Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo

Cuenca / Tragacete / Castilla La Mancha Region, Cuenca, Spain

About Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo


Hiking Distance: 800m round trip
Suggested Time: 15-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2015-06-04
Date last visited: 2015-06-04

Waterfall Latitude: 40.42806
Waterfall Longitude: -1.89154

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The Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo (or Río Cuervo with the accent) popularly referred to the waterfall or cascada that would typically flow over a series of bush-clad travertine walls and alcoves.

Such a display would result in the kind of lacy and rivuleted curtain of water that would reveal a waterfall with “character” that Julie would like to say.

Rio_Cuervo_050_06042015 - Cascada de Nacimiento del Río Cuervo
Cascada de Nacimiento del Río Cuervo

Unfortunately as you can see from the photo above, the only thing left about this waterfall were a few slivers of waterflow while the rest of it was pretty much exposed porous rock.

That was a shame because this waterfall had all the potential of being one of Spain’s best.

However, it was clear from our visit that the reliability of its flow pretty much came down to how far removed we were from the last substantial rains (and how much water that had accumulated during that time).

Birth = Cave or Waterfall?

Technically, the nacimiento (or birth in Spanish) of the Cuervo River was actually another 40 minutes walk further upstream from what you see pictured above.

Rio_Cuervo_062_06042015 - Calm waters during our visit to the Nacimiento del Río Cuervo
Calm waters during our visit to the Nacimiento del Río Cuervo

In other words, this waterfall should’ve been called the Cascada del Río Cuervo while the spring and cave further up the path should have been called the river’s birth.

In any case, we’ve stuck by the popular notion of mixing this falls with the actual cave mouth that the river started to flow out of.

After all, I don’t think most people care about such technicalities.

In any case, the karst characteristic of the underlying porous limestone was what gave rise to the travertine formations (like what we had seen at the falls) as well as caves, such as that which resulted in the birth of the river.

Rio_Cuervo_024_06042015 - Looking in the distance towards interesting cliff formations, which contrasted with the travertine or karst formations around the Nacimiento del Río Cuervo
Looking in the distance towards interesting cliff formations, which contrasted with the travertine or karst formations around the Nacimiento del Río Cuervo

Typically, we tend to think of karst scenery in places such as Southeast Asia (e.g Southern China and Thailand).

Since the falls didn’t have very good flow, we didn’t bother lingering around longer than we needed to.

Thus, we didn’t hike the extra 40 minutes in each direction to get up to the cave’s mouth at the birth of the Cuervo River.

Maybe if we’re fortunate to return next time, we might have more time and will to do it under better conditions.

Hiking to Cascada del Río Cuervo

Rio_Cuervo_014_06042015 - Tahia hiking uphill to the lookout for the Cascada de Nacimiento del Río Cuervo. This was NOT the wheelchair-accessible path.
Tahia hiking uphill to the lookout for the Cascada de Nacimiento del Río Cuervo. This was NOT the wheelchair-accessible path.

This was actually one of the easier waterfalls that we managed to visit in Spain.

There was a well-defined boardwalk and trail from the well-signed and spacious car park (see directions below).

It led a mere five minutes walk beneath thin but tall trees to the lookout of the Cascada del Río Cuervo.

In addition to the well-shaded, well-defined and gentle grade of the boardwalks and steps, there was an even easier detour trail for strollers, wheelchairs, and toddlers.

Rio_Cuervo_049_06042015 - Julie and Tahia checking out the Nacimiento del Río Cuervo waterfall from the lookout area
Julie and Tahia checking out the Nacimiento del Río Cuervo waterfall from the lookout area

Indeed, it was clear that this was one of the more family-friendly waterfalling excursions that we’ve experienced in the country.

Authorities

The Nacimiento del Río Cuervo resides near the town of Tragacete near the town and province of Cuenca, Spain. It may be administered by the Monumento Natural Nacimiento del Río Cuervo. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you may want to visit this website.

Rio_Cuervo_003_06042015 - We noticed lots of these cotton-like things all over the car park at the Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo
Rio_Cuervo_010_06042015 - The well-defined boardwalk passed beneath these tall trees on the short walk to the mirador of the Río Cuervo waterfall
Rio_Cuervo_028_06042015 - Looking over the clear, calm, and colorful pools below the base of the Nacimiento del Río Cuervo waterfall
Rio_Cuervo_036_06042015 - Taking a closer look at the part of the Nacimiento del Río Cuervo that still had water
Rio_Cuervo_039_06042015 - Looking at the context of the Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo with the waterfall in low flow
Rio_Cuervo_055_06042015 - Julie approaching the mirador of the waterfall of Río Cuervo
Rio_Cuervo_077_06042015 - Closer look at the clear pools just downstream of the Cascada de Nacimiento del Río Cuervo

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To get to Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo from Madrid, we navigated the maze of city streets to get to the nearest on-ramp for an autovía due east.

The best autovía to take was the A-3 (Autovía del Este), which headed in a southeasterly direction before continuing east (towards Valencia).

After about 82km, we then junctioned off the A-3 for the A-40 (Autovía Castilla la Mancha), which continued to the east towards Cuenca.

We would follow the A-40 for the next 79km before heading north on the Cm-2105 road, which would twist its way into the Serranía de Cuenca mountains.

Rio_Cuervo_004_06042015 - The spacious car park for the Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo
The spacious car park for the Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo

After about 58km the Cm-2105 road became the Cm-2106 (keeping left to continue going north), then after about another 7km, we’d pass through the town of Tragacete.

About 12km beyond the town of Tragacete, we then turned right at the signposted spur for the car park for the Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo (the turnoff was opposite some cafe on the left side of the Cm-2106).

After another minute or so on the turnoff, we then arrived at the large car park there.

Overall, this drive took us just under three hours.

It took roughly an hour to drive between Cuenca and the Nacimiento del Rio Cuervo.

For some additional context, Cuenca was 140km (under 2 hours drive) east of Madrid, 226km (over 2 hours drive) east of Toledo, and 199km (over 2 hours drive) west of Valencia.

Examining the falls in low flow with clear pools below it

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Tagged with: cuenca, tragacete, castilla la mancha, spain, waterfall, valencia, madrid, rio cuervo, travertine, serrania



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Cascada del nacimiento del Río Cuervo (Spain) January 13, 2020 5:21 am by Jose Luis Sanchez Esteban - This is a better look of this waterfall that deserves a more positive rating. ...Read More

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