Nacedero del Urederra, a route between turquoise waters

The Nacedero del Urederra is one of the most fascinating spots in the Urbasa mountain range to which it belongs. So much that in 1987 it was declared a natural reserve. It is located in the north of Estella-Lizarra, in Navarre. It is a natural outlet to the aquifer that develops in the karstic massif of the Urbasa-Andía Natural Park.

The path through the Nacedero de Urederra is 6.2 kilometres long and has a 90-metre gradient. In total, it takes about three hours to walk the route, although you can add another hour if you take your time at each stop.

Landscape in Nacedero de Urederra during autumn | Photo: Shutterstock

While you walk through the Nacedero del Urederra you will enjoy a leafy forest in which the beeches attract attention. However, if something is characteristic of this route are the turquoise water pools; formed as a result of the karstic phenomenon. Thus, the water filters through the cracks in the rocks sprouting non-stop from the interior of the earth. The route starts from the beautiful village of Baquedano; specifically from its reception area where the tourist information point and the parking are located. To visit the spring, it is necessary to book the desired date in advance via internet.

What the route hides

Baquedano | Photo: Shutterstock

The route through the Nacedero de Urederra, in the middle of the Natural Reserve, leads you through some of the most beautiful enclaves of the 19 kilometres that the river Urederra runs; from its source to the mouth in the river Ega. A route to enjoy the turquoise waterfalls and pools, which give a magical aura to the surroundings. Curiously, “Urederra” means in Basque “beautiful water”, so it can be considered a warning of what is found by those who make the journey.

Photo: Shutterstock

The start of the route takes place in the small village of Baquedano. The car must be left in the parking for tourists, as it is forbidden to park in the village. Thus, the signs lead the walkers through the main streets of Baquedano; with houses over 400 years old that have coats of arms and shields of the nobles who built them on the facades. Special attention should be given to the parish church of San Juan Bautista, originally from the 16th century with a Gothic-Renaissance style. In Baquedano you must also visit the Santa Cruz hermitage, as it houses an image of the Crucified, dating from the 17th century.

Photo: Shutterstock

Following the signs, the path leads to a track that starts the way to the Nacedero de Urederra. Here you must continue for one kilometre until you reach a fork in the road. You must choose the path on the left. Through it you will reach the riverbed.

Autumn colours in Nacedero de Urederra | Photo: Shutterstock

You will soon reach the course of the Urederra River, so you just have to follow its course. It is a path that crosses surrounded by forest, among oaks and beech trees. The course leads the hiker upstream, showing the first landscapes of turquoise waters. The paths are protected by wooden handrails. One only has to enjoy the waterfalls and pools of bright soft colors that contrast with the intense colors of the trees; especially when visited in autumn. Although the route can be done at any time of the year, in the months of September, October and November the autumn landscape is truly captivating.

Bridges | Photo: Shutterstock

Following the path, the waterfalls are shown one after the other, so the hiker only has to follow the course of the river and capture images of each sight, if desired. Little by little, the path takes height by leaning on wooden bridges and footbridges. In the same way, the waterfalls add more and more meters, falling from more height. Water everywhere, intense greens and blues.

Waterfall | Photo: Shutterstock
Waterfall | Photo: Shutterstock

However, the climb is worth it, since from the initial course of the river there is a large waterfall that rises from what is popularly known as Balcón de Pilatos (Urbaba viewpoint, meaning mouth of the water), a spectacular cliff. This is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating waterfalls in Navarre. From here you can start your way back, ending the route at the Nacedero del Urederra.

Extend the route with the Balcón de Pilatos

The route through the Nacedero de Urederra can be extended by visiting the Balcón de Pilatos, a high climb. It is a spectacular viewpoint of 300 meters of fall from which to observe the beginning of the river Urederra. This viewpoint is located on the southern edge of the Urbasa-Andía Natural Park, from where you can also enjoy splendid views of the Améscoas valley and other places in Tierra Estella thanks to its more than 900 metres in height.

Balcón de Pilatos | Photo: Shutterstock

There are several paths through the Urbasa-Andía mountain range. One of these paths borders the cliff and, with the sound of the river waters, you can see many animals. However, in the snow season the path is usually closed, as it is dangerous.

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