Cueva de los Verdes (Green Cave)

Located in the northeast of the island, the Cueva de los Verdes is a place well worth visiting. This is a complex of caves and caverns located inside a lava flow. The caves are at different levels opening out occasionally into caverns, one of which is large enough to host concerts. As Lanzarote is such an arid place the caves don’t have much water dripping through them. So there are no stalactites or stalagmites.

The attraction of these caves lies in the colours of the volcanic rocks. Clever lighting throughout the caves accentuates this. As you walk through the caves you’ll see a stunning range of colours, the product of the different minerals making up the walls.

Historically, the caves were used by locals in the 16th and 17th Centuries to hide from Berber pirates and slave traders.

The word Verdes in Spanish means green, but this is nothing to do with the colour of the caves. It was once owned by people called Verde.

The Making of the Caves

The Cueva de los Verdes and the nearby Jameos del Agua are both part of the same 7km long volcanic tube. This was created 5,000 years ago when the Volcan de la Corona (Mount Corona) erupted. The end of the tube goes under the sea which is why it’s often called the Atlantis tunnel. The remnants of the volcano today form the highest part of the island at 309 meters. The volcano’s eruption covered most of the northeastern area of the island with lava.

In all there are 20 locations along the tube where the roof has collapsed, those caverns are called Jameos. There is only one Jameo at the Cueva de los Verdes, this is used to enter and leave the cave system. The other attraction nearby, the Jameos del Agua, as its name suggests is also built inside a Jameo.

Lava Tubes: When volcanic lava is of the thick and viscous type, such as that which flowed out of nearby Mount Corona, volcanic tubes can be quite common. They are formed when the surface lava cools but at lower levels, the lava continues to flow. This eventually leaves a cave-like tube or pipe behind. These tubes can run for many kilometres and often widen out into wide caverns.

Visiting the Cueva de los Verdes

Access to the cave system is via a guided tour which takes about an hour. This takes you on a 2km journey through the spectacular underground labyrinth.

The caves are open every day from 10.00 to 17:00, except from 15th July to 15th September when they are open a bit longer until 18:00.

Many coach parties visit the site. This is not such a problem on the tour itself as tours are limited to 50 people maximum. There are only a couple of places in the caves where you might meet other tours.

It’s more a question of how long the queue is at the entrance. I visited at 14:00 and waited nearly an hour to finally enter the caves. The queue was much shorter when I left just before 16:00, and I guess much shorter earlier in the day.

As you walk through the caves you’ll experience chambers of different sizes, some as tall as 50m and 15m wide, whilst others are quite narrow and low. With this in mind make sure you aren’t carrying a big backpack. Also if you are tall like me, you’ll need to watch your head in several places.

No need to wear any extra clothing, the caves are not cold. Some parts of the tour are quite claustrophobic and there are quite a lot of steps to go up and down.

See if your camera/phone has a low light setting, this will give you much better photos of the caves.

I thought the tour was great, the caves are really amazing to see. Right at the end, there is a special surprise – although, you’ll have to do the tour to find out what.

Concerts

If you are lucky you might find that there is a concert taking place when you are visiting the island. These don’t take place very often and are well worth attending, The chamber used for the concerts has near-perfect acoustics and has been praised by many eminent musicians. You’ll see this on the tour. On the stage is a grand piano – I couldn’t help wondering how they managed to get that down there!

How to get to Cueva de los Verdes

The caves are located in the northeast of the island. Travel north along the LZ-1, past Punta Mujeres and lookout for the signs. The Jameos del Agua and the Cueva de los Verdes are well signposted and are located at the same junction on different sides of the road. Both have free car parks with toilet facilities. Driving time from Costa Teguise is 25 mins, 40 mins from Puerto del Carmen and an hour from Playa Blanca.

If you want to use public transport Intercity lines 7 and 9 stop at Jameos del Agua. The Cueva de los Verdes is less than a kilometer’s walk away.

Bonos Vouchers

If you are planning to visit a few attractions in Lanzarote, it might be worth buying a Bonos Voucher. These will save you money on entrance fees.

Save up to 5 euros if you want to visit 3 locations

Save up to 9.5 Euros if you want to visit 4 locations.

Choose 4 from Cueva de los Verdes, Jameos del Agua, Mirador del Rio, Montanas del Fuego or Cactus Garden.

Save up to 12.5 Euros if you want to visit 6 locations.

Choose 6 from Cueva de los Verdes, Jameos del Agua, Mirador del Rio, Montanas del Fuego, Cactus Garden, Museo Internacional de Arte Contenporaneo or Castillo San Jose.

Simply buy the relevant ticket you want at the first attraction you visit and your ticket is valid for 14 days.

The Cuevas de los Verdes – Pictures

Jameos del Agua

The other cave worth visiting in Lanzarote is called Jameos del Agua, which is quite different from Cueva de los Verdes. It is another section of the volcanic tube between several collapses of the roof. César Manrique transformed the space here to form an underground Grotto.

Other things to do in Lanzarote

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Exploring Lanzarote - Cueva de los Verdes

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