Quebrada del Toro

Useful Information

Location: Carr la Colgada, s/n, 02611 Albacete.
(38.938703, -2.833529)
Open: All year daily.
Fee: Adults EUR 10, Children EUR 7.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=400 m, D=40 m, W=3 m.
Guided tours: self guided, also guided walks
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Cueva de Montesinos Turismo Activo, C-30 s/n, 02611 Ossa de Montiel, Albacete, Tel: +34-684-02-93-44. E-mail:
Ctra. Lagunas-Ruidera, 1, 13249 Ruidera (Ciudad Real), Tel: +34-630-047000. 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.



Quebrada del Toro (El Toro Gorge) is a gorge located on the northern shore of the Laguna San Pedra in the dolomitized limestone cliffs. The gorge is about 400 m long and 40 m deep, typically 3 m wide, and there are numerous caves in the gorge. A wooden trail with railings was built through the gorge. The trail also offers numerous viewpoints from where the lagoons of Lagunas de Ruidera can be seen.

The Lagunas de Ruidera are a series of lakes which are quite exceptional in this semi-arid part of Spain. They are popular bathing locations and also important wetlands protected as a RAMSAR site and by the Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park. The plants and wildlife at the lakes as well as in the gorge are quite exceptional. The surrounding rock is Jurassic limestone which is karstified, the water in the lakes is very limestone rich. The water flows over waterfalls into the next lake, in at least two cases it flows underground through a cave. The waterfalls have tufa deposits, although they are not massive enough to be called sinter terraces or tufa terraces. However, the most widespread theory says that the valley is a former river cave which collapsed until finally tho remains of the former roof can be seen.

Ruidera and her daughters and nieces alone are missing, and these, because of the tears they shed, Merlin, out of the compassion he seems to have felt for them, changed into so many lakes, which to this day in the world of the living, and in the province of La Mancha, are called the Lakes of Ruidera. The seven daughters belong to the kings of Spain and the two nieces to the knights of a very holy order called the Order of St. John. Guadiana your squire, likewise bewailing your fate, was changed into a river of his own name, but when he came to the surface and beheld the sun of another heaven, so great was his grief at finding he was leaving you, that he plunged into the bowels of the earth; however, as he cannot help following his natural course, he from time to time comes forth and shows himself to the sun and the world. The lakes aforesaid send him their waters, and with these, and others that come to him, he makes a grand and imposing entrance into Portugal...
Miguel de Cervantes (1615): Don Quixote Part II, Chapter XXIII.

The part with the underground flow of the Guadiana is a classic theory introduced by Pliny the Elder, that the river originated from the Lagunas de Ruidera and divided into two branches: the Upper Guadiana (Spanish: Guadiana Viejo) and the Guadiana, while separated by a subterranean course. The misguided belief that the Guadiana river appeared and disappeared over time because of its subterranean tributary, persisted until the 19th century.

The gorge tours are operated by the Cueva de Montesinos Turismo Activo, a sort of outdoor operator which offers various activities, including kayaking and guided walks. The guided walking tours into the gorge are one of their tours. As far as we understand it is also possible to do the tour self-guided.