Benaoján, Parque Natural de Grazalema.
2 km (30min) walk from Benaoján. Do not cross the railroad, there is an underpass along the river. Shorter: start at Eco Hotel Cueva del Gato.
no restrictions, but entry prohibited without official permission.
|Classification:||Karst cave Karst Spring|
|Dimension:||L=7,800 m, VR=200 m.|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
Gestora de Turismo Rural Cueva del Gato, S.L., Barriada de la Estación, s/n. 29370 Benaoján, Málaga, Tel: +34-952-167216, Fax: +34-952-167337.
Ayuntamiento de Ronda (Ronda Town Council), Tel: +34-952-871171.
Eco Hotel Cueva del Gato, Calle Benaoján, 29370 Benaojan, Ronda, Málaga, Tel: +34-744-61-18-32. E-mail:
|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.
|25-JUN-1985||declared a Historical Monument.|
|30-DEC-2011||declared a Monumento Natural by decree.|
The huge entrance of this cave, known for centuries, resembles the face of a cat, and is the reason for the name Cueva del Gato which means cave of the cat. It is a river cave of the subterranean river Gaduares, also known as Campobuche, which leaves the cave through the entrance portal. Not far from the resurgence, the river joins the river Guadiaro. El Gato is a pleasant walk to an impressive limestone cave entrance.
As the cave was accessible and easy to find, it was used by prehistoric man as a shelter. Axes, idols, red glazed pottery, and utensils of polished bone were found in the cave entrance. In historic times the cave was the hideout of outlaws.
Although this cave is not gated, it is not allowed to visit the cave without official permission. And there is a very good reason for this interdict: this river cave is rather dangerous in case of heavy rains. During the torrential rains typical of this area, the cave is flooded and the water reaches the ceiling in several places in the passage. So cave exploration is quite dangerous and not recommended without very experienced guides. The unpredictable floods of the cave river have claimed many lives over the years. However, there are no tours from this entrance, the cave is a through cave and tours start at the upper entrance, the Cueva del Hundidero (Sinkhole Cave), also an enormous portal, about 3 km to the north. The actual name of the cave is sistema Hundidero-Gato.
For first-hand information and instructions, how to find the cave, visit the Gestora de Turismo Rural Cueva del Gato (Cueva del Gato Rural Tourism Manager) behind the station at Benaoján, where Señor Jacinto Arcas will answer your questions. In any case, it's allowed to visit the resurgence and have a look inside the entrance.