Cascada de Orbaneja del Castillo

Pozas de la Turquesa - Cascada de Merindades

Useful Information

Location: Orbaneja del Castillo
(42.8345230522435, -3.7925753844575003)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstSinter Terraces
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Cascada de Orbaneja del Castillo, BU-643, 09145 Escalada, Burgos, Spanien
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Cascada de Orbaneja del Castillo or simply Cascada de Orbaneja is named after the town Orbaneja del Castillo, where it is located. The town was built into a spectacular "horseshoe bend" or incised meander of the river Ebro. It is surrounded by geologic and speleologic highlights and definitely worth a visit. The river Ebro makes an elongated loop to the north, the town was built on the outside shore of the western part of the loop. Above the town is a cliff face with a karst resurgence called Cueva del Agua, from which the water emerges. It flows through the village and drives mills, then it falls down a series of cascades and then it flows into the river Ebro.

The specialty, why we listed this site, is not the cascade part, its what the second name of the site expresses: Pozas de la Turquesa (Turquoise Pools). Between the cascades the river forms pools, which are due to the high limestone content blue or turquoise. The limestone precipitates and forms dams, which cause the cascades. In the wet winters the cascade is quite spectacular, and the pools are not really turquoise, but during the summer the amount of water is much smaller. What the cascade lacks in spectacularity, the pools gain in beauty. This are typical rimstone pools which form frequently at karst springs with limestone rich water. Definitely not only an interesting geotope but also a great place to spend some time, probably with some ice cream or a cup of coffee.

The pools are located between the town and the river Ebro. There are two parking lots at the road BU-643, Parking Cascada and Parking Orbaneja del castillo, from both its only 5 minutes walk to the cascades. From here you also have a great view on the central mountain of the meander, on the other side of river Ebro. The limestone cliffs are quite exceptional and another of the great geotopes of the town. The are called Risco Los Camellos, and as they look like a ruined castle, they are the reason why the town was called Orbaneja del Castillo (village of the castle).