The story of the Desierto de Tabernas Natural Area starts 8 million years ago when the whole area, as far as the Sierra de los Filabres, was covered by a shallow sea. A fossilised coral dune in the foothills of the Sierra de los Filabres, north of the paraje natural, marks the extent of this ancient sea. Rivers flowed into the sea depositing sand and loam.
About 7 million years ago, the Sierra Alhamilla, to the south of the Tabernas desert, appeared above the waves and continued to rise until the arm of the sea in the Tabernas area was cut off and became an inland sea. More sand, loam, gypsum and clay was deposited by the rivers flowing into the Tabernas sea until about 2.5 million years ago when the sea dried up; a combination of evaporation, lowering sea levels due to glaciation and a generally drier climate.