The town of Haría in Lanzarote - The chasms of Jameos del Agua
|The chasms of Jameos del Agua is a geological site located on the northeast coast of the island of Lanzarote, in the territory of the municipality of Haría. In the years 1960 - 1970 this site was developed in Centre for Art, Culture and Tourism under the supervision of the artist César Manrique; it is one of the main attractions of the island.|
|Chasms of Jameos del Agua are located 6 km southeast of the volcano Monte Corona (609 m) which is very fluid lava to cause these chasms; 850 m upstream of Jameos del Agua is the Cueva de los Verdes created by the same lava flow.|
The Jameos del Agua are located on the southern edge of the Malpaís de la Corona, a Maleterre formed by volcanic scoria of Monte Corona.
|The chasms of Jameos del Agua|
|The Jameos del Agua are a set of three volcanic chasms located on a casing formed by volcanic lava very fluid glass from the volcano Monte Corona during its eruptions, there are between 4500 and 3000 years. This hose has its origin in the volcano’s crater, 6 km from the coast, and continues 1.5 km to a depth of 50 m under the sea, by what is called the “Tunnel of Atlantis” (Túnel de la Atlántida). This volcanic gut is one of the longest in the world, with nearly 8 km long.|
The top layer of the lava has solidified, while the washing continued to flow into the lower part. The depletion of the lava flow left a vacuum hose filled with volcanic gases; over the years the vault of the hose collapsed in different places, opening chasms similar karst sinkholes in limestone. The Jameos del Agua, like the Cueva de los Verdes, are sites where volcanic hose appears in the open, but other “jameos” exist upstream of the casting, such as Jameo de Puerta Falsa - where were hiding inhabitants of Lanzarote during the attacks of Barbary pirates - the Jameo Cumplido, largest, and Jameo de la Gente. The term jameo is an aboriginal term majo meaning “hole” or “mouth” of the land.
The Jameos del Agua are three in number: the Jameo Chico (Little Chasm), the downstream, the Jameo Grande (Big Pit) and Jameo Redondo (Round Pit); it is the jameos closest to the coast, at a place where the volcanic hose lies below the level of the sea. Between Jameo Chico and Jameo Grande seawater has infiltrated and formed a underground saltwater lake in the hose segment between the two gulfs. It is this phenomenon that gave their name to the Jameos del Agua (Water Abyss). This underground lake, lit at both ends by natural light plunging into the two gulfs - as well as a hole in the roof of the tube - this spectacular natural landscape.
|The Center for Art, Culture and Tourism Jameos del Agua|
|In the 1960s the artist César Manrique had the idea to develop the site chasms of Jameos del Agua by installing the edge of the underground lake, a restaurant and bar with a dance floor and subtropical vegetation. This realization was to be the first of a series of public art in which the artist would combine harmoniously in a natural artistic creations; it is also considered by many people as his greatest achievement.|
However, the complexity of the project, combined with repeated stays of Manrique in New York during the early years of the establishment of the center, led him to delegate some of the work of the first phase of development of the volcanic tube one of his collaborators: the artist Jesús Soto, architect of the beautiful lighting and the layout of the Cueva de los Verdes.
César Manrique also designed the emblem of the Jameos del Agua as a crustacean representing the small blind lobster that lives in the lake; we can see a huge wrought iron sculpture on the center’s parking lot.
In the early 1960s cleaning work and planning had to be done because the pits had become dumps following a long period of abandonment of the natural site. The first part of the site to be converted was the Jameo Chico, which is still the entry point of the visit Jameos del Agua; the first phase was opened to the public in 1966.
One of the first visitors was the Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth who lives in the Jameos del Agua the "eighth wonder of the world." Less emphatic, César Manrique saw its creation as “the most beautiful nightclub in the world”.
It was not until 1977, after more than a decade of work, so that the general structure of the Jameos del Agua is finally over. Only at that time that the center and the auditorium were officially opened and the work was deemed complete.
Nevertheless, new facilities will be conducted later to meet specific functions like space of the museum of the " Casa de los Volcanes ". Since 1987 this center carries great scientific and didactic work on volcanology.
Since 1998, the abysses of Jameos del Agua are classified as Cultural Interest in the category of Historical Gardens.
|The Small Chasm (Jameo Chico)|
|The Jameo Chico is the gulf located further downstream on the volcanic hose that flows from the volcano Corona. By this jameo that is the entry of visitors: a steep staircase descends into the abyss to a cafeteria decorated subtropical plants; we notice, suspended above the tables, a lobster trap for suspension where grow some ferns.|
A second staircase descends zigzagging toward the inside of volcanic gut where there are few tables grouped around a black marble dance floor: the nightclub which is behind the project of Jameos del Agua.
|The underground lake|
|Since Jameo Chico one enters the volcanic hose which joins the Jameo Grande by a narrow path paved which was built along the lava wall. This volcanic tunnel has the dimensions of a cathedral with 62 m long, 19 m wide and 21 m high.|
At the bottom of the hose extends underground lake, fed by sea water from the ocean by infiltration; the lake level rises and falls with the tides of the ocean and can be seen on the walls of the trace left by high tide.
Towards the middle of the hose a natural orifice in the roof illuminates the lake waters; it is mid-day, when the weather is sunny and the sun is at its zenith, this lighting makes the better to admire the clarity and transparency of the lake water.
|Small blind and albino lobsters|
|In the salt waters of the underground lake live more than a dozen of endemic aquatic species, the most famous is a blind crustacean, albino and luminescent, the Munidopsis polymorpha that people hundreds rocky bottoms of lake.|
The Munidopsis polymorpha lived originally in the deep waters of the ocean, several thousand meters deep. Due to the darkness of the cave crustacean has lost its pigmentation and sight; it is whitish in color and of a size not exceeding 15 mm, with a tail folded under the thorax, like a tiny lobster more than a crab. This species is only found in more than jameos.
The Munidopsis polymorpha is a highly endangered species; it only lives in the depths of Lanzarote and in particular in the Jameos del Agua. César Manrique had nicknamed “jameitos”. Health jameito is particularly threatened by the presence of metal oxides in the waters where it lives: lakeside signs prohibit throw coins into the water, because their corrosion could cause the death of these unique creatures.
The Munidopsis polymorpha is the symbol of the Jameos del Agua and the natural symbol of the island of Lanzarote, just like a plant, balsamiferous spurge (Euphorbia balsamifera).
|The Large Chasm (Jameo Grande)|
|After crossing the gut by a cliff path along the wall, it opens into the Jameo Grande where there is a restaurant with a bar fitted against the wall volcanic and another dance floor made of multicolored stone mosaic. Restaurant room extends to the lower level of Jameo Grande decorated with lush vegetation. In the evening the Jameo Grande transforms into a night in the open box.|
|Going up a wooden staircase one reaches the upper level of jameo which was laid out an exuberant and exotic garden where flowers surprising vegetation of ferns, palms, cacti, croton and fig trees.|
|In the upper Jameo Grande was built a basin with rounded shapes that hug the vertical walls of the abyss; turquoise water and the walls - a sparkling white enamelled - the pelvis contrast beautifully with the dark and rough basalt lava flow. In rock gardens that border the basin is located a euphorbia plants and palm trees, one of which artistically inclined above the basin to reflect it.|
Swimming is prohibited and they say, jokingly, that only the King of Spain has the right to swim in the pool at Jameos del Agua.
It has been to blame César Manrique side “postcard” of the lagoon of the southern seas, but there is no denying that the show is impressive.
|The auditorium (Auditorio de los Jameos del Agua)|
|At the rear of the artificial pond - an extension of the volcanic hose - an underground auditorium has been installed; this auditorium of nearly 600 seats was opened in 1977.|
In this room with exceptional acoustics, are organized popular Canary music concerts, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights at 19 pm. Other musical events are held regularly (information at tourist offices).
You enter the auditorium by a small staircase behind the artificial lagoon.
|The Volcano House (Casa de los Volcanes)|
|Since Jameo Grande a zigzagging staircase can be traced back to the surface where there is a small interactive museum dedicated to volcanology, but also fauna and flora of Lanzarote.|
|Address: Carretera de Órzola.|
Hours: daily, 10 am to 18: 30 pm (Saturday to 0 h 30).
Individual visitors prefer to visit the pits in the afternoon to avoid the crowds organized visits by bus. The best time is probably when the sun is at its zenith and illuminates the crystal clear underground lake through the opening of the vault. It may be a good idea to visit the Jameos del Agua twice, once during the day and once at night (Saturday).
Admission: € 9; half price for children 7 to 12 years. Packages “Bono 3, 4, 6 Centros” may be used.
Phone: 00 34 928 848 020
Site on the Web: www.centrosturisticos.com
Access for the disabled is not possible due to the large number of stairs.
Before leaving the abysses of Jameos del Agua, do not miss a visit to the toilet, the toilet signed César Manrique.
|Cafeteria Jameo Chico is open from 10 am to 18: 30 pm.|
The restaurant / night club Jameo Grande is open for lunch from 11 am to 16: 30 pm, and for dinner from 19 am to 23 pm (Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday nights). Reservations recommended and dress code (no shorts).
In the evening, the atmosphere of the restaurant into the abyss - in the sky lit by the stars - is magical.