The underground Atapuerca

LOCATION

09199 OLMOS DE ATAPUERCA – BURGOS

The meeting point for visitors is at the village square, opposite the Church of the Nativity, at the agreed time (the mine site will get in touch with you to fix the exact time of your visit).

From there, in your own car or by 4×4, you will be guided to the mine, located just over 1 km away, on an easily driveable road.

DESCRIPTION

Deep in the foothills of the Sierra de Atapuerca, a few kilometres from the unmissable archaeological site, a no less amazing underground tourist experience awaits you. It is the Mina Esperanza, where they mined iron destined for the blast furnaces of the Basque Country. Here, a team of young, dedicated guides will make your visit a delight, as they awaken your fascination and surprise by a combination of knowledge and entertainment, ensuring that both adults and children leave here wanting to recommend it and to come back.

Once equipped with helmets, your group will go around the ruined buildings that housed the miners’ houses, the offices, the forge and the stables that between 1908 and 1973 filled the place with life. More than 200 visitable metres of galleries, which are still intact, will transport you back to the times when miners scarcely saw the light of day. You come into the dark mine entrance, aided by kerosene lanterns and can glimpse the nooks and crannies and the original carts on their rails. Volunteers can even chip out pieces of ore and transport them on the tracks.

After touring this part of the mine, the gallery lights are switched on so that you can fully appreciate the spacious grandeur of the place. In the vast distributor cave you will see a curious museum of minerals and rocks, with explanatory panels and display cases. Before returning to the surface, you will be invited to a typical miner’s snack. You make your exit from a depth of 30 metres through the old ventilation shaft.

DURATION

1 hour 30 minutes.

PRICE PER PERSON

ADULTS: € 8

CHILDREN (6 to 12 years): € 5

Under 6: free

PRICE INCLUDES

Tour of the above-ground surroundings, a guided visit (to levels -1 and -2) of the mine, a visit to the underground museum of minerals and miner’s wine.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • At the bottom of the mine runs an underground river. For this reason, in times of rain, the lower galleries flooded, and miners had to leave their jobs to pump out the water, which is still necessary from time to time. There is a good chance that you will get to see how the water blocks access to the deeper galleries.

Hours

Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm

Mina Esperanza will get in touch with you to fix the exact time of your visit.

Minimum group size

6 adults.

Maximum group size

25 people.

Languages

Spanish and English.

Advance Notice

72 hours.

Mimimum Age

No age restrictions.

Accessibility

The tour is not suitable for wheelchairs.

Visitor Parking

Plenty of parking places both at the meeting point (Plaza de Olmos) and outside the mine.

Advice

Even wearing a helmet, the tallest should mind their heads! Bumps are sometimes heard…

Suggestions

Wear casual clothes, suitable for the experience.

OPTIONAL EXTRA ACTIVITIES

THE PALAEOLITHIC AGE – LIVE

If you come as a family, what better than a visit to this prehistoric safari. A nature reserve of endangered Pleistocene animals (bison, tarpan, Przewalski wild horses, etc.) where you will also learn how to make fire as primitive tribes did, and to hunt with Palaeolithic weapons, during a tour that can be done on foot or by 4×4.

Check with us at: rutas@rutasaparte.com

ATAPUERCA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE

Travel back in time over a million years, following in the footsteps of our ancestors.

Discover a unique archaeological excavation, where hundreds of researchers try every year to unravel the mysteries of human evolution.

Check with us at: rutas@rutasaparte.com

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