Cascada de Cueva del Gato

Ronda / Andalusia Region / Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, Malaga, Spain

About Cascada de Cueva del Gato


Hiking Distance: 1.4km round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2015-05-24
Date last visited: 2015-05-24

Waterfall Latitude: 36.72723
Waterfall Longitude: -5.23794

The Cascada de Cueva del Gato was an interesting waterfall that originated from a stream spilling out of the mouth of the Cueva del Gato (Cat Cave).

I thought of this as our waterfalling excuse to check out this intriguing cave, but it turned out that we were only able to self-tour up to the mouth of the cave.

Cueva_del_Gato_037_05242015 - Cascada de Cueva del Gato and the Cueva del Gato behind it
Cascada de Cueva del Gato and the Cueva del Gato behind it

Beyond that, we needed to book an organized tour, where they’d equip us with hard hats and lights to spelunk even deeper into the dark confines of the cave itself.

Interestingly enough, when viewed from afar, Julie and Tahia thought the multiple openings of the cave were such that it resembled a face with two eyes and a large mouth.

On the other hand, I had read that the large opening of the mouth of the cave resembled that of a cat’s face so the cave might have taken its name from this notion.

I understand that this waterfall would typically be a very popular swimming hole, especially given how hot it can get in the south of Spain.

Cueva_del_Gato_080_05242015 - View of the Cueva del Gato from the mirador near the car park. Can you see the pair of eyes and the mouth of the cave thereby resembling a face?
View of the Cueva del Gato from the mirador near the car park. Can you see the pair of eyes and the mouth of the cave thereby resembling a face?

That said, since it was raining on and off during our visit in late May 2015, we were one of a handful of people that showed up until after lunch when a huge group of kids showed up.

Fortunately for us, we had our fill of the Cascada de Cueva del Gato before they showed up so we managed to experience the place in relative peace.

Experiencing the Cascada de Cueva del Gato

We started our excursion from a roadside car park (see directions below).

From the car park as well as a short distance below, there was a grassy mirador (lookout) where we were able to get a contextual look at the cave opening (where Julie and Tahia thought it looked like a face).

Cueva_del_Gato_008_05242015 - Descending a ramp as we headed towards the mouth of the Cueva del Gato
Descending a ramp as we headed towards the mouth of the Cueva del Gato

Then, we walked along a paved ramp leading down to some cafe before we followed a foot trail.

This trail then traversed a series of wooden bridges crossing over the Río Guadiaro before continuing on a footpath that went beneath a railroad.

Beyond the railroad, the trail then went towards the fringes of the really clear plunge pool of the Cascada de Cueva del Gato.

That was where we were able to get the view you see pictured at the top of this page.

Cueva_del_Gato_014_05242015 - Crossing the Río Guadiaro en route to the Cascada de Cueva del Gato
Crossing the Río Guadiaro en route to the Cascada de Cueva del Gato

Beyond the view of the falls, the trail continued past a small cave-like alcove before ascending steps towards a ledge that looked out towards the plunge pool below while clinging to the cliff itself.

There was some mild dropoff exposure here, and we had to be real careful about the wet surface (given the rain), which made the ledge potentially very slippery and dangerous.

A few paces closer to the cave opening, we then encountered a little catwalk that ended right above the stream and stopped short of going inside the opening of the Cueva del Gato.

Signs were put up here to show what you could do inside the cave with a guided tour.

Cueva_del_Gato_042_05242015 - Looking upstream along the Río Guadares into the mouth of the Cueva del Gato from the end of the public part of the walk
Looking upstream along the Río Guadares into the mouth of the Cueva del Gato from the end of the public part of the walk

However, since we didn’t book such a tour (and we still had to get to Sevilla that day), this was our turnaround point.

Overall, we spent a little less than hour to take in the whole place.

The walk itself probably took no more than 15 minutes in each direction.

And it was probably as a result of this ease of accessibility as well as close proximity to Ronda that this was said to be one of the more popular waterfalls in Andalucian Spain.

Authorities

The Cascada de Cueva del Gato resides near the Andalucian town of Benaoján, which was also near Ronda in the Malaga Province of Spain. It may be administered as part of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit the Andalusian Tourism Board website.

Cueva_del_Gato_003_05242015 - Looking towards the cave opening of Cueva del Gato somewhat resembling a face from near the car park
Cueva_del_Gato_007_05242015 - Context of the roadside car park for the Cueva del Gato. That road is the MA-7401
Cueva_del_Gato_009_05242015 - The paved road was slippery due to the rain, but as long as I kept my momentum going forward, I wasn't going to slip and fall. Here, the road curved and started paralleling the railroad tracks
Cueva_del_Gato_070_05242015 - Looking back at the beat up footbridge traversing the Río Guadiaro
Cueva_del_Gato_015_05242015 - The trail then went beneath the railroad while following the stream (which I believe is the Guadares River) coming from the Cueva del Gato
Cueva_del_Gato_017_05242015 - Broad view of the Cascada de Cueva del Gato and the plunge pool and smaller cascade in front of it
Cueva_del_Gato_026_05242015 - Another look at the Cascada de Cueva del Gato backed by the mouth of the Cueva del Gato
Cueva_del_Gato_060_05242015 - The trail leading up to the Cueva del Gato's mouth passed by this cave-like alcove
Cueva_del_Gato_059_05242015 - Looking down over the clear pool downstream of the Cascada de Cueva del Gato from the ledge of the trail leading to the cave's mouth
Cueva_del_Gato_057_05242015 - The narrow ledge trail leading to the mouth of the Cueva del Gato
Cueva_del_Gato_050_05242015 - This was about as close to the mouth of the Cueva del Gato as we were going to get
Cueva_del_Gato_044_05242015 - Looking downstream from the catwalk above the stream towards the brink of the Cascada de Cueva del Gato
Cueva_del_Gato_073_05242015 - Looking back down at the ramping road leading to the Cueva del Gato as we were returning to the car park
Cueva_del_Gato_081_05242015 - Last look at the Cueva del Gato from the mirador just beneath the car park
Cueva_del_Gato_083_05242015 - When we returned to the car park for Cueva del Gato, there were considerably more cars than what we had started with

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to drive to the Cascada de Cueva del Gato from the city of Ronda, we drove north towards the entrance to the A-374 autovía.

Once on the A-374, we then drove for a few kilometers until we got off at the MA-7401 road (Calle de Benaoján) and followed it for about 6km to a signed car park for the Cueva del Gato on our right.

Cueva_del_Gato_001_05242015 - The car park for the Cascada de Cueva del Gato
The car park for the Cascada de Cueva del Gato

This drive took us 25 minutes from the Old Town of Ronda, where we had to cross over the New Bridge and navigate the streets of the New Town before getting onto the A-374.

According to our GPS records, our route involved going north on Calle Nuevo then Calle Doctor Fleming before turning right onto Avenida Victoria then left onto Calle de Sevilla, which eventually hooked us up onto the on-ramp for A-374.

For directions on getting to Ronda, see the “Cascada de Ronda” page.

Finally, for some context, Ronda was 128km (about 2 hours drive) southeast of Sevilla (or Seville), 101km (about 90 minutes drive) west of Málaga, 180km (over 2 hours drive) west of Granada, 164km (about 2.5 hours drive or about 2 hours by trains) south of Córdoba, and 551km (over 5.5 hours drive) south of Madrid.

Examining the waterfall and cave opening before walking up even closer to the cave opening at the top of the falls


View from the mirador near the car park showing the cave openings (almost looking like a face)

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Tagged with: ronda, andalusia, malaga, spain, waterfall, andalucia, cave, cats, sierra de grazalema, natural park



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