Visiting Cueva del Gato: a Day Trip from Ronda

There is so much to explore in the region around Ronda in Andalusia, Spain. If you are looking for a perfect relaxing day trip, you’ll probably want to spend your day at Cueva del Gato, the cat’s cave. This limestone cave is part of a large cave system where you can go caving, climbing and abseiling. A beautiful emerald blue freshwater pool is located at the opening of the cave. It’s the perfect spot to cool off on a hot summer’s day.

Cueva del Gato

Cueva del Gato is a naturally formed limestone cavern and a freshwater pool, located in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. The natural pool in front of the cave is open to the public with free admission. It's the perfect spot for a day of swimming and relaxing. 

If you want to go inside the cave, hiring a guide is recommeded. Entering the cave by yourself is discouraged. The cave belongs to the Hundidero-Gato system. It is a large cave complex, and experience and the right caving equipment is a must here. There are guided tours available in the area if you want to explore the cave.

Sign at the entrance of Cueva del Gato

Getting there

In contrast to a lot of other natural pools, this natural pool is easily accessible. It's only a short walk from the parking place to reach the pool and the cave.

Cueva del Gato is located near Benaoján. It is a 20 minutes/14 kilometers drive from Ronda. Click here for directions. If you go by car, there is parking available at the top of the hill. From here, it’s a short walk down the hill to the cave and the natural pool. The walking route from the parking lot is pretty self-explanatory.

What to see and do

There is a lot to see and do when you’re visiting the Cueva del Gato. You can easily spend a couple of hours to half a day here.

First, you can explore the entrance of the cave and the top of the waterfall. The path to the entrance is located on the right side of the pool. It’s only a short climb to the cave entrance, but you will have to climb up a few rocks. Entering the cave itself is prohibited without a guide. However, from up here, you have a nice view of the cave and of the waterfall. And, of course, a perfect top view of the natural pool.

Secondly, the scenery is perfect for photography. There are stepping stones to cross the pool. This is the perfect spot to take Instagram-worthy photos of the emerald blue lake and the cave in the background. Absorb and capture the beautiful scenery.

The waterfall from the top

Lastly, you can go for a swim in the pool. And, of course, go for a swim under the waterfall. The water itself is crystal clear, very clean but also exceptionally cold! But this is of course not too bad during the hot Andalusian summer days.

What to bring

Although the cave is a popular spot among locals and tourists, there are little to no facilities around to buy food and drinks. So it’s probably a good idea to bring your own. It is also good to know that there are no public restrooms in the area, so plan accordingly.

Also, bring a towel and bathing suit. The grass around the pool is perfect for a picnic and you might even want to take a refreshing dip in the pool.

Are you planning to visit Cueva del Gato? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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