Welcome to Desfiladero de Despeñaperros & Santa Elena
The Desfiladero de Despeñaperros, a dramatic gorge cutting through the Sierra Morena, is straddled by the hilly and beautiful Parque Natural Despeñaperros. The gorge is traditionally considered the main gateway to Andalucía from the north. The A4 highway and the Madrid–Jaén railway zip quickly through by viaducts and tunnels. To get a better look at its rocky pinnacles, take the old N-IVa road, which has a mirador and restaurant where you can stop and take in the scenery. From the north, take exit 243 from the A4 and follow 'Parque Natural Despeñaperros' signs; from the south, take exit 257 into Santa Elena town then head out past the signposted Camping, and from the bottom of the gorge follow 'Venta de Cárdenas' signs. For information on the parque natural and walking routes, visit the Centro de Visitantes Llano de las Américas, 2km west of exit 257 towards Miranda del Rey.