Discovering Kakuetta: lush vegetation and turquoise waters

Kakuetta

A hike at your own pace through gorges equipped with walkways and footbridges that enable you to get as close as possible to the rivers and rocks.
This natural oasis is unique to the Basque Country. Surrounded by luxurious greenery, with the fresh breeze from the rivers and canyons, the landscape is almost tropical.

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Explore the Kakuetta Gorges

In 1906, Edouard-Alfred Martel was the first to enter the intricate twists of the Kakuetta Gorges. He is known as the pioneer of modern speleology and discovered many sites, caves, and subterranean rivers throughout the world.

Before him, only smugglers and local farmers knew of this place. Shepherds would come to bring their wheat to be ground at the mill that used to stand at the entrance to the gorges. It was destroyed by floods in 1937.

Commencing 1966, work was done at the Kakuetta Gorges in order to welcome the public.

 

A step by step visit

The emerald lake

It will be the first stage of your hike through the gorges. At this point, you will not yet be able to imagine what awaits you. Swimming is forbidden, here and all places on site.

To access the canyon, you will have to take “the Big Straight”: a passageway of only a couple of metres separating the two slopes of the cliff. 

Once on the other side, there is a sudden change in vegetation, and you enter into an abundant forest of fauna. The vertiginous rock walls streaming with water reach up to 350m in height. 

From pathways to rocks

Here, you simply follow the water. Sometimes you will take the purpose-built wooden pathway that look down over the canyon and river, and other times you will climb over rocks and follow the existing trail. This way you will remain close to nature whilst staying in a safe environment.

At the end of the canyon, the star of the show awaits: the waterfall! An impressive twenty metres high, you will be able to walk behind and around this wonderful sight. 

The grotto

After a short walk, you will reach the Kakuetta grotto. It is adorned with giant stalactites and stalagmites. You will not be able to go any further, as the rest of the grotto is only accessible to speleologists.

The return journey is along the same path.

 

 

 

 

 

Useful information

Open from 15th March to 15th November

Free parking nearby

Cost: €6 Tickets can be purchased at the bar by the entrance

Length of the hike: between 2 to 3 hours

Contact : 05 59 28 60 83 - gorges@kakuetta.fr

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