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El Soplao Cave

A unique cavity

Considered as one of the great treasures of world geology, El Soplao cave is located amongst extremely beautiful natural surroundings between the municipalities of Valdáliga, Herrerias and Rionansa, at the altitude of 540 metres in a former mine.

Apart from the beauty of the cavity itself, the visitor can enjoy incomparable surroundings and delight in the views to Peña Sagra, Picos de Europa, Nansa Valley and the Cantabrian sea; San Vicente de la Barquera, Comillas and Oyambre.

A reference for world speleology

El Soplao Cave was discovered at the end of the 19th century due to the Florida mine works. Its uniqueness, however, was unknown until 1975, the year in which the mine was closed and speleological exploration began.

This was when its crystallographic content was assessed as being the most spectacular known in the world.

The cave is unique and unrepeatable. It is a reference for world speleology and has already been christened as the “Sistine Chapel” of the subterranean world by virtue of its grandeur, layout and conservation.

Huge aesthetic value

In addition to its high environmental value, its huge aesthetic value must also be considered, proof of which can be seen in a vast diversity of helictite formations surpasses the abundance, beauty and splendour of this one.

Along with the helictite formations, the entire cavity also harbours stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones in an array of colours. The most outstanding are the pisolites, known as “cave pearls” whose name has its origins in their similarity to oyster pearls.

Eccentric Beauty

The “eccentrics” or “helictites” are exceedingly unique formations and, in the case of the El Soplao cave, truly exceptional due to their great beauty, abundance and spectacularity.

Unlike other types of formations, such as stalactites or stalagmites, the helicitites do not have an axis, therefore their shapes are unpredictable.

Speleology activities

El Soplao offers speleology activities through excursions which the guides adapt to the characteristics and aptitudes of each group. The minimum is approximately two and a half hours and up to 6 km can be covered through impressive natural galleries.

Four groups of 10 – 15 participants are organised daily, from Wednesday to Sunday.


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