The most famous, bright and distinctive object of the island of Gran Canaria is the archaeological park in Galdar: a museum and a “painted cave” - Cueva Pintada.
The Archaeological Park and Museum of Pinta Cave (Museo y Parque Arqueológico Cueva Pintada) is located in the northern part of the island, in the town of Gáldar.
The city of Galdar (Agaldar) was the capital of the ancient kingdom of the Guanches in the pre-Hispanic period on Gran Canaria. A tuff cave in the northern part of the island was accidentally discovered during agricultural work in 1873. Clay shards, vases, fragments of human skeletons were found in the grotto. Perhaps this cave served as a necropolis for the Guanches, and the objects found were the last gifts of the deceased for the afterlife.
However, the most interesting find of this object was rock painting. Unusual drawings on the walls of the Cueva Pintad are different from all the cave paintings that have ever been discovered on Earth. Bright large-format ornaments in the form of a frieze are made with mineral paints in a geometrically regular form, unusual for rock paintings. Researchers suggest that these drawings could serve as a kind of calendar. A detailed description of the object Cueva Pintada was compiled by the French anthropologist Rene Verno.
The drawings were well preserved, but gradually the walls of the cave were covered with cracks. In 1967, the restoration of the facility began. Since 1982, the cave was closed for visits, new excavations were conducted there. It was discovered that the first grotto was part of a system of six communicating caves.
The caves were re-opened for tourists, turning into a thematic educational park. Today in the Cueva Pintada Museum you can see ancient finds and get acquainted with the pre-Hispanic history of Gran.
Prices for excursions
The cost of entering the museum and excursions is small. For large groups of people (over 14 people and a large family) the cost is 4 euros. For adults - 6 euros, for unemployed and senior citizens - 3 euros, and for children up to a certain age admission is free. Admission is free for everyone on the first Saturday or Sunday of each month.
Location of Pintada Cave on the map
Museo y Parque Arqueologico Cueva Pintada is 30 km from Las Palmas, and 50 km from Gran Canaria Airport.
Park Museum changes its opening hours seasonally:
- from September 16 to June 14
The cave is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00. Entrance to the cave is prohibited one and a half hours before closing time, that is, after 16:30. On Sundays and holidays from 11:00 to 18:00. On holidays, the museum is open from 11:00 to 18:00.
- from June 15 to September 15
At this time, there is a large influx of tourists, so the attraction is open from 10:30 to 19:30 (entrance is closed at 18:00). On Sunday from 11:00 to 19:00, the entrance is closed at 17:00. During the summer holidays, the museum is open from 11:00 to 19:00.
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Time and cost of visiting
Ticket price is:
- adults - 6 euros,
- large groups of people, as well as large families - 5 euros,
- pensioners and unemployed - 4 euros,
- Children under 18 years old admission is free.
The museum’s work schedule is divided into two half-year periods:
- September 16-June 14 - from Thursday to Saturday from 10.00 to 18.00 (entrance to the museum until 16.30), on Sundays from 11.00 to 18.00.
- June 15 - September 15 - from Thursday to Saturday from 10.30 to 19.30 (entrance to the museum until 18.00), on Sundays from 11.00 to 18.00 (entrance until 17.30).