Located in the heart of the Jerte Valley, the Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve occupies a total of 6,927 hectares of land between the northwest slope of the Sierra de Tormantos, the southwest end of the Sierra de Gredos and the Jerte River itself.
Garganta de los Infiernos is a space of strong natural contrasts. Thus, it is mostly formed by granite and gneiss rocks on which river erosion has drawn a striking landscape of drops, streams, waterfalls and pools.
Among all the terrain of the Garganta de los Infiernos, the area of Los Pilones stands out especially. There are several “marmitas de gigante” or large circular pools that extend along the Serra Gorge, an ancient valley of glacial origin. The Garganta de los Infiernos includes one of the few high mountain ecosystems present in Extremadura.
It extends over the northern slope of the province of Cáceres, where the Cuerda de los Infiernillos and the Cerro del Estecillo stand. At 2,281 and 2,290 metres high respectively, they are the highest points in the protected area.
Vegetation and fauna
The vegetation of the Garganta de los Infernos is divided between areas of deciduous forest (with species such as the melojo oak, hawthorn, strawberry tree, cherry or chestnut). Therefore, these are areas of riverbank where alders, ashes, willows, yews or hollies appear. Finally, there are high mountain areas where the bush and the meadow predominate.
As for the fauna, the mountain goat is the most representative mammal species of the Garganta de los Infernos. Along with it, there are populations of Iberian desman, wild cat or genet. Among the birds of the Garganta de los infiernos, the most important are the birds of prey that are common in the high mountain areas of central Spain. For example, the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon, the kite or the tawny vulture, and other species such as the blackbird, the hoopoe or the black stork.