The Ajuy Caves in Fuerteventura are among the 150 globally recognized geological wonders. So, if you’re planning your Majorera island itinerary, don’t miss out on this natural marvel. These rock formations are the oldest in the Canary Islands, and they are located in a breathtaking setting that’s sure to captivate you.
Adding a bit of context, these caves were rightfully declared a Natural Monument within Betancuria Rural Park due to their unique characteristics. They were formed over 100 million years ago, and up until today, they remain one of the must-see attractions in Fuerteventura.
Our visit to the Ajuy Caves marked one of the most memorable experiences of our trip. Stepping into an ancient cave embedded in a 130-foot-high cliff is an indescribable experience. The surroundings, with basalt walls displaying the intense black color typical of its volcanic nature, immerse you in a sensory feast. The rhythmic sound of waves crashing against the cliffs completes the experience.
In this guide, I’ll provide you with all the information you need to explore the Caves of Ajuy in Fuerteventura. Whether you choose to go solo or opt for an organized tour, there’s no excuse not to visit this remarkable destination!
How were the Ajuy Caves formed?
The formation of the Ajuy Caves is a fascinating journey through millions of years, dating back to the beginning of the Cretaceous Period. Initially, the sediments and lava flows that now compose the caves were submerged about two miles beneath the ocean’s surface. Through the movement of tectonic plates, a remarkable geological event occurred, causing these formations to emerge from the oceanic crust. Consequently, they rose above sea level, ultimately shaping the island of Fuerteventura into its present form.
Throughout history, the Ajuy Caves played a role in various significant events. Legend has it that in ancient times, pirates used these caves to store treasures and loot. Additionally, it marked the landing site of Jean de Béthencourt, from which he initiated his conquest of the Canary Islands.
Beyond its historical significance, the caves were a hub of extensive mining activity on the island. Syenite, a valuable material used in the production of cobblestones and lime, was extracted right here. You can also find an unfinished tunnel that was intended to link the Port of Ajuy with other parts of the island to facilitate the transportation of minerals. Although this project was never completed, the tunnel served as a shelter for lime workers and protected them against the coastal winds. As you explore, you’ll come across lime kilns that have survived the passage of time.
Visiting the Ajuy Caves
To visit the Caves of Ajuy, start by heading to the charming town of Ajuy. This is a tiny fishing village with a population of no more than 150 inhabitants. Here, you can find colorful houses perched atop the cliffs of the Barranco de Ajuy, extending down to the coast. Apart from its picturesque appeal, Ajuy is home to several local restaurants that are worth exploring for a delightful experience. Stay tuned for some recommendations later on to make the most of your time in this beautiful town.
While Ajuy Beach may not fit the stereotypical image of a beach with white sands and turquoise waters, it stands out as one of the best beaches in Fuerteventura, thanks to its remarkable natural surroundings. You can even go for a swim but always exercise caution as the waves can be quite strong. During low tide, you’ll discover natural pools along the cliffs, although accessing them may not be suitable for children.
From the northern end of Ajuy Beach, you’ll have a one-mile journey ahead of you to reach the Ajuy Caves. Right at the trail’s start, you’ll encounter the Mirador de Ajuy, offering breathtaking panoramic views, and the Fossil Dunes, housing petrified remains of mollusks, birds, and other underwater creatures, showcasing the depth at which these rocks were formed.
Follow the wooden walkway to appreciate the dramatic contours of the bay and the varying shades of sediment. Along the way, you’ll encounter the old lime kilns, one towering at least 23 feet high, which offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s economic history.
Finally, you’ll reach the Ajuy Caves located beneath impressive cliffs, emanating a truly special energy. The caves, with their humid, deep, and magical ambiance, invite you to immerse yourself in their unique atmosphere. If you still have energy to spare, consider staying to witness the sunset – locals claim it’s one of the most spectacular on the entire island!
Ajuy Caves tickets and hours
Great news for budget-conscious travelers – entry to the Ajuy Caves is completely free, making it an accessible destination for those who want to travel cheaply. The caves are open throughout the day, so you can easily choose the time that suits you best to explore this enchanting location.
Keep in mind that you won’t find informational panels or detailed explanations about the Ajuy Caves onsite. So, if you’re interested in learning more about the history and significance of the Ajuy Caves Natural Monument, I recommend considering one of the guided excursions in Fuerteventura. These tours can provide you with valuable insights, bringing the rich past of this unique site to life.
How to get to the Ajuy Caves
As I mentioned before, to visit the Ajuy Caves in Fuerteventura, you must head to the town of Ajuy. If you’re renting a car in Fuerteventura, the journey is straightforward – take the FV-621 road, and in approximately six miles from the town of Pájara, you’ll find yourself in Ajuy.
For those opting for public transport to explore Fuerteventura, the local buses, known as guaguas, offer routes 4 and 18 from the town of Pájara to Ajuy. If you’re starting your journey from Puerto del Rosario, take line 1, but be prepared for a journey of around three hours. In such cases, considering the time factor, it might be more efficient to choose a guided tour. Below, I’ll share my recommendation for some of the best tours to help you make the most of your time.
Excursions to the Ajuy Caves
If you don’t have a car, I recommend opting for one of the best excursions in Fuerteventura. It not only saves you from the hassle of navigating unfamiliar roads, but it also allows you to fully immerse yourself in the delights of Fuerteventura. With that in mind, here are two enticing options to consider:
This legends tour is tailor-made for adventurous souls seeking an unforgettable experience. Led by a professional guide, you’ll embark on one of the most beautiful hiking routes in Fuerteventura. Along the way, explore the enchanting Barranco de las Peñitas and hear captivating stories about the appearance of the Virgen de la Peña. This excursion also includes a delightful lunch featuring local snacks. Afterward, you can spend some free time exploring the fishing town of Ajuy and discovering the mysteries of the Ajuy Caves.
If you prefer a more comprehensive experience, this full-day panoramic excursion is a fantastic option. Beyond the Caves of Ajuy, you’ll have the opportunity to visit other breathtaking points of interest on the island, all in a single day. Highlights of this fascinating tour include visiting the town of Corralejo and the Great Dunes Natural Park, the pristine Sotavento Beach (one of the most beautiful beaches in Jandía), and the iconic Tindaya Mountain, one of the most famous volcanoes in Fuerteventura.
Restaurante Cuevas de Ajuy and nearby dining options
Despite its small size, Ajuy offers several delightful restaurants where you can savor the best Canarian cuisine. Most of these restaurants feature terraces overlooking the coast, so you can enjoy the views while trying delicious dishes.
We went to Jaula de Oro, which is known for its reasonable prices and generous portions. The beach views add to the overall charm of this restaurant. Another option worth considering is Restaurante Cuevas de Ajuy, located on the same street. While the prices may be slightly higher, the positive reviews we’ve heard and read about it suggest a worthwhile culinary experience.
When perusing the menu, keep in mind that mussels are a specialty in Ajuy. However, you’ll also find a variety of fresh fish and seafood options. Make sure not to miss the chance to indulge in a serving of wrinkled potatoes with mojo sauce or blanched gofio for a taste of local flavors.
FAQs – Ajuy Caves
Here you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Caves of Ajuy in Fuerteventura:
Entry to the Ajuy Caves is free.
Plan on spending approximately one hour to visit the Ajuy Caves, factoring in the walk from Ajuy Beach to the interior of the caves. If you’re a photography enthusiast, you might want to budget a bit more time to take some fascinating photos of the Ajuy Caves.
Yes, the Ajuy Caves can be visited with children, but be mindful that the walkways may have some steep inclines.
Unfortunately, the visit to the Ajuy Caves in Fuerteventura is not suitable for people in wheelchairs. However, pregnant women can enjoy the experience unless there are medical reasons saying otherwise.
Hopefully, this guide will help you plan your visit to the Ajuy Caves. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment below. I’d also love to hear about your experience exploring this natural wonder!
Stay safe and enjoy Fuerteventura!