Caverna de las Brujas

Las Brujas Cave - Cave of the Witches

Useful Information

Location: 71 km south of Malargüe, Mendoza Province, Southern Andean Range. From Malargüe follow Route N° 40 south. 8 km north of the RN40 in the town of Bardas Blancas.
(-35.800719, -69.820506)
Open: By appointment.
See online booking system.
Fee: Adults ARD 3300, Children (7-12) free, Residents of Malargüe ARD 1650, Disabled free, Seniors free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave. Jurassic limestone. SpeleologyHypogene Caves
Light: none, helmets and lamps provided.
Dimension: L=6,000 m, VR=50 m, A=1,840 m asl.
Guided tours: Short Tour: D=30 min, MinAge=4, Max=10.
Long Tour: D=90 min, L=400 m, MinAge=7, Max=10.
Long Tour: V=12,000/a [2000] V=10,000/a [2019]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: P. Forti, C. Benedetto, G. Costa (1993): Las Brujas Cave (Malargue, Argentina): An example of the oil pools control on the speleogenesis, Theoretical & Applied Karstology (TAK), vol. 6/1993, pp. 87-94.
Norberto A. Pedemonte (1996): Primeros aportes para el conocimiento del clima de la Caverna de las Brujas, (First Contributions to the Knowledge of Las Brujas Cave Climate). Salamanca 9, GEA, Diciembre 1996, Buenos Aires. p. 5-42. Español - Spanish
C. Sancho, J. L. Pena, R. Mikkan, C. Osacar, Y. Quinif (2004): Morphological and speleothemic development in Brujas Cave (Southern Andean Range, Argentine): palaeoenvironmental significance, Geomorphology, v. 57, iss. 3-4, p. 367-384. Elsevier 02/2004.
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.


1990 Reserva Provincial Caverna de las Brujas declared a reservation after Provincial Law Nº5544.
1992 Italian-Argentinan expedition with Dr. Paolo Forti from the University of Bologna, Italy.


Caverna de las Brujas is located in a relatively large area of Jurassic limestone near Malargüe, with many karst features and several caves. The whole area, called Bardas Blancas, is protected as a nature reserve, the Caverna de las Brujas Natural Reservation, and Caverna de las Brujas is the only tourist cave in the area. It is a sort of semi-wild cave, as it is closed with scheduled guided tours, but not developed to an extend which is common in first world countries. The cave has no electric light and no paved paths, the tourist section is a horizontal passage with a continuous ascent, requires sturdy boots but has no special difficulties. Nevertheless, Caverna de las Brujas is the most famous cave of Argentina and the only one at least partially prepared for tourism in the country.

From the entrance, a huge portal which is gated with an iron bar gate, two parallel passages of about 2 m height and width lead to a huge chamber called Sala de la Virgen (Chamber of the Virgin). The name of the largest chamber of the tour, with a diameter of about 50 m, refers to Virgin Mary, because of a stalagmite formation right at the entrance which is called Estalactita de la Virgen. It resembles a pieta. At the far end of this chamber are both the descent to the lower level and the ascent to the upper level. The tourist section is in the middle level of the cave.

From here the path follows a passage to the north, which the far end at the Sala de las Flores after about 350 m. This place is 50 m higher than the entrance, almost circular with a diameter of about 20 m. The main passages always run north-south, with two east-west intersections called Sala de los Derrumbes and Sala de los Encuentros. The first is 20 m long and 10 m wide, the second 30 m long and 20 m wide, both have several water filled pools.

The most impressive geologic features of the cave are the oil pools, which control the speleogenesis. Starting with the upwelling of fluids which are full of hydrogen sulphide from an oil pool, the cave development was heavily influenced by processes other than classical karstic. This kind of speleogenesis of limestone areas was proposed before for the region of the Guadalupe Mountains in New Mexico, USA.

The cave tours are actually show cave tours, although the cave is not very well developed and there is no light system. The tours are not very difficult but require surefootedness and minimal physical fitness. But the caves can only be visited on guided tours with a guide from the tourist guide service enabled by DRNR. The guide is "hired" upon entering the Natural Protected Area, which actually is a metaphor for additional costs, the guide must be paid in addition to the entrance fee. Visitors must arrive 30 minutes before the tour. Children must be at least 4 years old, but children between 4 and 6 years old may only enter the Sala de la Virgen. The minimum age for the rest of the tour is 7 years. The cave is open all year, but because of the high altitude and the rather poor roads, there might be restrictions during winter or bad weather.

The tours start at the Centro de Interpretación (Visitor Center) with an introduction, safety education, and the fitting of safety helmets. Then the cave is entered through the boca de acceso (access mouth) into the Antesala de la Caverna (anteroom of the cavern). They will explain the formation of the cavern, tell local legends and then enter the chamber to show the geo-shapes of the endo-karstic environment. This is the Sala de la Virgen (Chamber of the Virgin), and the short tour will turn around here.

The Long Tour continues further into the cave to the Estalagmita Gigante (Giant Stalagmite). It is actually not possible to change the tour inside the cave if you decide to do the long tour instead of the short one, that's not possible.

Wear long trousers, trekking shoes and a light coat. Bring snacks, water, sunglasses, a hat or cap and sunscreen. Take your waste home, there are no garbage bins. Pets are not allowed in the reserve.