Feel like an explorer to another planet and discover an unknown universe hidden underground. Come to El Soplao Cave, in Cantabria, northern Spain, and admire a natural treasure of light, shadow, sound, and weird and wonderful formations. A stunning place, carved out by mother nature.

Cantabria is a region of stunning landscapes facing the sea, both in its inland mountains but also underground. Beneath its meadows and mountains there is a hidden world of caverns and caves that will take you to places straight out of science fiction. One of these magical places is El Soplao. 60 kilometres from Santander, you will find this wonderful place that inspires awe in all those who go and visit. It is an incredible work of nature made up of wells and underground rivers, vertical gorges, crystal clear lakes, labyrinthine galleries and rocks of different colours and formations. A delight hidden from the eyes of man for centuries, shaped by the action of water and moisture over thousands of years.

You do not need to be an expert to enter El Soplao. One and a half kilometres of the cave has been made accessible to all, from children as young as six. You can visit the cave all year round and it has disabled access too. You do not need to take any special equipment to begin your adventure. In an hour's walk, children and the elderly alike are fascinated by the stalactites and

stalagmites that rise up from the cave floor and hang down from the ceiling and walls. It is the abundance and grandiose nature of the weirdly-formed helictites, however, that make this cave unique. A guide will accompany you along the galleries, where you can also see the remains of an old mine.

The best, though, is yet to come. Wednesday-Sunday, the more daring can explore a deeper part of the cavern. The only requirements: you must be over 16, have full mobility and be keen to learn and have fun. Six new kilometres of galleries have been opened up to the public. To explore this area, which is a little more demanding, you need to take some equipment that will be given to you in the cave itself, comprising a waterproof boiler suit, a helmet with lamp, socks and waterproof boots. Two expert guides accompany the groups on a walk that lasts two and a half hours. On the way you will have to jump, crouch, squeeze up against the walls... in short, live and feel the cavern to the full. Because the place emits its own noises and silences, and you can hear the cavern as though it were a living being, in constant formation by the ceaseless dripping of water.

As you can see, there are a host of sensations awaiting you in this underground Cantabrian gem. In any case, to book your ticket in advance and obtain further information about the different tours of El Soplao available, you should call the booking and information line (902 820 282).

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