovery. The next chamber is called Owls Chamber because the discoverers found owls living here. Then the chamber called An Angels Dream follows, definitely the ost beautifuly decorated chamber of the cave. The following passages have more formation, small lakes like the Enchanted Lake and the Column Lake.

The biggest underground lake is called Sea of Venice. Its water contains an amount of 2% salt, which proofs that the lake has a subterranean connection to the sea. The lake contains very small and completely blind crustaceans, which are true cave animals. There are boats on the lake and there is a daily performance called Magical Mozart with music from the opera The Magical Flute.

Some formations in the next chamber called The Fairies Cemetery are coloured bluish or greenish, depending on copper oxides. In one part of the cave all formations are broken in the middle, which is a result of tectonic forces. The cave is left through a second entrance.

The cave also contains an exhibition called Digital Cave or Digithams, which shows animations and digital artworks inside the cave. The current special exhibition [2011] is dedicated to the adventure stories of Jules Verne. The cave is surrounded by a botanical garden with many birds. The cave entrance may be hired for events like marriages or presentations. It was even used by Playboy magazine for shoots.

The current recommendations for this cave on the internet are poor [2011]. It seems the entrance fee was raised from EUR 9.50 to EUR 16 without explanation. Their website does not give a fee, probably to not repulse potential visitors. Most visitors actually feel ripped off, considering the statements we found online. Even the much bigger Cueva del Drac costs only EUR 11.50, and this trip includes a boat ride.

Update 2023: it seems the cave was massively modernized. The huge cave entrance which is mentioned above is now called Cueva Redonda (Round Cave) and contains a botanical garden, specialized on plants native to Mallorca. The normal show cave is now the Cueva Clasica (Classic Cave) with the Sea of Venice with boat trip and a musical show as highlight. Sounds like a Cueva del Drac copy. The Cueva Azul (Blue Cave) is a new cave tour which was added in 2015. It is actually a single chamber with rows of seats where a son et lumière show is shown. It is called Discovering the past and is a documentary about the history of Mallorca, its first inhabitants, the formation of the Caves and its extraordinary discovery. It seems visitors enter the site and walk to the Cueva Redonda, which has a café and diner. The tour starts with the Cueva Azul, which is on one side of the Cueva Redonda, then the Cueva Clasica on the opposite side is visited. It also seems the prices were reduced since we last checked in 2012. If this is a result of complaints or of the pandemic, we cannot say.