Located in the Guadajoz-Campiña Este region, Baena’s history is linked to the river Guadajoz, which cuts across the district from the southeast to the west, and its tributary, the river Marbella, that runs through the town centre. The town has a rich natural heritage, which is influenced by human activity, as well as the water and ground’s peculiar composition (brackish waters and limy soil). This combination gave way to a landscape, which decisively influenced its flora and fauna, including elements such as the Cueva del Yeso, and the Quinta and Rincón del Muerto lagoons, both of included in the Andalusian Wetland Plan and the Vadomojón reservoir.
The Cueva del Yeso, currently in the process of becoming accessible for tourism, is 8 kilometres from Baena, in the area known as Puente de la Maturra. This cave, measuring 2562.7 metres, is the best example of this type of natural structure in the province of Cordoba, being the third largest gypsum cave in Andalusia and the fourth in Spain. It is home to five species of bat and various rare shrimp species that can only be found in this cave.
There are some very ecologically important lagoons in Baena, as they are a place where migratory birds rest and reproduce, meaning that they are ideal for avid birdwatchers. Laguna de la Quinta is located on the road that goes towards Fuentidueña. A large number of grey herons and pink flamingos can be seen here. The Laguna del Rincón del Muerto, which is 500 metres away from the previous lagoon, is where aquatic birds go to rest, reproduce and feed. Black-winged stilts, western marsh harriers, grey herons and flamingos can be spotted here.
The Vadomojón reservoir was opened in 1988 and has given rise to the formation of a new ecosystem. This reservoir, which borders with the provinces of Jaén and Córdoba, has a capacity of 163hm3 and a surface area of 782 ha. It is one of the most important reservoirs in the Gualdalquivir basin. It has meant that nautical sports and fishing can be practiced in the area, and has even become one of the most important fishing scenes in the province of Córdoba.
Baena’s hiking trail is called the Vía Verde Guadajoz-Subbética and is the perfect way to be in direct contact with nature. It leaves the town centre, ascending to Baena’s old train station, and follows the old railway except for some sections that are now taken up by the N-432 road. It can be completed by foot, on bike or on horseback, and reaches the Estación de Luque (Luque station) where it connects with the Vía Verde de la Subbética.