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Cueva del Viento: The Cave of the Wind of the Canary Islands

Updated on November 11, 2016

Sign for the Cueva del Viento visitors centre

The Visitors Centre at Cueva del Viento
The Visitors Centre at Cueva del Viento | Source

The Cave of the Wind is said to be the biggest cave system in the world

Cueva del Viento, meaning Cave of the Wind, is a village situated over what is said by some sources to be the longest and largest volcanic cave system in the world, although the website for it says it's the biggest in Europe. Either way, it is a fantastic place to see and is in some of the most beautiful countryside on the Canary Island of Tenerife.

Cueva del Viento village is a few kilometres above the well known city of Icod de los Vinos and can be reached by bus, but to get to the caves involves quite a long walk through some beautiful forested mountainside.

Cueva del Viento photos

Bard of Ely in Cueva del Viento
Bard of Ely in Cueva del Viento | Source
A party of visitors to the cave
A party of visitors to the cave | Source
Entrance to Cueva del Vientro
Entrance to Cueva del Vientro | Source
Inside Cueva del Viento
Inside Cueva del Viento | Source
Guide and vistors
Guide and vistors | Source
A deep pit
A deep pit | Source
Where some light gets in
Where some light gets in | Source

Where is Cueva del Viento?

Cueva del Viento Visitors' Centre

Fortunately there is a newly opened visitors' centre that runs trips to see inside the cave and a guide accompanies parties of up to 15 people and tells them all about it and shows many of its incredible features.

A taxi to the visitors' centre from Icod de los Vinos costs about 5€, which isn't bad at all, and probably a good way to get there if you don't have transport otherwise.

A minibus takes visitors from the centre to the stretch of forest where the entrance is located. It has a metal safety grid in place to stop accidents and before you reach the main entrance there is another such grid over a very deep shaft that drops vertically down.

The woods around Cueva del Viento are typical Canary Pine forest and many endemic wild flowers can also be seen growing in the area that also provides some breathtaking views downhill towards the sea and uphill to Pico Viejo and Mt Teide, which is the highest mountain in Spain.

Visitors are also provided with special caving helmets with a torch attached to provide light. This is essential because the cave would be in pitch blackness otherwise.

The Cueva del Viento cave system was formed by volcanic lava that erupted and cooled forming tubes and terraces and strange rock formations. There are some 17 kilometres of caves and many smaller cave tunnels leading away from the main one.

The Cueva del Viento caves are on three levels and form an underground labyrinth but visits to the section that is open to the public takes in 180 metres of it only.This is more than enough, however, to show what an amazing underground formation it is.

Cueva del Viento also boasts a large number of unique cave insects, spiders and other creatures adapted to living in extreme conditions underground. However, when I went there I only saw a few flies that had presumably came in the same way as we did and got lost, and some cave spiders on the ceiling above. It was obvious what the spiders ate!

More info on the official website here: http://www.cuevadelviento.net/

Visiting Cueva del Viento in Tenerife

© 2008 Steve Andrews

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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Not being able to do much because of having cats is something I totally understand!

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 

      10 years ago from London UK

      Bard, that's my problem, with regards to traveling and that's having someone who i trust, and the kitty likes to look after while I'm away!

      This cave looks like a very fun! scary and exciting place to visit and f i ever get the chance to visit those waters, i would love to follow in the Bards footsteps and enjoy this place too one day!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Sort of, yes! But I'd still need someone here to look after my cats so it's not that easy!

    • profile image

      pgrundy 

      10 years ago

      Spain would be a totally cool place to visit. You are close! (Sort of.)

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      You'd love it, Chris!

    • CJStone profile image

      CJStone 

      10 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      I want to go there next time I'm in Tenerife!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      I'd have been "phobic"down there if I hadn't had a torch and people with me I think! lol

      The drop where that shaft goes down was very deep and there was a barrier and a warning!

      Yes, I need to make money too so good luck to both of us on that score!

      As for travel I'd like to see the other islands here and that would do me apart from visits to the UK and I'd like to go to mainland Spain! I have been to La Palma for a day and also briefly on Lanzarote at the airport.

    • profile image

      pgrundy 

      10 years ago

      Wow. So cool. I don't know if I could do caving--kind of phobic about that, but the idea of it is very exciting. I looked at the photos of Tenerife at your article about the island. I would love to be able to travel. I wish I could think of a way to make a pile of money so I could see all these places. Thanks for another fascinating hub.

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