La Cueva de los Verdes in Haría

La Cueva de los Verdes in Haría

La Cueva de los Verdes lays in the north of the island of Lanzarote, in the municipality of Haría, and forms part of the vast volcanic landscape of the Monumento Natural del Malpaís de La Corona.
Its formation is the result of the eruptive activity of La Corona Volcano (dating back, according to geologists, some 3000 to 5000 years), which gave rise to an extensive underground volcanic tunnel over six kilometres long, running from the cone of the volcano down to the sea. Two of the most relevant Centres of Art, Culture and Tourism – “Cueva de los Verdes” and “Jameos del Agua” – are located inside the tunnel.

A volcanic tunnel is formed by the cooling and solidification of the superficial part of a lava flow in contact with the air, while the liquid magma underneath continues to flow. The partial collapse of the roof of a given section of the tunnel forms the structure known in Lanzarote as a “Jameo” – this is an opening in the earth which provides access to the other grottoes.

The tunnel formed by La Corona Volcano is one of the longest and most interesting on the planet. There are 21 jameos dotted along its length. Over six kilometres of the tunnel have been explored; these run from the crater of La Corona before entering the sea in an underwater stretch of 1.5 kilometres known as the “Túnel de la Atlántida” (Tunnel of Atlantis).

Historical notes
The first testimonies found on the existence of the Cueva de los Verdes come from the writings of an Italian military engineer, Leonardo Torriani, in 1590. In those writings, apart from noting the striking beauty of this geological feature, Torriani describes the significant defensive and protective interest of the Cueva for the island’s population.

“… and inside there are marvellous antrums, which seem to be made by a master’s hand, and with steep, difficult passages that cannot be crossed without light. Some connoisseurs say that there is a secret river in there, that flows fast and is known by very few people. There is also another exit on to the sea, whence the men and then women sheltering there can come out and embark.”
Description of the Canary Islands. Leonardo Torriani, 1590.

Principally during the 16th and 17th centuries, Lanzarote suffered cyclical episodes of enormous instability owing to continuous invasions, raids and kidnappings by pirates from the northern coast of Africa. Historical evidence has been found which shows that the intricate galleries in the Cueva de los Verdes served as a hiding place and refuge for the island’s decimated population.

There are some large-scale invasions – such as those of Tabán Arraez and Solimán in 1618 – which reached truly catastrophic proportions. The historian Viera y Clavijo (Noticias de la Historia General de las Islas Canarias, 1772-1773) thus recounts the disastrous consequences of that incursion “…the greater portion of the population took refuge in the caves’ hiding places, especially in the main grotto of the Cueva de los Verdes in Haría, which runs underground for a length of nearly three miles. (…) This terrible blow, which left the entire land of Lanzarote silent and drowning in tears, also served to impoverish the country, draining it of the purest sustenance of all …”

Subsequently, in the 19th century, the cave was transformed into the place to visit for European travellers, scholars and scientists travelling through the Canary Islands. All describe this unique volcanic formation with the same fascination and wonder. We can quote the geologist Georg Hartung (1855); the geologist and botanist Karl Von Fritsch (1863); and, more recently, another geologist, Eduardo Hernández-Pacheco (1907).

Opening hours: 10.00 to 17:00.

Summer opening hours (15 July – 15 September): 10:00 to 18:00.

Recommended opening hours: 15:00 to 17:00. The last visit takes place at 17:00. At 18:00 in the summer

Valid Fee from 1st May 2017

Adult: 9,50 euros – 20% off from 15:00 h.
Children: 4,75 euros (7 – 12) – 20% off from 15:00 h.
Canarian Adult Resident: 7,60 euros
Canarian Child Resident: 3,80 euros
Residents in Lanzarote: 2.00 euro

Discount for people with disabilities:

30% discount off tickets to visit the centre by submitting the corresponding certificate at the tickets office.