The Cueva Pintada de Gáldar (literally, the Painted Cave) is one of those archaeological sites that could well be the subject of a feature film. In fact, it can be compared to (on a smaller scale, of course) the Altamira Cave or the Atapuerca Site.
Canarian aborigines are believed to have arrived in the archipelago around the 5th century BC, so for almost two millennia the first settlers lived in isolation on the islands, creating their own culture and lifestyle adapted to the wild, volcanic environment.
Although most of them lived in caves, in the north of Gran Canaria there are remains of an ancient settlement whose economy was based on hunting, livestock and agriculture, sectors which they used to the maximum for their survival.
Undoubtedly, the ancient settlers are an example of development in an extreme habitat that today can be seen at first hand thanks to the important legacy and archaeological trace that they have left throughout history in magical places like this one.
What is the Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park in Gáldar?
The Cueva Pintada is, together with the Cenobio de Valerón, one of the most important archaeological sites in the Canary Islands. It’s located in Gran Canaria, specifically in the northern municipality of Gáldar, which was one of the two guanartematos or kingdoms into which the island of Tamarán was divided, together with Telde.
In recent years it has become a must-see for anyone who wants to learn about the history of the Canary Islands first-hand, as it’s a complex made up of a hamlet surrounding a cavern carved out of the rock.
To get there, you first have to cross a walkway over the ruins of an ancient settlement where you can see how the ancient dwellings of the aborigines were organised and laid out.
Once inside the cave, you can see the geometric motifs that decorate the walls, clear evidence of the artistic representations of the time, which, thanks to the glass dome that protects the entire vault, can be seen up close.
The fact is that to enter the past through the cave paintings is an experience that’s not easily forgotten: walking in front of authentic archaeological discoveries and not a recreation is astonishing.
How to get to the archaeological site Cueva Pintada de Gáldar
By private vehicle
To get to this museum and archaeological park located in the municipality of Gáldar, take the GC-2, the motorway that runs parallel to the north coast of the island, until you reach exit 25.
Then, at the roundabout, turn right towards the village of Gáldar and take the first street on the left (Calle Maninidra).
As this village is full of intricate streets, it’s recommended to continue along this street until the end of it and leave your car in the car park on the left hand side.
Then just walk for about 4 minutes along Guaires Street to the end, turn right into Andamana Street, then left into Facaracas Street and finally right into Bentejuí Street.
By public transport
Global, the bus company of Gran Canaria (called guaguas in the archipelago) connects the capital of the island with the village of Gáldar through line 105.
The route ends at the Gáldar Bus Station, from where you have to walk to the archaeological site for about 9 minutes.
Just follow the main road, connect with Capitán Quesada Street until the end, where you turn left into Plaza de Santiago square (the end point of the Way of Saint James in Gran Canaria) and finish a few metres along Bentejuí Street.
Useful information for visiting the Painted Cave of Gáldar
Some important facts about this archaeological site on Gran Canaria are as follows.
Distances and times
- From Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: 22 km (30 minutes)
- From Maspalomas: 77 km (1 hour)
- From Puerto de Mogán: 98 km (1 hour and 20 minutes)
October to May
- Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00 h. (last guided tour at 16:30).
- Sundays and public holidays from 11:00 to 18:00 h. (last guided tour at 16:30 p.m.).
June to September
- Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 to 19:30 h. (last guided tour at 18:00).
- Sundays and public holidays from 11:00 to 19:00 h. (last guided tour at 17:30).
The museum and archaeological park are open until half an hour before closing time (although it’s not possible to visit the entire museum during this time).
Closed every Monday of the year; 1, 5 and 6 January; 1 May; 24, 25 and 31 December.
IMPORTANT: for conservation reasons, seating is limited and tickets are available until full.
COVID-19: please consult the new visiting conditions on the official website.
- General ticket: €6.
- Reduced ticket: €3 (over 65s, pensioners and students up to 23 years of age).
- Group and large family tickets: €4 (14 or more people and members of large families).
- Free admission: children under 18, school groups, unemployed, people with disabilities and accompanying persons, ICOM card holders, teachers, accredited guides and professional visitors.
- Free admission days: every Sunday throughout the year, plus 18 April, 18 and 30 May, 25 and 26 July and 27 September, unless they’re compulsory closure days.
Calle Audiencia, 2, 35460, Gáldar, Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, España.
(+34) 928 895 746