Fun meter: Really boring for kids
Location: Gáldar, Gran Canaria
Time: 1.5 hour tour
Level of difficulty: Hard for kids as we really have to behave because of Covid restriction and guided tour only. It would have been more fun if I could have gone only with my family and done it in 40 minutes. They need a kids tour.
Good for what ages: Tweens and up or super history oriented kids.
Cost: Free on Sunday but cheap other days: cuevapintada.com
Hint: Come early on Sunday right as it opens to get a spot and make sure to reserve a table for lunch at a nearby restaurant.
The painted caves museum is an archaeological site with dozens of homes from a Guanche village from thousands of years ago. You get to walk through (well above) the ruins and even go into remade houses to see what people lived like. They didn’t look very comfortable. They do 1.5 hour tours in English, Spanish, French, or German. My experience was really boring. Maybe it’s true for everyone, or maybe our tour was extra painful. I would not go unless you have tweens+ or if your kid is really into archaeology and history.
Most of the adventures I write about, I really like it. I try to skip to lame ones. I decided to review this place because I think it could be better with a small change. They should really have kid tours where they try to make it fun. A guide who can tell stories in a way kids would find interesting or honestly, just let us be self guided. A mobile app with a scavenger hunt would be cool. Or they could put it on a paper with pictures of the items for you to find and at the end they give you something like a pin or a lollipop if you find them all. Or if they had costumes we could try on in the houses they built and pretended to live there for a day. A little love would have made this pretty great.
How to Get There
Galdar is a lovely little town. The museum is in the old quarter right off the main square. We had lunch after visiting the museum, and the Christmas market was in full swing. Make a bit of extra time to explore before or after the museum. Parking in Galdar is like elf spotting. Definitely not something you do in a hurry and may not result in finding what you are looking for. But getting there isn’t hard. Just take highway 2 along the north coast and follow the signage. Once you have parked, they have signs all along the old town guiding you to the main square, and from there the painted cave museum.
The Tour Intro and Videos
Talk talk talk. No moving allowed due to covid and space between groups. Old pots and stuff. Lots of broken stuff. This is really boring. My music player broke a few weeks ago and I’ve never missed it more.
There was one section with carved shells and jewelry which were pretty.
Then we went into a room with comfy cushions to watch a movie. The movie was about the Guanches who lived on the Island and how the Spanish conquered, enslaved and killed most of them. It was sad. Sojourn asked the tour guide why the Spanish didn’t just share and why they attacked the Guanches. The tour guide looked uncomfortable and didn’t know how to answer. You would think they would practice for that. The video pretty much just says the Spanish are jerks. I was pretty confused as to why they turned the people into birds at the beginning and the end. It’s an old myth of how they arrived on the islands.
They had really bright strobe lights during the video that felt like lightning. Dad says I should warn people if that could trigger a problem or scare tiny kids.
Video over, now more boring talking and old stuff.
The second video was talking about Gran Canaria and the city of Gáldar. The seats were not comfortable and I decided to read my book for most of the time. At this point, I give up on the Museum. Mom says they introduced the different buildings we would see in the ruins below.
The Caves & Houses
We went onto a HUGE walkway that covered the ruins of dozens of old houses. In the center of the ruins was a cave with drawings on the wall. We looked at them for 5 seconds, shrugged and moved on. More interesting were the houses you could go into. They rebuilt four houses and put the furniture inside it like the beds and the pots with plastic food. The house was kinda cozy, but I bet they were super dark without electricity and the bed didn’t look comfortable. On the roof they dried their food.
I think we could have done the whole museum in 30 minutes and then it would have been alright. Still a bit boring but we could have played and then it would have been fine.