CM 2106 Km 60.
Casa dela Herrería: APR to OCT Sat, Sun 11-19.
NOV to MAR Sat, Sun 10-18.
|Karst Spring Tufa Deposits
Oficina de turismo, Plaza Mayor 1, Tel: +34-969-241-051, WhatsApp: +34-600-03-37-00.
Casa Rural “La Casa de la Herrería”, Barrio El perchel, 9B, 16150 El Perchel, Cuenca, Tel: +34-639-61-97-42.
|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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|declared a Monumento Natural
The Nacimiento del Río Cuervo (Source of the Cuervo River) is a spectacular karst spring located in a semicircular escarpment where numerous springs emerge from the cliff face, form waterfalls and meet to form the source of Río Cuervo. The limestone rich water deposits tufa by the precipitation of limestone. The spring depends strongly on the rainfalls, the production is high in late winter and early spring, the wet season. In late summer it may become almost dry, in very dry years, large parts of the waterfalls are without water.
Spectacular are the tufa formations and waterfalls, a result of the precipitation of limestone from the limestone rich karst water. The rocks are overgrown by moss called Cratoneurion commutati, which removes the carbon dioxide from the water with photosynthesis. This causes the precipitation of calcium carbonate and the formation of limestone on its surface. When the moss dies and decomposes the tufa gets a huge amount of pores which area actually molds of the moss. The tufa grows forming protrusions, which grow until they collapse under their own weight. This is one of the reasons why visitors are not allowed to access the waterfalls.
The catchment area is the Muela de San Felipe, a large plain formed by Upper Cretaceous limestones. Due to its height this area has the highest rainfall in the province of Cuenca.
There are three different trails around the springs. The Sendero del Nacimiento del Río Cuervo is a circular route with a total length of approximately 1.5 km. the waterfalls are reached about 300 m from the start and the source of the Cuervo river about 700 m from the start. The route is accessible for disabled people up to the waterfalls. The Sendero de la Turbera begins about 150 m before the source and runs for about 1,500 m through a peat bog back to the parking lot. The Sendero del Pinar is 11 km long and branches off the Sendero de la Turbera. It runs through the Scots pine forest and has numerous viewpoints.
There is also a visitor center for the spring called Casa dela Herrería, but it is located at the municipality of Vega del Codorno, in the hamlet El Perchel. The visitor center is located in a small building close to the hotel of the same name.
At the village Vega del Codorno the Cueva del Nacimiento (Spring Cave) may be visited, a huge shelter which is located at the foot of a vertical cliff high above the village. It offers a great view on the village, the floor is level and there are benches. There is also a narrow passage which is only accessible for a few meters. The walls are full of scallops, obviously this is a river cave which is sometimes reactivated. When it is active the whole entrance area of the cave is flooded and the outflow forms a tributary of Río Cuervo. That's obviously the explanation for the name. The cave is signposted "La Gruta Natural", however, signs are actually not needed, the huge portal is easily visible from the village.