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Research Institute


The primary objective of the Research Institute is to reconcile the cave’s tourist activity with its proper preservation, using research and dissemination as tools.

Preserve a cave

Conserving a cave with an immense Cultural and Natural Heritage that is visited by more than 400,000 people every year is not an easy task and requires significant material and human effort. The Nerja Cave Foundation has chosen to pursue a management approach based on scientific research and the dissemination of its findings, with the aim of reconciling tourist visits with the proper conservation of its exceptional heritage treasure, which holds the history of the Earth and our ancestors. Therefore, the enjoyment of Nerja Cave by our society is a privilege, and preserving it for future generations is a mandatory task that we must all undertake together.

“What is done to preserve Nerja Cave?” is a question often posed by those interested in learning about the work carried out by the Nerja Cave Research Institute. We do not consider it a trivial matter, and we are aware that its answer, filled with biofilms, environmental parameters, or stratigraphic levels, may be tedious and even incomprehensible to individuals not connected to the world of scientific research. To avoid this situation and provide a suitable explanation, we draw a comparison between the use of Nerja Cave as a tourist attraction and an activity that is a common part of the daily lives of many people, sports. The body of an elite athlete undergoes excessive strain during each competition in which they participate. Without control over the damage received, their body would likely yield, possibly irreversibly. Therefore, it is logical that both the effort and its subsequent recovery require a medical team to ensure the athlete’s health and prepare them for future events. In this analogy, our elite athlete is Nerja Cave, a “living” entity, not an inert place, subjected daily to human impact that needs to be controlled by the Research Institute, guaranteeing its recovery and, consequently, its proper conservation.

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