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A dramatic landscape of gorges, reservoirs and forest, home to the Vautour fauve and the rare Aigle de Bonelli.
El Chorro is the gateway to Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes (the Vultures' Gorge), a stunning nature reserve at the confluence of three rivers, forming three large reservoirs. On the high cliffs of the gorge, there is a large breeding population of Vautour fauve and the famous hiking trail, the Caminito del Rey, snakes through it, following the Guadalhorce River. While the Caminito is amazing, you're probably better off visiting some less popular areas if you want to see as many birds as possible. Resident species include Huppe fasciée, Monticole bleu, Traquet rieur, Cochevis de Thékla, Mésange huppée, Hirondelle de rochers, Pie-grièche méridionale, Fauvette mélanocéphale, Fauvette pitchou, Bec-croisé des sapins, Serin cini, Bruant zizi, Bruant fou, Faucon pèlerin, Aigle royal and the rare Aigle de Bonelli. In summer and during migration, they're joined by Guêpier d'Europe, Martinet à ventre blanc, Hirondelle rousseline, Pie-grièche à tête rousse, Bondrée apivore, Aigle botté, Circaète Jean-le-Blanc and more. There are also Spanish ibex in the reserve and occasionally, Vautour percnoptère and Black Vulture are seen. Some of the best viewpoints for birding in the reserve include Conde de Guadalhorce Dam Viewpoint, Mirador de las Buitreras and Tajo del Cabrero, with the routes and other locations detailed in a link below. You'll get the most out of a day of birding here if you drive around to different trails and viewpoints.
By train: You can go direct from Málaga María Zambrano railway station to El Chorro, which takes 40 to 50 minutes. A shuttle bus leaves from a stop near the station and takes you to the start of a trail leading to the Caminito del Rey and other routes.
By car: Follow the A-357 and leave at Ardales to follow signs to El Chorro along the MA-5403. Alternatively, from Málaga, take the A-357, the A-343 to Valle de Abdalajís and then the MA-4401 to El Chorro.
Details of routes to take around the reserve are in the link below.