Cueva de Castañar

Castañar de Ibor Cave - Castañar Cave - Castanar Cave

Useful Information

Location: Near Castañar de Ibor, on the road to Arroyo de los Lagares.
(39.635000, -5.420920)
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave GeoparkVilluercas Ibores Jara, Geoparque Mundial de la UNESCO
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Cueva de Castañar, Ctra. del Camping, sn, 10340 Castañar de Ibor, Cáceres, Tel: +34-927-55-46-35.
Ayuntamiento de Castañar de Ibor, Tel: +34-927-554002, Fax: +34-927-554300.
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.


1997 declared a Natural Monument by regional decree.
SEP-1999 recognised by the Law of Nature and Natural Area Conservation in the Extremadura, becomes part of the Extremadura Natural Protected Areas Network.


Cueva de Castañar (Castañar de Ibor Cave) has extraordinary speleothems, the stalactites are covered by helictites. This rather extraordinary cave is now protected as part of the Extremadura Natural Protected Areas Network. The cave was developed as a show cave, and a modern exhibition centre was built close to the cave entrance, in a pleasant olive grove. The centre serves both as information center with museum, and as ticket office for the cave visitors. The exhibition explains the formation of karst caves and the typical natural features of the Extremadura. Close to the centre is a camping site with excellent facilities.

The cave has a labyrinth-like structure, a series of irregular passages and chambers. It is located inside very old dolostones surrounded by precambrian or cambrian age insoluble rocks, mainly greywacke. The tectonic structure of the area is a series of anticlines and synclines, with karstified dolostones in the anticlines. The tectonic structure runs northwest to southeast, so do the fractures in the rock, and this direction is clearly visible in the orientation of the cave system.

The speleothems of this cave are primarily calcite crystals, in the form of dogtooth spars, frostwork which are fine needles of anthodites forming pure white, treelike structures, and moonmilk, which is a porpous white limestone. Often the moonmilk consists of four different minerals: huntite, magnesite, dolomite, and sepiolite. Moonmilk grows on aragonite needles or forms crusts on the walls covering aragonite crystals.

The cave has developed in dolomite of the so-called Grupo Ibor, which dates from the Ediacaran (540 Ma). The shales and sandstones located above the cave, which form fine layers, collapsed, and so the cave moved upwards through subsidence. The galleries follow the same orientation as the geological structure of the area. The morphology of the rooms follows the “chest-shaped” form of the folds of the Precambrian rocks.