Cueva del Tigré

Cave of the Tiger

Useful Information

Location: 40 km southeast of Malargüe.
(-35.76333, -69.31722)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=253 m, VR=8 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Fernando Castro, Mauricio Castro, Carlos Benedetto (2015): Cueva del Tigre, un descenso al interior de los basaltos de la Payunia, Fotos comentadas de la exploración IN.A.E.-FAdE del 24 de octubre de 2015. Argentina de Espeleología Federación, KIP Data Sets and Technical Reports. 60. pdf pdf
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1970s surveyed by the C.A.E.
1996 surveyed by the IN.A.E..


The Cueva del Tigré (Tiger Cave) is a wild cave, which is used for cave trekking tours due to its proximity to the road and easy walking sized passage. Located under a flat prairie landscape, it is entered through a collapse of the ceiling. A wooden ladder leads down into the passage.

This cave is not open officially, so strictly speaking the cave trekking tours are illegal. The operators do not have a permission of the proprietor, there is no study of the environmental impact, and of course they never contacted the speleologists. Unfortunately this also resulted in the littering of the cave and reports of badly equipped groups of students which visited the cave without helmet. As a result the owners planned to develop it as a show cave, for the security of the cave and the visitors, and obviously also for the income.

The cave has been examined by Central University of Venezuela and the University of Bologna (Italy) for its mineralogic contents. Some kinds of quarz crystals were Anspruch nehmen Biologists from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) examined the cave too, but could not find special troglodytes. As a result, the cave is not important or fragile enough to prevent it from being transformed into a show cave.

The name of the cave is derived from a legend about the Tigre del Quequén (Tiger of the Quequén). He was a wild gaucho matrero named Felipe Pascual Pacheco of the 19th century, who took refuge from the police in this cave. In 1875, he was captured by the commissioner Luis Aldaz known as Gorra Colorada (Red Cap). There are other caves in Argentina with the same name for the same reason. However, according to a popular book about his life he was actually living in 850 km to the east in Province Buenos Aires, and he was most likely never here. There are three municipalities there, each claiming that their cave is the true tiger cave, but this one is just wishful thinking.