Cuevo del Llanos

Cueva del Llano - Cueva de Villaverde


Useful Information

Location: Villaverde, La Oliva.
From the Casa Museo "La Rosita" towards town center, first turn right, 300 m.
(28.653116, -13.902600)
Open: closed.
[2022]
Fee: closed.
[2022]
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=500 m (north branch).
Guided tours: L=400 m.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: C. Castillo, E. Martin-Gonzalez, J.J. Coello (2001): Small vertebrate taphonomy of La Cuevo del Llanos, a volcanic cave on Fuerteventura (Canary islands, Spain), Palaeoecological implications, Palaeo 3, 166, 277-291.
J. C. Rando, L. Sala, P. Oromí (1993): The hypogean community of Cuevo del Llanos (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands), Mémories de Bioespéologie, 20: 189-193.
Address: Cuevo del Llanos, Villaverde, Tel: +34-928-175-928. Cueva del Llano, Centro de Interpretación, Villaverde, E-35640 La Oliva, Tel: +34-928-858-998. 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.

History

1979 Cueva de Villaverde discovered during construction work.
11-FEB-2006 cave opened to the public.
2014 cave closed due to breakdown at the entrance.

Description

The Cuevo del Llano lava tube was closed in 2014 due to falling rocks at the entrance. They placed a sign on top of the open hours sign which said "temporarily closed" in four languages. But instead of cleaning the rock face from loose rocks, hardly the work of a full day, they actually arranged with the situation. They opened the museum and it's possible to see the Jameo and walk down the staircase a few steps, but the cave itself is closed. Then they even installed an iron gate in the cave entrance, but the cave remained closed. And although the museum is free, most visitors obviously see no sense in visiting a cave without a cave. As a result the visitor numbers dropped and the open hours were reduced. The museum seems to be open a few days per week, but only for two hours. And visitors often stand in front of closed doors, when the warden does not show up, although it should be open. We guess you should avoid this site, which is sad as it was the only cave open to the public on Fuerteventura.

The closure of tourist sites for "security reasons" seems to be a pattern. A german journalist from the island made a list of at least five high ranking tourist attractions which were simply closed. The reasons given are vague, and in times of tourist boom and enormous amounts of money earned completely irrational. Only a few sites with a private operator are still open. We have no idea how Corona changes this, but we guess you should avoid this island completely and visit any of the others instead.

In the village Villaverde lies the jameo to a lava tube, which is called Cuevo del Llanos. A jameo is the local term used for an entrance to a lava tube. The ceiling of those caves is rather thin, and so collapses of the roof are quite common. These are natural accesses to the caves, but often they are dangerous pits.

The Cuevo del Llanos is a lava tube which was formed by a lava stream from theMt. Escanfraga. The jameo is an entrance to a passage which runs from north and to south. Mt. Escanfraga is one of chain of craters, which is typical for Fuerteventura. This chain was formed more than 690,000 years ago, which would mean that this cave is of extraordinary age for a lava tube. The tube was dated to be of Pleistocene age. Lava tubes are generally only a few ten thousand years old, as they are destroyed really fast by erosion.

The jameo at Villaverde was developed by the Cabildo of Fuerteventura. The reason was to protect it and to make it a tourist destination. The jameo is now covered by a nice building with more than 400m², which contains an exhibition, cafe, shop and toilets. 400 m of the lava tube towards north are developed with paths and electric light.

The cave is famous for endemic troglobionts, which are portrayed in the little museum at the entrance. Two new endemic kinds of spiders, one only known from this cave, live here. One was named Maiorerus randoi Rambla, which seems to be a new genus, or even family of spiders, not only a new species. The other spider, Spernophorides fuertecavensis Wunderlich is also a true troglobiont, but does not show the same intense adaption to the lightless environment. Interesting are also the vertebrate fossils, and fossil and subfossil gastropods found in the cave.

About 1 km towards Villaverde, at the bus station next to the restaurant El Horno, lies the undeveloped cave Cueva de Villaverde. This lava tube is 190 m long, and was discovered in 1979 during construction work. It is of great archaeological interest, and contained stone and bone tools, hand mills, ceramics, jewelry made of shells, and the remains of fire places. The remains of land and sea animals shows that it was inhabited between 300 and 1400 AD. It was also used to bury people, two skeletons, of an adult man and a child, were found in the cave.