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Located on the north-eastern coast of Lanzarote the Jameos del Agua is one of the island's most visited attractions.
Just like the nearby Cueva de los Verdes, Los Jameos del Agua was created by the eruption of Mount Corona and four other volcanoes, La Quemada de Maguez, Los Helechos, La Cerca and La Quemada de Orzola. The five volcanoes came to life some 20,000 years prior to the Timanfaya eruption of the 1730’s along a perfectly aligned south-east to the north rift in the ground.
Los Jameos del Agua looks for all intents and purposes like a very large modern day sinkhole, the difference being, that rather than the ground below giving way, Jameos del Agua was created by a build-up of gas blowing the top off of a lava tunnel leaving it exposed to the sky.
Jameos del Agua is one of two holes in what is known as the "Tunnel of Atlantis" a 1,500-metre lava tunnel that stretches from Mount Corona to the sea. The other smaller hole is called Jameo Chico and is connected to Jameos del Agua by a un-collapsed section of the volcanic tunnel.
On his return to Lanzarote in the summer of 1966 following two years in New York, artist and architect César Manrique was determined to make his home island one of the most beautiful places on earth.
The first challenge given to him was to transform Jameos del Agua grotto into a stylish nightclub and music auditorium. He accomplished the feat with flying colours by adding human additions harmoniously into the natural volcanic setting, while extolling usefulness and beauty to the grotto.
Not just an underground lake
Today a huge crab-like sculpture welcomes visitors to the Jameos del Agua where they can not only admire Manrique’s tasteful touches, but marvel at the illuminated stalactites, stalagmites that adorn the passageways between the two jameo’s.
The Jameos del Agua is as the name suggests the home to a natural lake that is fed by Atlantic seawater through cracks in the porous lava rock where it is reputed that the only person allowed to swim in the lake is the King of Spain.
The underground lake also houses a species of small albino crabs that are endemic to Lanzarote and found nowhere else on earth.
So enthralled by the beauty and elegance of the Jameos, Hollywood actress Rita Heyworth declared it be named the eighth wonder of the world when visiting Lanzarote in 1974.
Besides daytime tours, Jameos del Agua, twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesday's guests can enjoy a three-course meal under the stars while being entertained by a cello concert.
Jameos del Agua is located on the main LZ-1 highway to Órzola.
Jameos del Agua open daily from 10am until 6.30pm (reduced hours in winter);
Restaurant: on Tuesday and Wednesday from 7.30pm until 11.30pm.
The bar is open during the day from 10am until 6.30pm and open evenings Tuesday and Wednesday from 7pm until 2am.
During the winter months, it is recommended that you bring a jacket as the humidity in the cave causes a feeling of cold. Ladies should also wear sensible shoes as the cave floor is uneven in places.