A variety of isolation procedures were carried out to study the involvement of bacteria in the colonisation and biodeterioration of Spanish caves with paleolithic rock art (Altamira and Tito Bustillo). The applied techniques mainly aimed to isolate heterotrophic bacteria such as streptomycetes, nocardioform and coryneform actinomycetes, and other gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The results demonstrated that actinomycetes were the most abundant gram-positive bacteria in the caves. Actinomycetes revealed a great taxonomic diversity with the predominant isolates belonging to the genus Streptomyces. Members of the genera Nocardia, Rhodococcus, Nocardioides, Amycolatopsis, Saccharothrix, Brevibacterium, Microbacterium, and coccoid actinomycetes (family Micrococcaceae) were also found.