Europe

160 million years old cave visit

In Ortigosa de Cameros, water and calcareous rocks from the Jurassic, formed over time a natural treasure in the interior of the Encinero massif, a mountain at an altitude of 1,073 metres where the caves of La Paz and La Viña are located. The discovery was made in 1962, when material was being collected in a boiler for the reservoir.

Stalactites, stalacmites, flags, etc., sometimes with whimsical shapes and with a special chromatics created through to the dissolving power of water against the limestone, due to the mixture of other minerals such as iron or clay that causes the reddish and yellowish ones.

The geologist and guide Manuel Noval shows an almost magical world where the first defined figure was the little dog “Marilyn”. There are two grottos, we go through La Paz, the biggest one with 200 metres long and two mouths. There is another one called “La Viña” of 100 meters, they are connected but only accessible for the speleologists. There are stalactites of more than 100.000 years old and the footprint of earthquakes.

We can even see the root of an oak tree searching for water in the subsoil and extending metres and metres between cavities. The caves of Ortigosa keep a rich set of stalactites of diverse and unique tonalities and it is necessary to take into account that one centimetre of stalactite means the passage of time of 30 years.

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