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The Forau de Aiguallut in Benasque

El Forau de Aiguallut
A visit to Aiguallut allows you to enjoy one of the most important karst phenomena in the Pyrenees. A thundering waterfall of crystalline waters plunges into an enormous sinkhole in an idyllic spot surrounded by bucolic meadows.

The path starts at the Vado del Hospital car park and after a few minutes you reach the vicinity of the Hospital de Benasque, where you take a path on your left called Camí dels Aranesos, which has been used since ancient times by the local people, and which connects the Benasque Valley with the neighbouring Aran Valley (in summer there is a bus that takes you to the car park at La Besurta – located 3 km up the valley at an altitude of 1900 m, and which is where the road through the valley ends -, but this would deprive you of visiting some really beautiful and interesting areas). Follow this path and you reach the Plan d’Estan, which you walk all the way to the end, passing the Plan d’Estan hut and climbing up to the Besurta. The Plan d’Estan is a good area to observe marmots, or at least to hear their characteristic high-pitched whistles.

About 10 minutes after leaving the Besurta behind, we reach the crossroads with the path that goes up to the right to the Renclusa refuge, so we must be careful to take the right direction, as our path continues along the path to the left that will lead us directly to the viewpoint over the Forau de Aigualluts, an endokarst sinkhole that, like a funnel and subsequent natural underground channel, collects the water coming from the waterfall, to then flow out into the Aran Valley.

The path crosses the Salto d’Aiguallut waterfall on your right, and continues ascending until it finally reaches the Plan d’Aiguallut. This is a huge, idyllic meadow through which meanders the riverbed formed by the meltwater from the glaciers of the Maladeta Massif. The plain was formed by the silting up of a glacial lake and is surrounded by an unsurpassable environment. In front of us, to the right, we can clearly see the summit of Aneto and what remains of its glacier, and if we look carefully we can see in the distance the accumulation of earth and prismatic stones that formed the lateral moraine of the glacier (northeast ridge), which gives us an idea of its dimensions in the relatively recent times of the Little Ice Age (13th to 19th centuries). The Aneto glacier is one of the largest glaciers preserved in Spain and belongs to the group of glaciers declared a Natural Monument of the Pyrenean Glaciers.

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El Forau de Aiguallut
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The Forau de Aiguallut in Benasque

A visit to Aiguallut allows you to enjoy one of the most important karst phenomena in the Pyrenees. A thundering waterfall of crystalline waters plunges into an enormous sinkhole in an idyllic spot surrounded by bucolic meadows.

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