Cueva de los Verdes, a journey inside a volcano

The Cueva de los Verdes is one of those places in Spain that take your breath away. Located in the municipality of Haría on the island of Lanzarote, the Cueva de los Verdes is a volcanic structure that stands out for its unique beauty. It arose as a result of the volcanic tube caused by the eruption of the volcano La Corona, because if anything characterizes this Canary island is its volcanic landscape.

A formation that dates back approximately 5,000 years, when lava originated a tube of seven kilometres long from the volcano La Corona to the coast. This makes it one of the longest lava tubes ever found in the world. Today, the interior of this spectacular cave hides several secrets that can be discovered through guided tours. In them you will get to know different rooms such as the room of the aesthetes, the Moorish door or the throat of death. In addition, the Cueva de los Verdes has a spectacular auditorium where concerts are held.

Origin of Cueva de los Verdes

Cueva de los Verdes
Cueva de los Verdes | Photo: Shutterstock

The tube in which the Cueva de los Verdes is located was formed 5,000 years ago as a result of the descent of fluid lava over other more compact ones, thus creating a long cavity. This created a tube that extends for seven kilometres from La Corona volcano to the coast, extending even under the sea in the so-called Tunnel of Atlantis. The latter has a range of 1,500 metres, as the sea level during the last glaciation was 80 meters below the present one. It is considered the longest lava tunnel in the world, a route flooded by marine waters.

Cueva de los Verdes
Haría, municipality where the cave is located | Photo: Shutterstock

The Jameos del Agua are located in the area closest to the coast of the Tunnel of Atlantis. This is another essential visit to make in Lanzarote, a natural space also located in Haría and inside this volcanic tunnel. It is the work of the popular Canarian architect César Manrique.

Jameos del Agua | Photo: Shutterstock
Jameos del Agua | Photo: Shutterstock

As for the Cueva de los Verdes, it was used by the local population as a refuge in which to hide from Berber corsair attacks, as it was traditional for them to raid Lanzarote from time to time. The name Cueva de los Verdes comes from the owners of the cave, as the Verdes family owned the land on which the cave is located.

The cave as we know it today

Cueva de los Verdes
Guided Tour | Photo: Shutterstock

In the 1960’s the Cabildo of Lanzarote chose the majorero artist (native of Fuerteventura) Jesús Soto to be in charge of adapting this natural cave for visitors. Through his knowledge of the treatment of light and shade, he managed to bring out the luminosity of the stone and enhance the shapes created by the lava. The result is an attractive arrangement of reddish, black, grey and ochre colours that walk between the darkness and the effects of the light on the rocks of the cave.

How to travel to the center of the Earth

Of the total length of the volcanic structure, the Cueva de los Verdes measures approximately one kilometre. It is an extension made up of a particular network of galleries that are connected to each other and are prepared to be discovered. A journey of less than an hour in which the visitor feels as if he were traveling to the most hidden corners of the Earth.

Cueva de los Verdes
Entrance to Cueva de los Verdes | Photo: Shutterstock

The galleries of this cave reach 50 metres high and have wide corridors in which it is very easy to get an idea of the volcanic origin of the cave. The visit is made through the lava channels that were created, a tour in which you can see the impressive magma stalactites that are in the tunnel. It is also possible to see, and perhaps one of the most curious parts of the visit, the salt deposits inside the cave, as well as other magmatic formations.

Cueva de los Verdes
Cueva de los Verdes | Photo: Shutterstock

Thanks to the lighting of the Cueva de los Verdes, colours are another of the great protagonists in this route, as they give a sensation of splendour and solemnity to the walls and vaults. The effect of the light reflections on the salt flats is also striking. If you think that it is cold inside, not at all. The temperature inside this underground cave is usually around 20 degrees.

An auditorium inside a cave

Cueva de los Verdes
Auditorium of Cueva de los Verdes | Photo:

The creation of a natural auditorium inside one of the cavities of the Cueva de los Verdes is surprising. Located in the heart of the cave, it is a space fitted out for concerts inside this volcanic landscape. With a capacity for more than 300 spectators, between stairs, galleries and passages is this auditorium in which its excellent sound quality is remarkable.

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