This waterfall, which is nearly two metres high is known as the Cascada Grande de Maro. : J. A.
Almost exotic marine life, amazing waterfalls and caves which look like something out of a book. These are the rewards for those who decide to take part in some of the outdoor sports activities at the Acantilados de Maro, an area of natural cliffs where nobody can fail to be impressed by its rugged coastline and even more so below the surface.
To get one of the best views, it is necessary to hire one of the canoes from the Burriana beach in Nerja. Every day in summer numerous guided tours start from there in the company of a monitor who can helps with the technique of canoeing but can also put a name to some of the rock formations and the waterfalls which are seen on the way to the Playa del Cañuelo beach.
On this trip, you can admire some of the caves in the cliffs and small coves which are almost inaccessible on foot. The scenery here could quite easily be used as the setting for an adventure movie.
You don’t need to be especially fit to do the canoe trip, although if you are not used to this type of sport you should always take into account the physical demands which are involved.
But if the Maro Cliffs have been given special protection, it is not just because of their steep terrain, but also because of the animals that inhabit its seabed. Some of these species can be seen off many of the coves, just by wearing goggles.
It is also possible to book a diving trip with one of the local active tourism companies. There are several possibilities between Nerja and La Herradura, which is the town the other side of the Cerro Gordo in Granada province, in other words on the most easterly side of the Acantilados de Maro Natural Beauty zone.
In this way, you will be able to see numerous grottos such as Los Genoveses caves, the Cantarriján and Las Palomas. And, of course, you will see some of their most colourful inhabitants, such as the ocean sunfish.
These dives should only be done in the company of experienced and qualified monitors.
As well as enjoying the ecological enclave from the water, it is also possible to do so on foot because there are paths running between or over some of the coves. These enable visitors to walk between terraced, cultivated land and very steep cliffs with incredible views over this amazing stretch of Mediterranean coast. Surprisingly, you may even come across some ibex along the way.
These paths are comfortable to walk and require little in the way of physical preparation, so they are suitable for families with children who want to start taking part in this sort of activity. Here, you can do a walk which does not take long and which links the sea with the mountains.
Along these paths a wide range of botanical species can be seen, including mastics, juniper, fan palms, wild olives, Balearic boxwood and carobs. With regard to the fauna, it is possible to spot marine birds such as black-headed gulls, lesser black-backed gulls, hawks and falcons.
Most of the coves which are found along this stretch of coast are small in size; in fact, none of them is larger than 500 metres, and this makes them beautiful and natural places to enjoy the peaceful, tranquil surroundings.
This ecological reserve is only a few kilometres from the town of Nerja, in Malaga province. If you continue along the old N340 highway, you come to the small hamlet of Maro, where you will see the first solitary coves with their clear waters and the strategically placed watchtowers, originally built for defensive purposes by Christians as well as Moors, such as the Torre del Maro, the Torre del Río and the Torre de la Miel.
From the tracks that run along this stretch of coast, it is possible to access the numerous coves and quiet beaches. Some are more difficult to reach than others, depending on the area. Because of all this, and because of their enormous biological value, this is an area of unquestionable beauty and an exceptional place to relax, away from the busy, built-up beaches of the Costa del Sol.
Among the coves which can be easily visited, the one called El Cañuelo is particularly outstanding. Maybe because it is the biggest, best-known and most popular. In the summer months it is reached by minibus, but a pleasant walk is also recommended, going down to the cove through pine trees, agricultural land and with lovely views of the sea.