Cueva del Agua in Orbaneja del Castillo


Useful Information

Location: Orbaneja del Castillo.
(42.83393136135049, -3.7943697484255967)
Open: All year Sat, Sun, Hol 11:30-15, 16-19:30.
[2021]
Fee: Adults EUR 1.50.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=20,000 m, A=736 m asl
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Cueva del Agua in Orbaneja del Castillo, 09145 Orbaneja del Castillo, 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1964 first exploration by Alcoy CE, survey.
1978 dive by the Alcoy CE in both siphons.
1983 group STD from Madrid explores the final siphon and discovers end of siphon after 120 m.
2014 cave divers from GORFOLÍ, CDG, GESEM and CEFME connect the cave with the Barbancho-Socueto System.
2015 connected with the Cueva del Níspero.

Description

The Cueva del Agua (Water Cave) is located in the small village Orbaneja del Castillo. As this name is quite common, there are numerous Cueva del Agua, we added the name of the town just to distinguish them. And as the name says, this is a river cave, which is the resurgence of a cave river. The cave is located at the foot of a cliff above the village and the river then flows through the Medieval buildings, some of which once were mills. Probably the whole town once started with a mill. The cave river also forms a cascade and rimstone pools, before it flows into the Ebro river.

The cave has a huge portal, which is quite exceptional, as it has an elliptical shape. Normally portals look more like arches, with a flat floor, vertical walls and a vault. This cave passage is rather young and was formed as an elliptical tube, while it was still filled with water. This was not very long ago - in geologic terms - and the cave river has had no time to wash out the floor. The river Ebro must have cut into the rock quite fast, and after cutting through this cave it continued and the water now flows through rather narrow passages below. The spring is now about five meters below, at least during times of low water production. In winter, when the production rises due to frequent rains, the narrow cracks are not big enough and the overflow reactivates the cave. As a result the cave may be flooded and not accessible during the winter months, weather depending.

The village Orbaneja del Castillo is a small tourist village with only 40 inhabitants and half a dozen cafes and restaurants. One of the sights of the village is the spectacular cave and so they developed it for public inspection. They installed electric light and charge a ridiculously small fee, which is actually just for the electricity. There are no paved trails, which would be destroyed by the next flood anyway, you just walk on the cave floor. The cave is open only on weekends, which we think means that the light works only on weekends. We gues you must bring your own lamps at other times but can go in for free. Wear sturdy shoes, the cave may be wet, have puddles or even a small brook running inside.