6. La Herradura: Cerro Gordo Natural Park Kayak & Snorkel Tour
La Herradura is considered one of the best places for water sports and activities in Andalucia due to the wide range of different high quality water activities on offer. The village lies in a bay surrounded by mountains, with two hills jutting out into the sea, "La Punta de la Mona" and "Cerro Gordo", which gives the place its horseshoe shape and gives it its name. The beach itself is about 2km long, and is situated on one side with one of the most beautiful marinas of Andalusia "Marina del Este" and on the other side the spectacular Natural Park (marine and terrestrial) "Los Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gorde", which we will visit during the excursion. Sea kayaking is a very safe and rewarding discipline that can be done with family or friends, from almost any age with minimal training. On this excursion we combine kayaking with snorkelling (diving with light equipment). Practically everyone can do it. For beginners we will give an introductory course of the basics, enough to start enjoying this sport. The Natural Park Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo forms a narrow strip parallel to the coast, which is twelve kilometres wide and penetrates one mile into the interior of the sea. Inland it is bounded by the N-340 road. This area is mainly characterised by steep and spectacular cliffs, up to 75 m high, interspersed with beautiful beaches and small coves, the result of marine erosion and regression on the last foothills of the Sierra de Almijara, between the coastal districts of Almuñécar (Granada) and Nerja (Málaga). The area does not reach an altitude of more than 325 metres, and of the total area, 395 hectares are on land and 1,415 in the sea. Maro-Cerro Gordo has a high environmental value, both for the peculiarity of its geological formations and for the great biodiversity it contains, both in its terrestrial area and in the interior of the sea mile. By way of example, the presence of two Andalusian botanical endemisms in danger of extinction stands out. Much more diverse than the land strip is the maritime mile, where caves and steep seabeds give rise to numerous species, both flora and fauna, that populate its seabed. Thus, its marine fauna is a sample of the richness and diversity of the area: invertebrates - sponges, corals, anemones, echinoderms and molluscs - and crustaceans - shrimps, spider crabs and lobsters. Of special importance are the existence of important populations of orange coral, which is a species classified as Vulnerable to Extinction. As for fish, there are abundant bullheads and blennies, moray eels with serpentiform forms and grouper, all of which are the result of the great variety of habitats.