Original Inhabitants of Gran Canaria: The Cuevas Pintadas in Galdar

Cave paintings in the former Capital of canarian "aborigenes"

Until the year 1862, the history and culture of the „Guanches“, the original inhabitants of Gran Canaria, lay idle. One reason was that only 200 of the 20.000 inhabitants were allowed to stay on the island after they have been converted to Christianity by the Spanish. The rest of the inhabitants were either murdered or sold as slaves. 

Before the spanish conquest “Agaldar” was the center of the North, where important religious rites and political meetings took place. It was the domicile of the “Guanartemes”, the kings of the island. This is a reason why the “painted cave” with its geometrical paintings, seals and artefacts is especially valuable to archaeologists and scholars. It is assumed that the cave represents a cult-oriented depiction of the inhabitants’ calendar.

In a contiguous cave mummies were found. These mummies were high-ranking personalities of the cult who were buried with jewellery, weapons and various other artefacts. 100 years later, in 1972, the area around the Cueva Pintada was declared a historical cultural monument and was opened to the public. After the opening the cave paintings deteriorated fast due to the daily visits and it was decided that the cave would be closed in 1982.

In the meantime the area around the Cueva Pintada became known as a historical archaeology-park and more excavations were conducted on an area of about 6000 square metres. Due to their findings the Cueva Pintada turned out to be one of the most important examples of pre-Spanish settlements on Gran Canaria. The painted cave is surrounded by a pre-Spanish settlement of about sixty houses and artificial caves. The complex was developed between the 6th and 16th century. In the 18th century the patio extension was built and the complex was used as a banana- and sugar cane plantations.

The cave complex around the Cueva Pintada is especially interesting. Today, the cave itself lies behind glass in order to prevent further damaging. At different locations in the village, videos (even in German) about the life and culture of the original inhabitants can be watched.

Address, contact:

Address: Calle Audiencia 2 Street, 35460 Galdar telephone number: (0034) 928 895 746
Email: cuevapintada@grancanaria.com. Homepage: cuevapintada.com

Opening hours:

Tuesday – Saturday: 9.30 am – 8pm
Sunday: 11am – 8pm, Closed on Monday!

Conducted tours

The German-speaking tours last about 90 minutes and take place on weekdays after 4pm. On Sundays and holidays the tours start already at 3pm. The Spanish guide Elena speaks excellent German – enriched with a congenial accent.

Admission fees: Adults: 6 Euro. Students, retirees: 3 Euro

Adresse, Kontakt

Adresse: Strasse Calle Audiencia 2, 35460 Galdar
(0034) 928 895 746


Dienstag bis Samstag


von 11-20h

Montags geschlossen!


Die deutschen Führung dauern circa 90 Minuten und finden Werktags (außer Montag) ab 16h statt. Sonn- und Feiertags gehen die Führungen schon ab 15h los. Die spanische Führerin Elena spricht hervorragendes Deutsch - bereichert um einen sympatischen spanischen Dialekt.


6 Euro
Schüler, Studenten, Pensionisten: 3 Euro