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  • Writer's pictureShaun Yeo

Cueva de Zarzalones – Cave Diving Trip!

Updated: May 27

In the National Park of “Sierra de las Nieves” near the small town of Yunquera, a lesser known cave exists, called “Cueva De Zarzalones”.


It’s not an easy cave to reach! It’s a long trek through uneven mountain footpaths, which would be a task in itself, with all the heavy dive gear, but thankfully, there is an easier way… a private drive way and agriculture area of land, right next to the cave, which can be accessed, with kind permission from the land owner.


The end of the drive way, leaves you 200 metres away from the cave. We reach the end of this road by driving on off-road tracks with a packed 4x4 car, zig-zagging down the valley, and even crossing a small river! We then have to carry our dive gear across a small footpath, to the start of the Rio Grande (River). The mouth of the cave, is where the River starts.


Because of the time of year and recent rain fall, entering the underwater river/cave system is quite difficult with the strength of the “flow” here, but there is another way in. A few metres away, there is a back entrance, with no flow at all. This involves crossing the river at waist deep, and a small climb through some rocky landscape, and down into the back entrance.


The height of the water at crossing the river, makes us opt to using drysuits to cross all the gear over, but by then we are soaking in sweat and overheating! Drysuits are necessary due to the cold water temperature inside the cave!


Eventually an hour or so passes, and we have finally get all our dive gear in the water, we just need to get geared up!


On entering the cold water, I soon realise I have a major leak, and it is coming from my wrist seal! I have a spare one just for these sort of occasions, but I am already in the water, ready to get kitted up and the car is 200 metres away, involving climbing out the cave, crossing the river and the footpath! So I decide to just lump it and dive as much as I can and turn back early when I feel cold instead! The rip on the seal had happened during the climb into the cave, whilst wearing my drysuit!

We explore 30 minutes into the cave, which by that point I decide I’m going to let my buddies know I will be heading back, but they actually decided to turn back just before I had a chance to! On the way out, we reach an Air Bubble, we take our mandatory “Air Bubble Selfie!”, and they decide to explore another line (and Jump) in the cave, as we have plenty of gas left, but here, 2 minutes from the exit, I decide to head out, as I start to feel cold!


I was happy with the photos I had taken with my Nikon DSLR, so I will visit other parts of the cave in future dives!


Below is also a small video I took with my GoPro of our Cave Dive at Cueva De Zarzalones:

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