A certain aura of mystery that intensifies with the intricate twists that seem to lead straight to the deep interior of the Earth. In the island of Lanzarote, the primal fascination for caverns meets its match at Jameos del Agua. Located in Haría, to the north of the island, Jameos del Agua is one of the region’s main attractions. Its beauty equally striking and overwhelming. Do you want to know more? keep reading!
A wonder of nature
In the ancient tongue of the guanches, the canarian aboriginal inhabitants, “jameo” was the word for a volcanic cave fit for human habitation. Guanches possibly took shelter in the Jameos del Agua cave many centuries before artist César Manrique and architect Jesús Soto redesigned it for modern times.
The Jameos del Agua cave is the product of the ceiling collapse of a lava tube formed more than 3,000 years ago, when the eruption of the Corona volcano took place . Where once fire reigned and lava flowed, there’s now peaceful quietness and silence. Access to the cave is decorated by many plants (palm trees, fig trees, also croton and cactus) that found their ideal habitat among the rocks.
Adventuring inside a typical cave might not be a passion of many, particularly of those suffering from claustrophobia, yet the Jameos del Agua cave does not induce such a feeling at all. Its spaciousness coupled with the fact that it’s perfectly illuminated by colorful lights and sun rays, make the cave feel charming and inviting, not oppressive to visitors.
Jameos del Agua cave leads to the ocean through the Túnel de la Atlántida (Tunnel of Atlantis), an underwater tunnel inhabited by numerous animal species.
Entrance to the Jameos del Agua cave, with plenty of palm trees and a pool, spectacular by day or night.
Jameos del Agua , an idea birthed by César Manrique
César Manrique (1919–1992) was an essential canarian artist, of great importance in all the Canary Islands but specially in his native Lanzarote. He conceived, designed or adapted many places in Lanzarote, with a clear goal on his mind: to create these cultural spaces, tourist attractions, that are environmentally friendly.
The Jameos del Agua cave is one of Manrique’s most prominent creations, his first on the island. Conceived in 1968, when Manrique acknowledged the volcanic cave could potentially become a focal point of attraction for visitors, and a space fit to host cultural events such as concerts. Continuing on with the artist’s environmentalist approach, the original structure was preserved, only highlighted by decorative elements that help bring out the charms created by nature.
The entrance to the Jameos del Agua cave is home to a white bottom pool and a welcoming palm tree grove. Inside, visitors can have a bite and a drink at the cozy cafe. Who would have thought a little cave could hold so much in it?
The perfect venue for a concert
When greeks created the amphitheater, they were the first to exploit the acoustics of specific locations, and they did so building on places where sound was naturally amplified. In the Jameos del Agua cave you may be witness to the same circumstance: the peculiar echo of caves makes it a great choice for a concert venue.
Visitors may attend to a canarian music concert in the evening starring the quintessential canarian folk music instrument, the timple: a plucked string instrument looking like a tiny guitar. It’s a fantastic way to appreciate canarian culture, and from inside a cave that captures some of the best of the Canary Islands unique beauty.
In addition to the previously mentioned cafe and stage, Jameos del Agua is home to a small museum up on the terrace, named Casa de los Volcanes (House of the Volcanoes) where visitors may quench their thirst on geology and volcanology.
Blind Lobster, the inhabitant of the Jameos del Agua
Harboured in the sea water pool inside the cave lives the small crustacean (Munidopsis Polymorpha) , endemic to Lanzarote, they have only been found inside Jameos del Agua.The inside of the cave provides a beautiful set of colors and lights in daytime as well as in nighttime. The perfect spot for the endemic Jameos del Agua blind lobster.
That a tourist attraction center, a cave designed to host cultural events and performances is home to a whole animal species demonstrates the extraordinary accomplishment of César Manrique’s work. The cherished fine balance between nature and the human being.
The small blind crabs, their sightlessness and their white color are the result of evolutionary adaptation to the natural low light conditions of the cave.
In order not to affect the lives of this endangered species, it is strictly forbidden to throw coins into the water. The metal composition of coins has been found to disrupt the biology of these little creatures.
Best time to visit Jameos del Agua
Thanks to the benign canarian weather and its year-long mild temperatures, you can visit the Jameos del Agua any time of the year. Take advantage of the many days of sunshine Lanzarote enjoys, visit the cave and delight in the light and shadow spectacle of its interior.
On the other hand if you are looking to explore the mystery and romanticism of its beauty at night, at Lanzarote Experience Tours we can offer you a Guided visit to the Jameos del Agua that will suit you just fine. This evening out at the Jameos del Agua includes an optional dinner at the Jameos restaurant and a concert in its famous venue.
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