Maro Cerro Gordo Cliffs - Spain
Maro Cerro Gordo

The Maro Cerro Gordo Cliffs

Maro Cerro Gordo Cliffs

💡 Affiliate Disclosure:  Please be aware that some links on this site are affiliate links, which means that we might receive a small commission ☕ if you click a link and make a booking. This helps us to keep the site running and will NOT affect the price you pay in any way... ❤️ 🙏 🙏 ➜ How does this work?

Maro Cerro Gordo - Everything You Need to Know!

Where are the Maro Cerro Gordo Cliffs?

🌲 The Maro Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve is located between the small villages of Maro and La Herradura in Andalucia. If you're not familiar with this area, Maro is a municipality of the larger and more well-known village of Nerja.

These villages sit along the Andalucian coastline just 45-minutes east of Malaga, and 45-minutes south of Granada... two VERY famous Spanish cities.

The actual name of the reserve is the "Paraje Natural de los Acantilados de Maro Cerro Gordo", which basically translates to, the Nature Reserve along the cliffs of Maro and Cerro Gordo.

This stunning nature reserve stretches from the small village of Maro to the west to the Cerro Gordo point to the east. The Cerro Gordo point is the protective western-end of La Herradura's horseshoe-shaped bay... the next village down the coast.

To drive from one end of the reserve to the other will only take about 15-minutes.

A Spectacular Nature Reserve

The Maro Cerro Gordo Reserve runs along breathtakingly beautiful cliffs that run down to meet secluded inlets and coves at the sea. It is a natural habitat that is mostly untouched and stands proudly as one of the only strips of land along the Andalucian coast that has not been commercialized or developed.

The Flora of Maro Cerro Gordo

Flowers in Cerro Gordo

The area has been designated as a Nature Reserve for good reason, the plant and animal life found here is not only very rare but in some cases, almost extinct.

The vegetation in the park is quite rich and lush and typical of thermo Mediterranean zones. There are unusual types of flowers and other species such as the Mediterranean Pines, Carob Trees, and Juniper.

In the more forested areas, you will find Boxwoods, Olive trees, and Palms.

The Fauna of Maro Cerro Gordo

🐐 Large groups of wild mountain goats (Iberian Ibex), originally from the surrounding mountain ranges of Almijara and Tejada, have found their home here in the reserve. They can often be seen springing from rock to rock and leaping from the cliffs.

Iberian Ibex in Maro Cerro Gordo

The Ibex are beautiful creatures and quite shy, so they are of no danger to visitors, but you need to be careful driving through, so as not to hit one.

The marine life in the area is special too and very popular among marine scientists. There is a great diversity of Algae formations and the variety of fish here is expansive and very interesting. You will find Starfish, Seahorses, baby squid, and jibia (which are similar to octopus).

The Ancient Towers

Maro - Cerro Gordo Views - Spain Maro - Cerro Gordo Views - Spain
Nerja - Maro Nature Reserve - Spain
** Views from the Maro Tower

Another interesting facet of the Maro Cerro Gordo Park is the number of ancient towers that dot the coastline. These towers would have played a very important role in times past when the coast was constantly under attack from pirates.

There are FIVE old Roman towers to hike out to:

The Torre de Cerro Gordo still stands proudly at the park's highest point, where it once did its job alerting troops to assemble and others to run and hide. The towers were part of an intricate communication system that controlled all boats sailing in or out of local waters.

The Maro Cerro Gordo Hiking Trails

The Maro Cerro Gordo Reserve is also popular for its hiking trails. There are numerous hikes along the coast that are well-marked and offer breathtaking views along the way.

The Playa Cantarriján Walk

Kayaking in Maro Cerro Gordo

One of these walks is the Playa Cantarriján to Playa Cañuelo trail. It's a fairly easy walk and takes only about 45-minutes from start to finish (one-way).

This trail is designated as medium difficulty, it's mostly flat but you do have steeper climbs on either end, going up or down to reach the beaches from the cliffs.

You will also pass one of the old Roman towers (Torre de Caleta) about half-way through the walk... which is a great place to stop off for a snack and enjoy the views.

➜ The trail takes about 1 hour 20 min, round trip.

The Maro Tower Walk

The Maro Tower is yet another Roman tower that is found along the Maro Cerro Gordo Cliffs, and it too has an interesting and very scenic walk.

Driving towards Maro there is a small turn-off on the left-hand side of the road, it's easily missed so drive slowly and keep an eye out. You will find a dirt parking area at the bottom.

From there, start walking up and keep to your left. There is a dirt road that goes to the right, but the Maro tower trail goes steeply up to the left of the road.

Maro Tower Walk
** Path down to La Caleta beach from the Maro Tower

Follow the trail out to the Maro Tower where you will be rewarded with fantastic views of the villages of Maro and Nerja in the distance.

If you look carefully you will also see the Maro Waterfall along the cliffs to the west.

➜ Trail takes only about 15-minutes.

If you are up for more of an adventure, you can continue this walk for another hour or so down to a small beach and cove, hidden between the cliffs...

On the western side of the Maro Tower, you will see a trail going down into the Pine forest. Follow this trail until you reach the road. From there, go to the left until you get to the end of the road and the sea is in front of you. On the left-hand side of the road look for a small path cutting through the trees.

From there the path is pretty well-marked with blue dots to help you find your way. The trail will take you all the way across and down the cliffs until you reach a beautiful private beach (La Caleta).

➜ Trail takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.

The Cerro Gordo Point

Cerro Gordo

On the western side of La Herradura and located directly across the bay from Punta de la Mona is the area called Cerro Gordo. It consists of the entire point on both sides and going inland. The La Herradura bay lies to its east and Playa Cantarriján (a very well-known nudist beach) is nestled to the west between Cerro Gordo and Maro.

Although the area is quiet and undeveloped there is a great restaurant that sits right on top of the Cerro Gordo point, called El Mirador (the Lookout). It has an outdoor patio with gorgeous views of the La Herradura Bay to the east and the Maro Cerro Gordo Cliffs to the west.

The Cerro Gordo point is crowned with another ancient tower by the same name, Torre de Cerro Gordo. A walk to the tower is recommended and it’s easily accessible via the path behind the restaurant, it winds up towards the top of the cliffs with even better views of the coastline.

Cerro Gordo Road

From the restaurant you can keep walking down the main Cerro Gordo road for about another 2 kilometers, the views are amazing but be careful not to spook the wild mountain goats! They can usually be seen here fearlessly bounding across the rocks and cliffs.

The panoramic views along this part of the coast from the Cerro Gordo point are the best in the area. This is an amazing place to take photos. The rich green of the vegetation in contrast with the deep blues of the sea and sky are breathtaking.

Add to that... vibrant oleander and bougainvillea bursting with color, ancient watchtowers that adorn the cliffs... that dive into the sea, and you have a view that can’t be beat. The sunsets from this area are also to die for and are the most stunning you will find along the coast.

Sunset in Maro Cerro Gordo

Beautiful homes can be found slightly more inland from the point, which all have amazing views up and down the coast.

The Maro Cerro Gordo Beaches

The Maro Cerro Gordo Reserve is home to some of the most stunning beaches in all of Spain. People come from far and wide every summer just to take a peek at these gorgeous cliffs and beaches.

Because the area is so undeveloped, accessing the beaches can be a bit of a challenge. Some now have shuttle buses that run up and down hourly to keep tourists from driving down on their own.

Other beaches have paths that take you down, but they can be a bit steep. If you are up for an adventure this is the place to come!

Cerro Gordo Homes- La Herradura

There are EIGHT gorgeous beaches to explore in the Maro Cerro Gordo Reserve:

Kayaking or Diving Near the Maro Waterfall

Two of the most popular activities around the reserve are Kayaking and Scuba Diving.

Kayaking in Maro Cerro Gordo Park

Kayaking in Maro Cerro Gordo

On any given day you will see throngs of colorful kayaks paddling up and down the Maro Cerro Gordo coastline. From the sea, this reserve is even more spectacular...

There are hidden caves, private secluded beaches and even a waterfall surrounded by massive craggy rocks.

Kayaks can be rented from many of the beaches in the area. The most popular spots are:

  • Playa La Herradura - closest to the caves
  • Playa Cantarriján - closest to other private secluded beaches only accessed by boat
  • Playa Maro - closest to the waterfall


A lot of people book online. We recommend booking ahead if you can because kayaks are limited.

Maro Cerro Gordo -  Tours
Kayaking & Snorkeling Tours - Experience the natural beauty and explore the caves of the Cliffs of Maro-Cerro Gordo while getting a good snorkeling and kayaking workout with this tour.

Leaves from Playa La Herradura.

Diving in Maro Cerro Gordo Park

The park consists of 1.127 Hectares, 419.27 of which are above sea level. This means that a large portion of the reserve lies beneath the sea. This is another reason why scuba diving is such a desired sport in the area.

To access this area, you will need to contact a diving center in La Herradura. They make daily trips out to the cliffs and around the caves.


Scuba Diving in La Herradura - Read our ultimate guide on scuba diving in La Herradura... Including the best dive sites, PADI certification, and a price comparison for the top 7 diving centers in La Herradura and Almuñécar.

Maro Cerro Gordo - Guided Tours

Another great way to see the park is by boat. You can either rent a motorboat, or sailboat from the Marina del Este or sign up for one of the guided tours that take you into the Maro Cerro Gordo Park.


Rent a motorboat in the Marina del Este and take the kids to explore the coast on your own.

Maro Cerro Gordo Waterfall
Rent A Boat (No License Needed) and Explore the Costa Tropical Coastline - Enjoy with family and friends an unforgettable trip through the Cerro Gordo National Park past the La Herradura caves, Maro waterfall and Nerja's Balcon de Europa.

Where to Stay Near the Maro - Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve

The Maro Cerro Gordo cliffs are just between the villages of La Herradura and Nerja, both have numerous hotels, villas and other fabulous accommodations.

If you are thinking of staying nearby, read our guides on the best hotels in the area.

Getting There

The park runs for about 15 - 20 minutes along the old N-340 coastal road between La Herradura and Maro. Drive east from Malaga on the A-7 and turn off at the second Nerja exit, from there find the old N-340 highway and follow it along the coast. This is one of the prettiest drives in the area with amazing views around every curve.

You can also come from Granada. Drive south from Granada towards Motril, continue along the A-7 going west until you reach the town of La Herradura. Exit and drive down to the first large round-about where you will go to the left. Follow the old N-340 highway through the tunnel and along the cliffs until you reach the town of Maro.

photo of Darsey and Izzy

Who are we? An American expat with over 20 years of experience living and traveling in Spain, specifically in Malaga and Granada. Darsey is a seasoned explorer of Andalucia. Drawing from decades of immersive experience, she offers deep insights into this enchanting region of Spain, including off-the-beaten path destinations, the best places to stay, and the top bucket list activities to try! More...

Want to Save on your Next Trip?

Save money on your next trip with our favorite travel websites!

Find the Cheapest Hotels:
The Largest Selection of Villas & Apartments:
Cheapest, Most Reliable Car Rentals:
Best Bus & Train Fares:
Huge Selection of the BEST Tours & Activities
Discount Tickets to Museums & Attractions

See our Full List of Travel Deals & Site Recommendations.

Maro Cerro Gordo Map

If You Liked It.. Please, pin me!
Click for full size...

Maro-Cerro Gordo Nature Reserve - Andalucía - Spain