Cave of El Castillo
Cave of El Castillo
4.5
About
The Cave of El Castillo contains a very well preserved cave art ensemble and an archaeological deposit with a stratigraphic sequence dating back from the Lower Paleolithic Era (about 150,000 years ago) to the Bronze Age (about 6,000 years ago).
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles724 reviews
Excellent
548
Very good
145
Average
23
Poor
5
Terrible
3

pfefmeister
San Francisco, CA4,225 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
As others have pointed out, poor ticketing system. You drive to the top only to find out you have to go back and buy tickets at the bottom, except they’re closed for siesta until 14:30, so you wait for them to open, and then the next tour is 16:00, so now you’ve wasted 3 hours to get in. Still, absolutely worth it! Don’t give up, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see real cave art, not some replica crap like Altirma. Great one hour guided tour, loved it. No photos allowed, but that’s ok. Go now before it closes to the public.
Written 10 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

R0pey
Leeds, UK9 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
Stupid ticketing system. Signs all point to the caves but when you get there they say you have to get your ticket at the Rock Art Centre first, and that's in the town! By the time we got down again it was siesta so we missed our opportunity altogether.
Improve the system or signage folks!
Written 26 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

redhead_roaming
Seattle, WA2,867 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2022
We went here during our kid's nap time, while grandparents watched them. It was a nice grown-up escape! We drove there and parked in Cuevas del Monte Castillo- Aparcamiento. There are around 50 parking spots. There's a gate across the road so you can't go any further so it's on foot from there.

We ended up doing this cave second, after Las Monedas, but this cave is right at the entrance, near where you'd get your tickets so it's easy to get to. You take a series of steps down into the area, before the actual cave tour even starts. Of the two caves, El Castillo & Las Monedas, the other one was our favorite but we still thought this one was fantastic. I think this one is meant to be the jewel of the area with all the hand-blown prints. Unlike when we saw Las Monedas, where it was just the two of us on the tour, there were at least 6, maybe 8-9, of us on this tour. The guide asked what languages we all spoke. I think we all either spoke English as our first language or could all understand it so that's what the lady spoke the entire time, but she was willing to speak a couple different languages for different people to understand.
Written 21 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Greg W
Birmingham, UK32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
Brilliant experience being in a cave surrounded by paintings from 30,000 years ago. They only do tours in Spanish of which we only speak a bit so were struggling a little bit to keep up with the guide, but he kindly did a quick review of the key points in English as we walked from location to location. Incredible experience.

Don't forget to collect your tickets from the museum at the bottom of the hill in the village. We missed the sign and had to go back.

If in a big enough group they might do a purely English tour.
Written 18 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Louise
Chesterfield, UK60 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Couples
The caves were wonderful.
The guide said he would do some if it in English for us.
He didn't.
He made no effort for the English speaking ones in the group who made up half the group for them to understand.
At points he was exceptionally rude, trying to hurry up a gentleman who was having difficulty with the steps.
He even snapped his fingers to make us turn the torch off on our phones when it came to him turning his torch on to see the drawings on the caves.
He had no time at all for anyone in the group except a certain few.
We came out with no knowledge at all of what we had been looking at.
he spent time laughing and chatting with some in Spanish when he could have been giving the English speaking some of the points of the tour.
Completely ruined the experience.
Written 30 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David B
El Barco de Avila, Spain660 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
Situated above the town of Puente Viesgo the Castillo cave is one of two you can visit on this site. Visit is by the excellent guided tour led by an informed and enthusiastic guide. You should book in advance on line as places are limited and as it is cold (and damp) in the cave you should wear warm clothing. Access is via a small visitor centre and excavations continue in the area where prehistoric man lived at the cave entrance. You then descend stairs into the dimly lit cave where you will see cave paintings of hands, deer and bison dating back to the earliest days of homo sapiens. The guide illuminates paintings with a lamp as well as showing how stalactites and stalagmites have been carved to produce suggestive shadows. You are also shown more abstract blocks of colour and dots as you descend to the lowest part of the cave. Proceed with cars as floors are slippery. The visit lasts between 45 and 60 minutes and you need to be on site 15 minutes before the tour starts. There is a small car park, toilets and vending facilities at the visitor centre. La Cueva de las Monedas which you can also visit is a 600 metre walk from the entrance to the Castillo cave.
Written 22 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frivolous Diversion
Ventura, CA12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
Best cave and parietal art you can see firsthand in Northern Spain, but don't just take my word for it (read all that you can before you go). Juan was our guide who did a great job answering questions in an exceptionally courteous and candid way which separated hypotheses from (substantiated) theories.
He was extremely informative, to say the very least, but his professionalism, English and interpersonal skills were particularly impressive. We don't have children, but if you do, definitely wait for Juan (he's amazing with kids).
Written 20 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

stephrab
New York City, NY891 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2022 • Couples
I have traveled the world. This experience rates in the top of the top! Up with seeing solar eclipse, with glaciers breaking apart, climbing Mt. Sinai! It is almost impossible to get access any longer anywhere in the world to cave art work this old. The range and depth and breath that is here is just mind boggling. And the caves themselves are wonders themselves. YOU SHOULD MAKE RESERVATIONS! Make sure you see both sets of caves are the experiences are very different. We did one cave (hour long visit) before lunch. Then went into the little town for lunch. Then came back and did the other cave. It was a full day but did not in any way feel rushed. Plan to spend late morning, lunch and early afternoon if you can. If you get a very early booking you can do both caves at the same time but really recommend that you give yourself and your brain a rest between visits.
Written 18 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ColinBurcombe
Colchester, United Kingdom17 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
Visits to these caves are arranged in small groups. Despite the guides speaking mostly in Spanish, they were also really accommodating and asked which languages and also interjected with some English. In any case, these caves are amazing to just look at. Drawings on the walls and spectacular rick formations.
Written 15 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JimFinPortland
Seattle, WA163 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
These caves are not to be missed. Great time.

Others have covered how wonderful they are, so I'm going to spend my space documenting how to get to the caves if you don't have a car and aren't on a package tour. We took the bus from the Santander bus station to Puente Viesgo. It's pretty easy to take the bus; it's not so easy to find the schedules. I don't remember the exact cost but it was less than 4 euro each way. We bought tickets for both directions at the bus station but I think you can buy on the bus as well.

Once dropped off at the main intersection of Puente Viesgo (junction of the highway and the street with the bridge), you have to hike up the hill. It is steep but not particularly long. I first used the HereWeGo mapping program on my phone because it's a great offline mapping program. It said to go a couple of blocks up the highway and turn right. Then I checked Google Maps and it said to take the street that the highway sign was pointing cars to take. I figured that Google must have been correct and we couldn't go wrong so we walked up the street. There are no sidewalks and no road shoulders. Fortunately being November, we only encountered two cars on the entire walk up.

When we were touring the caves, I asked if that was the proper way to get down and was informed that the proper route for walkers is a path. We went down the path (signed at the parking lot) and discovered that this was the way the HereWeGo map was telling us to go! So the "proper" way up from the bus stop corner is to walk south (uphill with river to the left) on the right side of the highway for two streets and you'll come to a little display case on a wall that sort of points you up to the right. Take that road (it's just a little road that serves a few people's homes) up the hill. You'll see more obvious signs pointing you up the hill once you start up. The last turn (left) from the "street" to just a pedestrian path is a little hard to see if you're not looking but it happens just before the road goes into someone's goat pasture. There is a sign, but it's facing the opposite direction. This last part of the path is quite steep with large sections of stairs. You arrive at the caves' parking lot.

Other than a few signs, you'd never know this is the way up to the caves. But it's better than walking on the road with no shoulders. The return bus comes by across the street (river side) from where you got dropped off. Our return bus was right on time at 1630 but it was a much smaller bus. It took a different route back (bypassing Torrelavega) with more stops but a shorter distance.

You do need to be in uphill hiking shape but DON'T MISS THE CAVES because you don't have transportation. It's easier than I've made it sound though it might not seem like it until you're there.

Good luck!
Written 30 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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