Cueva del Puerto

Cueva de el Puerto


Useful Information

Location: Calasparra.
RM-714 west towards Venta del Olivo for about 8km. At Venta Reales Restaurant, km 28, turnoff B-19 Cieza, turn left, 4 km. Turning left is tricky, you have to take the turnoff to B-19, then cross the RM-714. Signposted.
(38.294627, -1.633172)
Open: JUL to SEP daily 9:30, 11, 12:30, 14.
OCT to JUN Sat, Sun 10, 11:30, 13, 16, 17:30.
[2021]
Fee: Adults EUR 9, Children (4-12) EUR 6, Children (0-3) free, Seniors (65+) EUR 6, Disabled EUR 6.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 7, School Pupils EUR 6.
Cave Trekking: Adults EUR 50.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SpeleologyHypogene Caves
Light: LightLED Lighting
Dimension: L=4,500 m, VR=114 m.
Guided tours: L=400m, VR=30m, D=75 min.
Cave Trekking: D=3.5h, MinAge=16.
Photography:  
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Andrés Ros, José Luis Llamusí, Tomás Rodríguez Estrella, Manuel Tremiño, José María Calaforra, Fernando Gázquez, Angel Fernandez, Andrés Hurtado, Marísa Aldeguer, Lola Guirao (2021):
CUEVA DEL PUERTO. Una cueva hipogénica.,
Natursport, pp 142, ISBN: 9788496396944, € 20. Español - Spanish natursport
Andres Ros, Jose Llamusi, Juan Sánchez, José Calaforra, Fernando Gázquez (2018):
Morfologías hipogénicas y procesos hidrotermales en la cueva del Puerto, (Hypogenic morphologies and hydrothermal processes in Cueva del Puerto),
Proyecto Cuevashypogenicas Demurcia (Project: Hypogenic caves of Murcia-Spain), CENM. Español - Spanish researchgate
F Gázquez, JM Calaforra, A Ros et al (2016):
Hypogenic morphologies and speleothems in caves of the Murcia Region, south-eastern Spain.
In: Proceeding of the 3rd international DeepKarst conference, Carlsbad. pdf
Fernando Gázquez, José María Calaforra, Tomás Rodríguez-Estrella, Andrés Ros, José L. Llamusí, Juan Sánchez (2017):
Evidence for Regional Hypogene Speleogenesis in Murcia (SE Spain).
Hypogene Karst Regions and Caves of the World, Springer, USA.
Grupo Espeleologica G.E.C.A. (1970): La Caverna del Puerto, En Calasparra, I Congreso nacional de Espeleología, Barcelona. pdf
Address: Cueva del Puerto, Calasparra, Murcia, Tel: +34-968-745162, Fax: +34-968-745162. E-mail: contact
Oficina de Turismo de Calasparra (Calasparra Tourist Information Office), Tel: +34-968-745-325.
Qalat Naturaleza y Aventura, C / Cultura 36, 30420 Calasparra, Murcia, Tel: +34-968-723-000. 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


Description

The Cueva del Puerto or Cueva de el Puerto (Cave of the Door) is famous for various speleothems. One chamber is called Sala Gaudí because the stalagmites resemble the buildings of the famous spanish architect. Highlights are great numbers of helictites. What is not really appreciated by visitors or guides is the hypogenic origin of the cave, which is currently being studied as part of a research project. Hypogenic means, that the water which actually formed the cave was not rain water from above, but thermal water from below. The result is a variety of unusual solution forms on the walls and ceiling of the cave. And while the guide tells the names of formations use the time to enjoy the aesthetic value of those forms.

The numerous hypogenic morphologies in Cueva del Puerto make it a reference for the study of hydrothermal networks. However, the majority of caves in Murcia was formed by these processes. The landscape in the Region of Murcia lacks typical karst features which are known from many other karst regions. There are no sinks, dolines, poljes or karst lakes. Nevertheless, major cave systems can be found through small entrances in unexpected places.

The hydrothermal origin of the cave is linked to the Calasparra syncline aquifer. The Calasparra syncline occupies an area of 330 km² and is about 500 m deep. The aquifer fills the sedimentary rocks of the syncline and is today drained by the Rio Segura. The limestones reach the surface in the northern and southern hills along the valley, which runs east to west. The basic idea is, that limestone was filled with the water and the caves dissolved by the thermal water from below. Then the ongoing uplift together with the erosion in the valley lowered the water level and the caves became dry.

The cave is located at the end of a paved road, which was obviously built to access the cave. It is located in the top of a hill, the entrance is on one side of the hill, the exit on the other side. The 400 m walk back across the hill offers a great view on the Rio Segura valley.

The cave offers cave trekking tours which descend to the Gran Diaclasa chamber, which is the deepest point of the cave. The tours are organized by Qalat Naturaleza y Aventura. Participants must be 16 and physically fit. They are equipped with a full caving gear by the operator. Bring clothes to change and a towel.

The Sierra del Puerto is located at the foot of the Betic Mountain Range. It is made up of limestones and dolomites from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Maastrichtian). A basal dolomitic complex and an upper limestone formation are karstified. The Betic mountain range was uplifted during the Alpine orogeny, and also the Sierra del Puerto. This was the beginning of the karstification.