Lanzarote excursion to the Cactus Garden, el Mirador del Rio (the Viewpoint of the River), The Cesar Manrique Foundation, and Los Jameos del Agua o La Cueva de los verdes (Green cave)
On our Cesar Manrique excursion, discover the important works of this great Canary artist, who was probably the most important of the 20th century. On this tour, we will visit much of the work that Cesar Manrique left us on his native island, but we will also get to know some stand-out places in Lanzarote where his creativity did not intervene.
We will begin our route by travelling through the wine region of la Geria. We will discover in these lands how the vines grow semi-wet over small volcanic rocks, and how they are protected with walls formed by larger rocks. In short, it is another sample of the ancestral knowledge of the islanders, capable of adapting to the environment with ingenuity.
Our first stop allows us to get to know the Monumento al Campesino (Monument to the Peasant), the first great work of Cesar Manrique that we will see during the excursion. This monument, located in the geographic centre of the island, is an homage to the island’s peasants. Within it, a dog, a camel and a peasant are represented in abstract forms.
The next stop that we will make in Guatiza is to visit the spectacular Cactus Garden, another of the works created by the great protagonist of our excursion. Cesar Manrique recovered an old quarry in order to create this giant garden, which houses about 1400 species of cactus from the Canary Islands and around the world.
Next we will head toward the area of Jameos, where you can choose between two visits: Jameos del Agua or Cueva de los Verdes. Both sites are truly fascinating and require a quiet visit, so you will have to decide which to visit.
In the case of Los Jameos del Agua, we offer the chance to enter this volcanic tunnel, which arose about four million years ago after the eruption of the neighbouring Corona Volcano.
It is an incredible place that is located below sea level and has an interior lake full of filtered water from the Atlantic Ocean.
But this natural marvel multiplies its attraction for being the space where Cesar Manrique’s entire creative capacity erupted, providing it with a pool, gardens, an auditorium and a museum. All of these interventions reflect the link between art and nature that fascinated the artist and, undoubtedly, will fascinate you as well.
Our visit to Los Jameos del Agua will impress you with its beautiful and powerful corners. You can’t leave without also seeing some of its less-known treasures, such as the Tunnel of Atlantis, and without seeing the small albino crabs that inhabit the lake, which are known as “jameitos.”
The Cueva de los Verdes option is equally interesting, and just like Los Jameos, it arose from the eruption of the Volcán de la Corona. We will take a tour of about a kilometre inside the Cueva de los Verdes, which in reality is a volcanic tube full of galleries that harbour secrets that can only be revealed during the excursion.
This tour through the cave is very interesting. However, we do not recommend visiting it if you suffer from claustrophobia or mobility problems, since although it is a safe route, it is wild and very rugged.
We will continue the excursion by visiting the Mirador del Río (River Lookout), the best place to contemplate the Chinijo archipelago, which includes the islands of La Graciosa, Alegranza, Montaña Clara, Roque del Este and Roque del Oeste. It is a lookout that Manrique constructed in the year 1974 and is about 475 metres high, blending in completely with its surroundings. The views and its very construction are amazing, so it is not strange that it is often included on top ten lists for the best lookouts in the world.
The views and its very construction are amazing, so it is not strange that it is often included on top ten lists for the best lookouts in the world.
After pausing to eat, which you will be able to purchase directly from the guide during the excursion, we will stop at the Mirador de los Helechos (Fern Lookout). From this lookout, we will enjoy some of the beautiful views of the Valley of the 1000 Palms and the northern localities of Arrieta, Punta Mujeres and Haria.
The final stop of the day will be at the Cesar Manrique Foundation, the home of the great artist until shortly before his death in 1992. Today, his home has been transformed into a museum in order to get to know the legacy of this unique artist, who above all was passionate about his native land.
We hope that upon finishing the excursion, you will return to your hotel with the feeling of having spent one of the best days of your holiday in Lanzarote, full of memories of unforgettable places on the island and by its favourite son, the great César Manrique.