Los Jameos del Agua
Los Jameos del Agua is found on the North East coast of Lanzarote. It is César Manriques first work of art combined with nature on his native island that dates back to 1966. ‘The Jameo’ was formed by the converging lava flow from the Corona Volcano that extensively covers the surrounding landscape. The Corona Volcano majestically stands over the village of Ye, which is about eight kilometres from the Jameos and is connected by a meandering volcanic tube.
Manrique completely transformed this place, up until the sixties it was a rubbish tip but now it is one of the islands priceless postcard images. As occurs with Manriques other art works, the beauty of his artistic intervention is due to the way he blends his work in with the natural surroundings: the impressive natural stone staircases, the subtle lighting in the corners of the cave of the Jameo, or the charming decoration which blends traditional elements with the indigenous vegetation. It is a perfect scene to contemplate the magnificence of the volcanoes, formed by a geological act of nature.
The peculiar underground conditions of the volcanic tube and the close proximity of the Atlantic Ocean resulted in the formation of the small lake. In fact the Jameo is below sea level and its appearance is due the water filtration. The first glimpse of the Jameo, during the first part of the visit when you descend a winding lava staircase, is truly impressive. The lagoon is sheltered by an enormous volcanic mass that has enough natural light due to its south facing position.
The visit to the tourist centre allows you to experience the most spectacularly located restaurant on the island. The restaurant is located inside a magnificent cave. It is one of the best places to take in the impressive surroundings from the high point of the volcanic chain to the lagoon.
The Jameo is also home to the blind white crab which lives in its waters. A diminutive crab that managed to survive in spite of the fire, lava and humidity of the place. The way down to the internal lake is via a large twisting volcanic platform. The narrow volcanic passageway that cuts through the Jameo is where the streams of tourists gather to look at the water in search of the crabs. The combination of light and shade of the cave create a variety of photographic images.
The pool and the ‘Casa de los Volcanes’
On leaving the Jameo behind, the tourist starts the second part of the visit, in the open air in the area known as the large Jameo. Surrounded by the majestic volcanic landscape and beautiful gardens with indigenous vegetation (palm trees, cactus, fig trees), César Manrique created a swimming pool whose stark white colour contrasts dramatically with the volcanic landscape. The Jameos del Agua is one of the most impacting tourist cultural centres of the island. Its auditorium which is at the side of the swimming pool, has been the stage for many art and cultural exhibitions.
The ‘Casa de los Volcanes’ is situated above the swimming pool: an elegant building that is a replica of the basic architectural characteristics of Lanzarote. It functions as an interpretation centre for the geological phenomena of Lanzarote. In the different rooms of this higher level of Los Jameos, science coexists with the purchase of traditional Lanzarote handicrafts in the small pretty shops of the tourist centre, there is also a cafeteria with views of the pool and lovely gardens.
The best time to visit Jameos del Agua.
This tourist centre is one of the main attractions in Lanzarote. Consequently it generates a large volume of visitors. Around midday the Jameos del Agua is normally crowded with people and we recommend that you visit the first couple of hours after it opens (it opens at 10.00am) or just after lunchtime (around 15.00 to 17.00) to make the most of your visit. Sundays are also an ideal opportunity to visit the centre as there are less tourists.
Tuesdays and Saturdays the Jameos del Agua opens to the public in the early evening (1830-2200) and the centre offers a special package so that you can see the centre from a different perspective. Tuesdays there is a visit with dinner included, a concert and a DJ session for 34.90 euros. On Saturdays during the visit the to the centre the Toñin Corujo Quartet plays in the restaurant, the entrance costs 9 euros (for residents the cost is 2 euros).
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