After introducing Cesar Manrique and his work in my last blog post, I will talk about another beautiful place he designed in Lanzarote, Los Jameos del Agua. Rita Heyworth called Los Jameos del Agua, “the eighth wonder of the world”.
About Los Jameos del Agua in Lanzarote
When Montaña La Corona, one of Lanzarote’s many volcanos erupted, it formed a 6km lava flow into the Atlantic. As the lava hardened on the outside, the incandescent river continued to flow below the surface, creating a lava tube. Cueva de Los Verdes and Los Jameos del Agua are part of this cave system that goes deeper into the ocean, known as the Tunnel of Atlantis.
“Jameos” means parts of a cave or lava tube with a collapsed roof. Cesar Manrique, the most famous and original artist native to Lanzarote, designed and set-up the caves into the tourist attraction they are today.
How to get there – moving around in Lanzarote
Los Jameos del Agua is on the North-Eastern coast of Lanzarote. However, Lanzarote is a small island and the drive there will take you 1 hour at most, depending on where you’re coming from. The access is through LZ1 and parking is available close to the entrance.
A Visit to Los Jameos del Agua – Lanzarote
Cesar Manrique used the same concept as he did in his house and studio, now the headquarters of the Cesar Manrique Foundation. He created unique designs, inviting nature into the spaces he created. The black lava was the perfect background to create a contrast with the white and turquoise that became his signature color scheme.
The Crab Logo
He also created symbols for each of the attractions he designed. For Los Jameos del Agua, he used the image of a blind crab that lives in the saltwater of the cave. The statue of a giant crab (that in all fairness looks more like lobster) will welcome you in the parking area. Then, you will notice the same logo in various details throughout the site.
To start your visit to Los Jameos del Agua, you will first descent to “Jameo Chico”, the first cave of the site. This is a small restaurant where you can have lunch or just coffee and a cake in a unique setting.
A few steps down from the restaurant and into the lava tube, you will cross the salt lake. This is the home of the white crabs that became the symbol of the place. You can sit by a very clear lake and spot them in the dark. Just don’t throw anything, particularly coins into the water as they are very sensitive.
Further on, after you cross the lake, you will find yourself in the “Jameo Grande” area. This is a large opening in the lava tube and one of the most striking (and famous) images of Lanzarote. A very inviting swimming pool catches the eye as you step into Jameo Grande. However, you are not allowed to swim in this pool, but you are welcome to stay in this area as long as you want and enjoy the views. The turquoise pool is surrounded by tropical plants and palm trees. I guarantee you will take tons of photos here!
On the other end of the pool, you will find the auditorium. If you are very lucky, you can come on a Friday night and enjoy live music here. This is the only auditorium in the world built inside a lava cave.
Casa de Los Volcanes
Back to the street level, you will get to Casa de Los Volcanes, a museum dedicated to volcanoes, particularly the ones of the Canary Islands.
All in all, Los Jameos del Agua is a unique place that makes this natural formation accessible. It was also the first public project that Cesar Manrique created in Lanzarote and it reflects his vision of art, design, and nature.
You can visit Los Jameos del Agua any day from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It’s best to avoid the noon hours when it gets crowded. Every Friday night, it is also open from 7:00 PM to midnight.
A full ticket costs 10€ but if you plan to visit more CACT (Art, Culture and Tourism Centres) sites on Lanzarote, it’s more convenient to buy one of the combined tickets.
Where to stay in Lanzarote
A very good option to stay by the sea in Lanzarote is Oasis Lanz Beach Mate in Costa Teguise.
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