Pulpí Geode Review: How To Book Tickets & What To Expect

Visiting the Pulpí Geode (known as the Geoda de Pulpí in Spanish) truly makes for an excellent day out, and it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular things to do for people visiting Mojácar.

It’s recognised as the largest accessible geode in the world, with the only other known larger geode being extremely deep (too deep for tourists) in Mexico.

Being around a 45-minute drive from Mojácar through the coastal roads between Villaricoas & San Juan, it’s also not too far to travel just for a morning or afternoon out.

The Pulpí Geode: What You Need To Know At A Glance

Distance from Mojácar: 1 hour

Tour Length: 90 minutes (but allow a full morning or afternoon for it with driving and stopping for drinks/snacks)

Price: €22 per adult, €10 per child

Difficulty: Being in an abandoned mine, this tour is not suitable for those with limited mobility, and is certainly not wheelchair friendly. Whilst it’s not overly difficult, you’ll be walking on gravel floors, ducking under low-ish beams, and climbing quite a few stairs over the course of the tour. The good news is, there is a small lift for the main staircase for those that require it.

VR Experience: If for some reason you’re unable or unwilling to enter the mine itself, but would still love to experience it, we’ve been informed there is a virtual reality headset experience of the Pulpí Geode located just down the road at the Castillo de San Juan castle. The cost we’re told is €2, and booking is not required.

History and Discovery

A picture of the abandoned buildings at La Mina Rica

The mine where the Pulpí Geode resides has a rich history that predates the geode’s discovery.

Known locally as ‘La Mina Rica’ (more info on that here), it was originally operational for silver extraction and the mine has seen generations of miners toiling in its depths.

The geode itself remained a hidden gem until 1999.

It was during a routine exploration by Javier Garcia-Guinea of the Grupo Mineralogista de Madrid that this magnificent structure was unveiled.

The discovery was nothing short of serendipitous, revealing a geological marvel that had been forming for millions of years…

And now it’s open to the public.

Since it opened to the public a few years ago, I’ve personally visited the Pulpí Geode three times with several visiting guests, so hopefully, this review (without spoiling the experience) will help you with booking, know how to get there, what to expect, & what to take.

First up, you’ll need to book tickets online.

If you just turn up unannounced, you may be lucky enough to get a few spare spaces on an existing tour, but I personally wouldn’t risk it as it’s a very popular attraction so here’s all the info you need.

Booking Pulpí Geode Tickets Online

A picture of the online ticket booking calendar

It’s extremely easy to book tickets online via the geodadepulpi.es website, the whole website can be viewed in English, you just click on Tickets in the main menu to arrive at the availability page seen here.

Of course, there’s a lot more info on the website as well so be sure to take a look around.

At the time of writing, an adult ticket for the Pulpí Geode tour costs €22, and children’s tickets between the ages of 8 to 16 are €10. This grants you access to the full 90-minute tour with helmet rental included.

On the booking form, simply select the available day and time you want (marked in green), then proceed to checkout and pay online.

You can print the confirmation email if you wish, but you only need to show the email to the ticket office upon arrival.

Upon arrival, you can also opt to rent a headphone system to experience the tour in English, as well as pay a few euros at the end for the photographs taken by the guide during the tour.

You pay cash at the office for headphones (before the tour) or photographs (after the tour).

Alternatively, you can call the booking office on +34 950 96 27 27 or email them at [email protected]

What To Take, Getting There, Parking & Obtaining Your Entry Tickets

If you’re coming from the Mojácar area, unfortunately, there are no buses (full Mojácar area bus schedule here) that go directly to San Juan, Pulpí or the geode, so unless you book a planned excursion with a travel company, the only way to get there is by car. 

If you need to rent a car for a short period of time, check out the local Mojácar car hire companies.

What To Take & What To Wear

You don’t really need to take anything into the mine itself, but I would recommend a small bottle of water in a rucksack each as the tour lasts for 90 minutes and there are… quite a few stairs involved.

The mine itself is considerably cooler than the outside temperature, so much so that you can feel the rush of cold air whizzing past you as you approach the mine entrance.

During the summer, it’s an absolute delight and probably the coolest you’ll feel for weeks, if not months, however in the winter in can be bitterly cold.

A picture of the spiral stair case in La Mina Rica

Here’s what I would recommend you wear when visiting the Pulpí Geode, depending on the season and weather:

Summer: Shorts or leggings (not a skirt due to steep stairs), a comfortable T-shirt (ideally not white), and trainers. There are no obvious rules against it, but wear flip-flops at your own peril, you’ll likely regret it.

Winter: Jogging bottoms or jeans, a T-shirt, trainers and maybe a jumper just in case it’s cold up the mountain. Use your judgment based on the weather that day.

Getting There

The good news is, it’s an absolutely stunning drive through the mountains and up the coastal road from Villaricos towards San Juan.

You can see over the Mediterranean for miles as you wind around the curves of the road that elegantly follow the mountain’s natural formation.

I’d recommend arriving 15-20 minutes before you’re allotted booking time, and allow 1 hour to reach the geode if you’re setting off from around Mojácar.

If you click on the Geode or ‘Directions’ on the map below, it will open Google Maps on your phone to estimate the driving time from your current location:

Parking

Parking at the geode itself is extremely easy, the car park covers half the mountainside so you’d have to have extremely bad luck to not be able to find a space. Also – it’s completely free!

No ticket or payment is needed (for now at least).

Getting Your Tickets

Getting your tickets couldn’t be simpler.

Whilst the new main ticket office and gift shop building is still under construction, there’s a temporary setup that houses everything – you can’t miss it.

All of the receptionists speak English, simply walk in and show them your booking confirmation and they’ll provide you with a coloured sticker each.

The sticker colour indicates which tour group you’re with, so if you’re a little unsure, just hang around the office with the other people with the same sticker colour on their top. It’s not a perfect system, but it seems to work.

Outside the ticket office, you’ll find shaded benches, toilets, and a cold drinks vending machine. I recommend using the toilet before you enter the mine as there are none inside.

Insider Tip: There is another toilet cubicle down the bottom of the windy hill you have to descend to get your helmets, so you do get one last chance before entering the mine.

Before you enter the mineshaft itself, you’ll be given a quick (sort-of) safety briefing, provided with a hair net and helmet, and a quick group photo-op outside the mine entrance.

Then, the tour begins.

Entering the Mine: A Glimpse into the Past

A picture of the Pulpí Geode main entrance tunnel

As you enter the mine you’ll be greeted with low beamed ceilings so mind your head!

Don’t worry, it’s all perfectly safe and this is the only area of the mine where you may feel claustrophobic, I promise it opens up significantly as the tour goes on.

I don’t want to spoil the experience, so I won’t go into too much detail here so you can enjoy it first hand 🙂

Before reaching the geode, the journey through the mine itself is a captivating experience.

The mine’s corridors are adorned with remnants of its operational days. Old mining equipment, rusted but standing as silent witnesses to the mine’s bustling past, can be seen throughout.

Inside the Pulpi Mina Rica

Tools that once echoed in these chambers now sit idle, offering visitors a tangible connection to the history of the place. It’s a vivid reminder of the human endeavors that once dominated these mine tunnels, long before the geode became its main attraction.

The paths are interspersed with stairs, making it a bit of a workout but entirely worth it. Your guide, well-versed in both the mine’s history and the geode’s significance, provides insightful commentary.

Important Note: The huge main spiral staircase will be a challenge for anyone unsteady on their feet or struggling with mobility – it’s steep, and there are a lot of stairs. Luckily there is a single-person mobility left that runs down the center of the staircase, so if you’re not feeling up to it you can always inform your tour guide you’d prefer to take the lift.

While Spanish is the primary language, the multilingual information boards and headphone guides (if you purchased one) ensure no one misses out on the fascinating details, so be sure to look out for these.

The Geode Up Close

A picture of someone inside the Pulpi Geode at La Mina Rica

Finally, reaching the Pulpí Geode is a moment of awe.

The vastness of the geode against the confined viewing area creates an intimate atmosphere. The crystals glisten with a clarity that’s mesmerising.

Their transparency is so pristine that you can see the light through them, making you appreciate the millennia of geological processes that birthed this wonder.

The ambient lighting within the chamber really accentuates the geode’s beauty. It’s a sight that resonates, leaving an indelible mark on the memory.

Once you’ve had your turn viewing the geode up close, you’ll be offered another photo opportunity in front of it, which you can buy back at the gift shop.

They offer both printed and digital versions, the digital copies cost just a few euros for what you receive.

What’s Happening There Nowadays?

The Pulpí Geode isn’t just a visual spectacle; it’s still a subject of extensive scientific research.

Studies have delved deep into understanding the conditions and processes that led to the formation of its giant gypsum crystals.

The geode’s existence, a result of specific temperature fluctuations and geological conditions, is a testament to nature’s intricate artistry.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

We can see from Google that visitors to this attraction have some other commonly asked questions before they book, so hopefully these answers will clear up and final questions you have.

Can you go inside the Pulpí Geode?

The short answer is, no, you cannot physically go inside the Pulpi Geode. Whilst many of the marketing photos you see have people actually in the geode itself, these are scientists studying it. When you arrive at the location of the geode, there are some small stairs that allow you to lie within the entrance of the geode, and stick your head into its vast cavern.

What type of mineral forms the Pulpí geode?

The Pulpí Geode crystals are formed from Gypsum, a blend of water and calcium sulfate over 10’s of thousands of years. The Almería is abnormally rich in gypsum, with Sorbas (just 30 minutes from Mojácar) being the largest exporter of gypsum in the whole of Europe (around 7 tons of it a year!).

Is the Pulpí Geode wheelchair friendly?

Unfortunately due to the nature of the abandoned mine, wheel chair access is simply not possible. They’ve done an excellent job to make this attraction as inclusive for everyone as possible, but wheelchair access would require extreme excavation, potentially collapsing the old mine.

Final Thoughts

A picture of a man stood in the Pulpi Geode tunnels

The Geode tour offers more than just a visit to a natural wonder.

It’s a journey through history, a walk through geological time, and an experience that educates and inspires.

We rate it a solid 4.5 out of 5.

Hopefully, we can increase this score in the future once the main reception building is finished, ideally with a small cafe/restaurant attached overlooking the stunning Med views.

So, if you find yourself in the vicinity, this tour is a must. It’s a rare blend of beauty, history, and science that promises to leave you enriched.

Highly recommended for those seeking an experience that’s both unique and outside the normal tourist attractions.

If you’ve enjoyed this review, let us know in the comment below.

We’d also ove to hear your thoughts on it once you’ve visited, so please do leave a review on their main listing here to help other people discover this amazing thing to do local to Mojácar.

Comments

  • Sharon Graham
    February 10, 2024 at 11:57 pm

    Thank you for the review…we will be there in March, coming from Australia.

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