I will always be amazed by the huge amount of wonders and gems our planet hides. Being able to experience them makes me value how lucky we, humans, are to have such an incredible planet. I am also a big fan of caves since they are genuinely natural monuments that are well spread along the Earth and usually hidden. So in this story, I want to tell you about the greatest cave I have ever seen that can be found in Andalucia – to be more precise, in Aracena, in the province of Huelva. It is commonly known as "Grotto of the Marvels" (La Gruta de las Maravillas in Spanish).
Visiting la Gruta de las Maravillas in Aracena
The Gruta de las Maravillas is a cave in the town center of Aracena, Andalusia. It was the first Spanish cave that opened to the public in 1913. It includes a total of 2130 subterranean meters depth (which makes it fascinating), but we can only have access up to 1.400 meters. It is a water table caused by the dissolution and erosive action of the waters on the limestone rocks of a hill. We can see in this cave a set of karst formations of extraordinary beauty: vertical and eccentric stalactites, stalagmites, castings, listed curtains, aragonites, coracoids, gours, etc. The beauty of the lakes, the breadth of the spaces, and the coloration of the various formations of stalactites and stalagmites form an exceptionally magical set. One could definitely think this is the place where fairies live!
To visit the Grotto of the Marvels, you need to buy a ticket at the entrance -though I recommend you to book in advance during high season- and visit it with the cave guides. The tour is guided, and you will appreciate this due to the cave's complexity. I guarantee that you will get a better understanding of the wonder that you have before your eyes. The ticket only costs 9€ and 6.50€ for kids (from 6 to 12 years old). There is a limited amount of people who can visit the cave in each tour; no more than 40 people.
Gruta de las Maravillas, en AracenaCalle Pozo de la Nieve, s/n, 21200 Aracena, Huelva, España
The first thing I noticed when I entered the cave was the humidity and a slight drop in temperature. The cave is perfectly lit, and there is no need to carry a flashlight at all. One of the things that the guide told us at the beginning of the visit was that the cave impresses a lot from the start, and it only gets better as the tour continues. The tour lasts 50 minutes approximately. This was all true; it is a real wonder of nature!
There are numerous turquoise blue ponds, and they are completely transparent. They will take your breath away, due mainly to a karst landscape that looks like a science fiction setting. As the guide told us, the cave is really alive, since it is believed that it is transforming and that it will be different in the next few years because of that constant drip and the abundance of stalagmites, stalactites, columns or banners. In addition to exploring these fascinating caves, I also recommend you visit the town of Aracena to get a good idea of a typical Andalusian beautiful city!
If you are thinking about visiting Andalucia, you cannot miss the Grotto of the Marvels, a real wonder of nature that will remind you of a movie set where fairies live. It is located in Aracena, in the province of Huelva, Andalucia, and only an hour away from the fantastic city of Seville! Don't miss it!
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Helena Guerrero Gonzalez
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