Aracena is a small untouristy town located in the hills of the western Sierra Morena in the Huelva province. It lies north of the road between Huelva and Seville, not far from the Portuguese border.
The number one attraction of Arcaena is the famous Gruta de la Maravillas (Cave of Wonders). It’s a stunningly beautiful network of caves interconnected by walking trails. The guided tour allows you to explore only ten percent of all the chambers, but that’s enough to leave you awestruck. As the caves can only be visited by a limited number of people at one time (usually it’s 40), we recommend that you prepare yourself for possible delays once you buy the ticket.
Aracena is one of the best destinations for hiking holidays. The well-marked local trails will lead you through beautiful scenary of hills, cork and oak forests, chestnut groves, citrus plantantions and small white towns. Another popular tourist spots in Aracena are the ruins of a castle overlooking the town and a beautiful Gothic church Iglesia de la Asuncion.
Rio Tinto Mines
Rio Tinto Mines is another fascinating tourist attraction near Aracena. Minas de Rio Tinto village is located only 35 kms south of Aracena. Intensively red, surrealistic landscape of Rio Tinto mines, one of the oldest mines in the world, is an incredible view to behold. The feeling is that you have been suddenly teleported from Earth to Mars!
To see all the attractions of the mines might take at least half a day. Great panoramic views of the mines are available through two miradors on the A-461 as well as through viewing points in Alto de la Mesa. There is an interesting Mining Museum in the Minas the Rio Tinto village. It features the displays of artefacts generated by 5000 years of mining activities. A 22-km long recreational tour along the Rio Tinto river in the 19th-century trains is also available for tourists there. If you follow the signs and drive a little bit deeper into the mines, heading north past the village of Nerva, you will reach the Pena de Hierro, 85-metre deep openpit mine which is surrounded by some nice walking paths.