Cascada de Penaladros

Valle de Mena / Castilla y Leon Region, Burgos, Spain

About Cascada de Penaladros


Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2015-06-13
Date last visited: 2015-06-13

Waterfall Latitude: 43.05931
Waterfall Longitude: -3.14907

Waterfaller Newsletter

Get over the hump of the mid-week blues! Subscribe and get exclusive curated content delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

The Cascada de Penaladros (or more accurately, Cascada de Peñaladros) was where the rushing Río San Miguel dropped some 15m into a lush ravine.

Unlike most of the waterfalls on our visit to Spain in 2015, this falls had a very healthy flow.

Penaladros_022_06132015 - Cascada de Peñaladros backed by impressive cliffs
Cascada de Peñaladros backed by impressive cliffs

As you can see in the photo above, the waterfall was surrounded by vegetation so I suspect this was one of the healthier drainages in the area.

In addition, what really stood out to us about this waterfall was the backdrop consisting of the mesa-like cliffs that we’d typically expect to find in the deserts of the American Southwest.

In any case, for all intents and purposes, Cascada de Penaladros was essentially a drive-to waterfall for us.

There didn’t seem to be safe access to get down to the river’s level and perhaps see the falls from its base.

Thus, I’d consider this to be one of those look-but-don’t-touch waterfalls.

Finding the Cascada de Peñaladros

Penaladros_030_06132015 - Looking back at the single-lane road leading to the Cascada de Peñaladros. In hindsight, that trail that appears to go left could very well be the scrambling path leading to the bottom of this waterfall!
Looking back at the single-lane road leading to the Cascada de Peñaladros. In hindsight, that trail that appears to go left could very well be the scrambling path leading to the bottom of this waterfall!

Even though Cascada de Penaladros was pretty much a drive-to waterfall, it turned out that the greater challenge was actually spotting it while driving a very narrow one-lane road with hardly any pullouts.

We actually overshot the falls before I turned back and only noticed it on the return.

Plus, I was nervous about the lack of pullouts on the single-lane road so if any car was going the opposite direction as us and we would encounter each other, I’m not sure what we would do.

Luckily, we didn’t face this situation, but I’m sure that potential would always be there for anyone wishing to visit the falls (see directions below for more details on this).

In fact, it seemed like this was one of the more obscure waterfalls we had visited throughout Spain.

Penaladros_017_06132015 - Looking down at the Cascada de Peñaladros while exploring along the single-lane road we took to get here
Looking down at the Cascada de Peñaladros while exploring along the single-lane road we took to get here

So this lack of notoriety further increased the chances of getting to experience the Cascada de Penaladros by ourselves.

Overcoming Waterfall Fatigue for the Cascada de Peñaladros

Finally, as it was getting late on the day of our visit, we nearly called it a day and skipped this waterfall.

After all, we were suffering from waterfall fatigue after having already visited Cascada de Orbaneja del Castillo, Cascada La Mea, and Cascada de Pedrosa de Tobalina all while we were making the long drive from Burgos to Bilbao.

However, when we noticed a sign pointing the way to this waterfall, that was when I made the executive decision to just go for it.

There was also a roadside waterfall that we had stopped for somewhere near the turnoff for the Cascada de Penaladros.

I believe this waterfall was called the Cascada de San Miguel, which was said to have a 200m height.

Penaladros_004_06132015 - Inadvertently spotting the Cascada de San Miguel as we were pursuing the Cascada de Peñaladros
Inadvertently spotting the Cascada de San Miguel as we were pursuing the Cascada de Peñaladros

So that further strengthened our resolve to overcome the waterfall fatigue.

Besides, we were aware of the driving distances and how much time it really took to get from place to place in the mountains.

As a result, we had to seize the moment and not take for granted that we’d have to drive long distances to go back this way.

Authorities

The Cascada de Penaladros Waterfall resides near the village of Cozuela in the province of Burgos, Spain. It doesn’t seem to be officially administered by a government entity. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you may get leads from this website.

Penaladros_003_06132015 - This was the interesting cliff-diving waterfall seen from the road not far from the turnoff leading to Cascada de Peñaladros. We learned later that this waterfall was called the Cascada de San Miguel
Penaladros_023_06132015 - Direct view of Cascada de Peñaladros from a little further down the single-lane road from the spot where we ultimately pulled out
Penaladros_037_06132015 - Given how scary the single-track road was to even get to Cascada de Peñaladros, it got me wondering if we were better off parking at this spot before walking to the waterfall, or parking somewhere more public near the town of Cozuela

join-booking-970x240-1.jpg


We visited the Cascada de Penaladros as part of a longer drive from Burgos to Bilbao, but the excursion prior to this was at Pedrosa de Tobalina.

So we’ll describe our drive from Pedrosa de Tobalina to Cascada de Peñaladros then from the falls to Bilbao.

If you’re headed in the opposite direction than what’s described here, you can always follow the directions in reverse.

However, if you need directions on getting to Pedrosa de Tobalina from Burgos, see the Cascada de Pedrosa de Tobalina page.

Driving from Pedrosa de Tobalina to Cascada de Peñaladros

From Pedrosa de Tobalina, we drove nearly 27km north on the Bu-550 road.

Penaladros_009_06132015 - The roadside pullout that allowed us to get a better look at the Cascada de San Miguel, which was the unexpected roadside waterfall that we encountered near the turnoff for the Cascada de Peñaladros
The roadside pullout that allowed us to get a better look at the Cascada de San Miguel, which was the unexpected roadside waterfall that we encountered near the turnoff for the Cascada de Peñaladros

After leaving a tunnel at right around the 27km point, look out for an unsigned roadside pullout overlooking a valley while also facing an attractive cliff-diving waterfall (which Cascada de San Miguel; not Cascada de Peñaladros).

This was a very worthwhile stop that let us better appreciate the area harboring Cascada de Peñaladros.

Anyhow, just under 2km further from the pullout, there was a signposted road pointing to the right for “Cascada de Peñaladros”.

We followed this rural road (A-3630) for about 6km passing through the hamlet of Cozuela en route.

At the last 400m, there was a signpost that pointed us to the Cabanas de Peñaladros.

Penaladros_005_06132015 - Looking across the valley from the pullout where we checked out the Cascada de San Miguel
Looking across the valley from the pullout where we checked out the Cascada de San Miguel

I wasn’t sure if we were allowed to park here, but further on the road past this property was a single-lane narrow road that practically had zero opportunities to pull over and let someone pass if he/she was headed in the opposite direction.

Really, the only spot on this road where there was room was right at the pullout near the waterfall itself.

We were lucky that we didn’t have to figure out what to do if such a situation arose since we were the only ones visiting the falls during our visit.

Since the pullout was not signed, it was easy to miss on the first go (but easier to spot going in the other direction).

We realized that we went too far when we found ourselves going uphill to the hamlet of La Abadía, then we turned around and eventually spotted the falls and identified the correct pullout.

Penaladros_029_06132015 - The roadside pullout where we parked the car so we could at least check out the Cascada de Peñaladros
The roadside pullout where we parked the car so we could at least check out the Cascada de Peñaladros

Overall, the drive from Pedrosa de Tobalina to the Cascada de Peñaladros took us around 45 minutes.

Driving from Cascada de Peñaladros to Bilbao

After visiting the Cascada de Peñaladros, we drove back to the Bu-550 (turning right), then continued on this road towards Artziniega, where we joined the A-624 due east then got off onto the A-2604 at the eastern end of town.

We followed the A-2604 for about 11km when it joined up with the Bi-636 road just past Zubiete.

Then, we followed the Bi-636 road into the city of Bilbao some 13km or so later.

Overall, it took us about a little over an hour to cover this part of the drive.

Finally, for some geographical context, Bilbao was 101km (over an hour drive) west of San Sebastián, 159km (over 1.5 hours drive) northeast of Burgos, 336km (over 3 hours drive) east of León, and 402km (4 hours drive) north of Madrid.

Checking out the front of the falls and the picturesque mesa-like mountain in the background


Looking down at the waterfall precariously from near its brink


Left to right sweep of a pretty valley with a cliff-diving waterfall (we don't know its name) seen right off the road before an incoming storm somewhere near the turnoff for Cascada de Penaladros

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: valle de mena, castilla y leon, burgos, spain, waterfall, rio san miguel, table mountains, buttes



Visitor Comments:

No users have replied to the content on this page


Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Cascada de Peñaladros (Spain) January 16, 2020 6:58 pm by Jose Luis Sanchez Esteban - Picture 1: A closer look of this waterfall. Picture 2: A scenic view of this waterfall behind the springtime vegetation. ...Read More

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls
Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.