"Beyond the Beaches of Gran Canaria"
October 29, 1999
Perched high above a canyon, Cenobio de Valerón is a network of approximately 200-300 caves which were used as granaries (like those at Acusa and elsewhere on the island.) Within a large basalt arch in the volcanic rock are rows of round and rectangular chambers dug out with stone or animal bone tools. The caves are connected by steps and passages and were once flanked by towers, according to accounts from the time of the Spanish conquest.
Cenobio de Valerón is open to the public, though the cave chambers are now off limits on account of safety and preservation concerns. A railed stairway has been built to access the site; the gate at the bottom is locked when there is no guard on duty to supervise visitors.
Cenobio ("convent") de Valerón was once thought to be the home of priestesses called harimaguadas or of young women awaiting marriage. The caves, however, are very small, and it is unlikely that they were used for such a purpose. Larger caves, such as those at Los Pilares near Telde, may have housed young women.