This area was declared a Protected Natural Space in 1989.
It is located in the northeast of the Province of Cordoba, in the central area of the enormous range of Sierra Morena, and covers an area of 41, 212 hectares.
This Nature Reserve presents a flat relief of gentle slopes in the western area, which contrasts with the rough and precipitous, but nevertheless extremely beautiful terrain surrounding the ravines and gorges formed by the River Yeguas in the easternmost area.
The altitudes fluctuate between 200 and 800 meters: with the highest peaks are Colmena and Pingano.
With a linear length of 40 km within the natural park, the river Yeguas acts as the drainage of this natural space, although there other streams such as the Arenosillo, Martín Gonzalo and the Frescoso.
The woodland growing along the river banks represents another of the botanical treasures of this reserve, which boasting an abundant vegetation made up of oaks, offers protagonism to the ilex, although other interesting species such as the wild olive, gall oak and cork oak also grow here.
The most outstanding feature is the presence of the only Melojo oaks, or bitter oaks, in the province, which are of great botanical interest and spectacular beauty, growing in the areas surrounding Venta del Charco, a hamlet within the park.
It is also worth highlighting the splendid woodland along the river Yeguas formed by oleanders, mulberry bushes, ash trees and a few elders.
There are a number of relevant animal species closely linked to the vegetation, many of which have disappeared from other points in the province, such as the wolf, otter, booted eagle, golden eagle, imperial eagle, black vulture and, most notably, the lynx, a protected species in danger of extinction.
Other birds that can be found are those typical of the Mediterranean forest: hoopoes, bee-eaters, woodpeckers, tits, etc.
The abundance of game species, such as deer, wild boar, fallow deer, partridges, doves, rabbits, amongst others, explains the level of hunting that takes place in this nature reserve, with numerous large and small hunting grounds.
The region of los Pedroches, colonised by man in ancient times, is rich in archaeological remains from the Neolithic, Iberian, Roman and Moorish periods, and therefore it can be concluded that the evolution of this park is closely linked to the peoples who have inhabited it.
Proposed Routes:Authorised routes: Cardeña-Venta CerezoVenta Cerezo- AzuelVenta Cerezo-Venta del Charco
Camino de Vuelcacarretas.
The nature reserve is distributed between the municipal areas of Cardeña and Montoro. It is accessed via the N-240 and C-420.
The area has plenty of accommodation and restaurants along with an extremely rich heritage.
Venta Nueva Visitors Centre:Ctra. Nacional N-420, p.k 79 – 14445 – CardeñaTel: 677-904308
Near The Cardeña-Montoro Nature Reserve