When you need a break from the sunshine and sand, a visit to Lanzarote Caves, and in particular Cueva de Los Verdes, makes a fascinating day trip for nature lovers and those who love to get snappy with the camera.
The caves are the result of volcanic eruption and give visitors a rare chance to experience the underground world. Part of a 6km lava tube (one of the longest in the world), these caves have been transformed into a place that visitors of the island can’t wait to see.
Montaña la Corona erupted 4000 years ago, leaving a legacy of tunnels and caves. These caves have been part of local legend for many years and played a vital role as a sanctuary from marauding pirates in the 16th and 17th centuries. During one raid villagers sought safety by living in the caves for two whole months.
In recent years Lanzarote caves have gained status as being of great scientific interest, and in 1964 a 2km section was opened to visitors. This section of Cueva de Los Verdes is beautifully lit, following direction from artist Jesús Soto, and the textures and colour of the rock are genuinely breathtaking.
You may also hear a legend of a man who dedicated his life to looking after the caves from childhood. As caretaker of the caves he used to count every stone, crack and crevice and locals say that if you pass the cave at night you can still hear his whispered counting.
How can I visit Cueva de Los Verdes?
Cueva de Los Verdes is in the north of the island, just over an hour’s drive from Playa Blanca, and 23 minutes from Costa Teguise. You can choose to drive or join an organised excursion.
Caving in Lanzarote can be experienced in several ways. Experienced cave divers can visit Tunel de la Atlántida, a section that is completely flooded. For those without cave diving experience, a guided tour of Cueva de Los Verdes gives a fascinating insight into this underground beauty without donning scuba gear or getting your feet wet. Tours last around an hour and run daily from 10am to 6pm.
As part of your visit you’ll see the amazing underground auditorium, as well as experiencing the atmosphere of the cave. The guides are expertly trained, and delight in telling visitors about the geological structure and quirks of the chambers.
Top tips for visiting Cueva de Los Verdes
The passage is narrow and dark so if you’re not comfortable in enclosed spaces, this probably isn’t the trip for you. Likewise, uneven ground means it’s a challenging environment for anyone with reduced mobility. Young children can visit, but they must walk where possible or be carried. Lanzarote caves aren’t suitable for wheelchair users or pushchairs.
There aren’t many facilities at Cueva de Los Verdes so visitors like to combine their visit with a trip to nearby Jameos del Agua, a huge open-air cave created in 1968 as an unusual cultural attraction. Here you’ll find restaurants and bars, making it an ideal refreshment stop for your journey to or from Cueva de Los Verdes, as well as being stunning in its own right.