La Gruta de las Maravillas: beauty underground
Thanks to the privileged location of AMA Residences Andalucía, you can enjoy a wide range of activities. If you don’t feel like travelling and your aim is to relax, you can make use of the spa, pools and restaurants available to all our residents. If you prefer more activity, the nearby Islantilla beach or our comprehensive golf course provide the perfect setting for sports or long walks. But if you are feeling adventurous and would like to explore further afield, near Islantilla you will find a multitude of cultural and natural attractions. One such place is La Gruta de las Maravillas or The Cave of Wonders.
A cave in the heart of the city
The Gruta de las Maravillas is a natural cave located in Aracena, a town that also belongs to the province of Huelva. If you travel by car from AMA Residences Andalucía, it will take less than 2 hours to reach Aracena, although we assure you that the trip will be worthwhile.
A stop at “Minas de Riotinto”
You can make a stop in the journey at the Riotinto mines. This is a deposit known for the curious reddish colour of its waters, the result of the heavy metal sulphides that were exposed by mining. The resulting landscape is unique in the world, considered one of the jewels of the province and a witness to a mining past that is now behind us.
After this stop and enjoying the different shades of red, orange and yellow, continue your way to Aracena.
Once you reach Aracena, you may expect to find the entrance to the cave in a secluded spot on the outskirts. But you will be surprised to discover that the access to the cave is in the centre of the town, next to a beautiful town square. And you will be even more surprised when you descend through the entrance and see the magnitude of the natural rock formations and lakes below the surface.
The first tourist cave in Spain
The cave of wonders was discovered in the late 19th century, although it was not until 1914 that it was opened to the public so that anyone interested could visit it.
It is a cave formed by the filtration of water that dissolved the limestone. Millions of years of filtration have given rise to karstic formations of stalactites and stalagmites, which take on capricious shapes, forming thick columns in some areas or formations similar to curtains of rock in others.
You will be able to walk around different rooms, which have such picturesque names as “the Room of the Chickpeas” or “the Crystal Room of God” and marvel at the underground lakes, which adopt different colours and shades or the unrepeatable shapes of the stalactites and stalagmites.
Book your guided tour
Access to the cave is limited, with the aim of preserving this much appreciated natural monument as best as possible. Therefore, if you are interested in visiting it, we recommend that you reserve your tickets in advance to avoid any surprises.
The route in the cave is about 1,300 metres long, although the caves are longer. It is not a route that involves any difficulty, so anyone can do it. However, it is advisable to wear comfortable, non-slip footwear, as well as light clothing. The temperature (between 15 and 18ºC) and humidity conditions (up to 98% humidity) can be uncomfortable if you are not prepared. If your visit is during summertime, the caves will provide a pleasant oasis to get away from the high temperatures outside.
To fully enjoy your visit, we recommend that you take a guided tour, so that a person with in-depth knowledge of the place can talk to you about it and tell you everything you need to know.
Enjoy the gastronomy of the Sierra de Aracena
You cannot return to Islantilla without first trying the traditional dishes of the Sierra de Aracena and the Picos de Aroche. That the gastronomy of Huelva offers you a wide variety of dishes and flavours will not be a surprise if you follow our blog. In the sierra you will be able to taste from stews using the best products from the area (iberian meat, vegetables, mushroms, chesnuts…), prepared following traditional recipes, to simple but equally delicious dishes. We recommend you try the spectacular Iberian acorn ham PDO Jabugo, from the pigs raised in the local pasture and famous for its quality. Not as well known but of equal quality are other sausage products, such as chorizo, morcilla, salchichón or caña de lomo.
We are sure that you will return from this excursion with your adventure craving satisfied and knowing a little bit better the culture and customs of the people of the Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche.
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