The natural pass from the Meseta
The famous defile of Despeñaperros, with walls that are virtually vertical, is the product of the waters of the river with the same name.
The Despeñaperros Nature Reserve is situated to the north of the province of Jaén. It covers a total of 7,717 hectares, belonging to the township of Santa Elena, which sketch a natural pass from the Castilian meseta, through the famous defile. And the result of the action of the waters of the River Despeñaperros, which flows transversally to the mountain range of Sierra Morena and which flows into the River Guarrizas. Thus, the area surprises us with walls that are practically vertical and with delightful spots, such as 'Los Órganos' or 'Las Correderas'. In its vegetation there are forests of alders, ashes and willows, holm oaks, cork oaks, gall oaks, oaks, umbrella pines, Kermes oaks and Maritime pines. The shrubs are basically, strawberry trees, heather, rockrose, myrtle and Kermes oak.
Despeñaperros Nature Reserve
Ctra. JA-7102 Santa Elena - Miranda del Rey, km 2. (centro de visitantes)
Santa Elena, Jaén (Andalusia)
What you need to know
The remains discovered in the Iberian Sanctuary of Cueva de los Muñecos date from the Neolithic period.As well as this, there are cave paintings in the Cuevas de las Vacas del Rematoso.
As for the flora, the holm oak and cork oak groves stand out, as well as some species that can only be found in Despeñaperros. The fauna includes species such as wild boar and deer. We can also find foxes, mongoose and wildcats. As for the birds, the Reserve is inhabited by imperial eagles and Griffon's vultures.
Information for visits
For more information, contact the Regional Board of the Council of Environmental Affairs (Dirección Provincial C.M.A). Address: Avda. de Andalucía, 79. Jaén. Puerta de Andalucía Visitor Centre. Address: Carretera N-IV, km 257. Santa Elena, Jaén.