cueva del gato ronda benaojan guadiaro 1

Cueva del Gato : Ronda deadly Cave system

From the “Hidden Treasures of the Costa del Sol” series.

La Cueva del Gato Hundidero in Montejaque, Sierra de Grazalema, Spain is actually the southern exit of the caving system in Ronda called Gato-Hundidero System but usually is known in its extent as Cueva del Gato , since its its most famous entrance.

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan Main Access

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan Main Access

This is the most important system of Andalucia with over 9,000 m put on map, and one of the largest in Spain , with permanent water , potholes , lakes , siphons and some danger due to heavy rains in the area that do vary the underground channel with very quickly decrease of temperature and volume of the water , and has killed several unprepared people. The system has been declared a natural monument of Andalucía. The cave is entered by Hundidero, and exits by Gato.

SITUATION

La Cueva del Gato is located between the towns of Montejaque and Benaoján in the province of Málaga ( Spain ) , in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park , about 15 km west of Ronda.

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan Start

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan Start

The gap or Hundidero Cave lies about 3 km north of Montejaque by the MA -505 road , the upper or entrance to the system at a height of 593 m.

Cueva del Gato Ronda Waterfalls

Cueva del Gato Ronda Crossing

The system comprises a total of 7,818 m and a height of -219 m , with a main course of 4,500 m in north-south direction to the southern exit or lower Cueva del Gato at a height of 423 m , right into the Guadiaro river and next to the MA -555 Benaoján-Ronda Road, and the railroad Ronda -Algeciras .

FEATURES

As all the Sierra de Grazalema , is a limestone karst area where water has generated an amazing underground world .

Cueva del Gato Ronda Waterfalls

Cueva del Gato Ronda Waterfalls

The Hundidero -Gato system collects water from a large, relatively flat basin that forms the Gaduares River , also called Campobuche , which is born near the town close to Rosario , about 15 miles west of Hundidero Cave, where that river disappears, only to reappear in the Cueva del Gato and merge with the Guadiaro River .

Cueva del Hundidero Ronda Montejaque Entrance

Cueva del Hundidero Ronda Montejaque Entrance

HISTORY

cueva del gato ronda benaojan bandoleros

Cueva del Gato in Ronda Benaojan, a bandoleros hiding place

Known since remote times, various prehistoric artifacts and paintings have been found. Also in the XIX it was used as hiding place for the famous “Bandoleros”.

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan end S.XIX

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan end S.XIX

In 1920 a hydroelectric dam (called Presa de los Caballeros ) was built at the entrance of the cave to try to use this Hundidero permanent water source.

cueva del hundidero ronda montejaque dam building

cueva del hundidero Ronda Montejaque dam building

The location of the dam, of karstic rock, caused leakage of water, which then reappeared inside the underground system. Among other actions, roads, walkways , bridges where constructed, and lighting was installed inside the caves. Some of this can still be seen , including efforts to fill with concrete galleries receiving waters , without success; so in 1950 they finally abandoned the project.

cueva del hundidero Ronda Montejaque dam today

Cueva del Hundidero Ronda Montejaque dam today

However, these changes caused the water no longer flows through the same Sima Hundidero or by the first section of the cave, but new leaks appear in the cave soon after, becoming a more unpredictable system, as it happens that crossing starts without water and gradually forms a current that can make it impossible to continue . They also destroyed a large number of limestone formations.

SUGGESTIONS

cueva del gato Ronda Benaojan guadiaro

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan Guadiaro River

• You can visit the exit of the cave easily, since pedestrian access has been made. Ideal for families and kids.
• Combine the visit with the visit to the Guadiaro River, and the good restaurants in Montejaque
• Do not try to cross the system in winter and/or without experience and proper guidance. Also never EVER enter without proper equipment, including neoprene suits, ropes, helmets, and lights.

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan Access

Cueva del Gato Ronda Benaojan Access

MORE INFO AND LINKS

GOOGLE MAP LOCATION

(HUNDIDERO ENTRANCE)

(GATO EXIT)

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Cueva del Gato : Ronda deadly Cave system

  1. We did the walk-swim-jumps through the cave.
    an 8 hour fight but fantastic experience!
    you should not fear hights as you have to jump 8 meters down in the dark water 🙂

    • Indeed a fantastic experience ! . Dont forget to check out the canyoning experiences nearby like the Gaucín Gorge and the “Garganta Verde” in Zahara de la Sierra 🙂

  2. Pingback: You’ll be amazed by the work this couple did on their self-build campervan whilst on the road in Andalucia, Spain – Wild Van

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s