Hiking in Tenerife is probably not as well developed as is not as well developed as in smaller islands like La Palma, La Gomera or even el Hierro, there is no doubt however that Tenerife offers an excellent variety of walks. Obviously, the main place for hiking in Tenerife is the National Park of Teide. Two routes are very popular at Teide: the climb to the summit and also the walkthrough las Cañadas. El Teide is one of the best National parks in Spain to enjoy hiking.
But there are more options besides Teide. The most popular hike in the south of the island is El Barranco del Infierno whilst probably the best well-known walk after the Teide is El Barranco de Masca in the northwest, near Los Gigantes cliffs.
The best secret hiking opportunities in Tenerife lie in the north at the rural parks of Teno (on the northwest) and Anaga (on the northeast).
BETS HIKES IN TENERIFE
Teide national park
Teide National Park is one of Spain’s 15 national parks and stands out for several different reasons. It is home to the tallest peak in Spain, Mount Teide, that stands 3,718 meters and, its considered to be one of the 12 treasures of Spain and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also Spain’s largest national park (over 19,000 hectares), it’s the most visited national park and one of the oldest national parks in Spain.
Mount Teide is actually a dormant volcano. When it was active the volcano scarred the surrounding landscape as it spewed lava, creating beautiful rock formations and creating a unique ecosystem.
The last significant eruption that occurred was in 1909, but Mout Teide still lets out the occasional plume of smoke and steam, reminding everyone that it is by no means a dead volcano, but merely a resting one.
What to do in Teide national park?
There is no shortage of companies in Tenerife that offer guided tours of the park. No matter where you are on the island, you will find someone that can help you traverse the park. Where you will find most of these services are in the south of the island since that is where most of the tourists that visit the island concentrate.
Keep in mind that the altitude at the top of Mount Teide can be an issue. If you have heart issues, respiratory problems or are pregnant, you may want to skip visiting the peak.
Also, we suggest wearing several layers of clothing or packing it at least since, depending on where you are in the park, the weather can change drastically. It can get rather chilly at the top of the mountain. Make sure also that you wear good walking shoes.
Cable Car up Mount Teide
One of the most popular activities you can enjoy in the park and for good reason. The cable car will take you up the mountain effortlessly as you sit back and enjoy the SPECTACULAR views. The whole ride takes about 9 minutes and will drop you off just a few meters from the mountain’s peak. The cable car operates continuously from 9am and 4pm.
There is also a special evening tour you can book that will allow you to enjoy the amazing sunset with a bottle of bubbly and a special Canarian dinner. Definitely, the most romantic way to enjoy the Teide.
Stargazing on the mountain
There is no better place in Europe for stargazing. The low levels of pollution and low light contamination allow the stars and the moon to shine as bright as possible.
There are several companies that offer stargazing sessions in the national park: The state-run mountain guides offer a session and there are also independent pros like Astro Amigos and Teide Astro that you can also hire. If you want “the full experience” the Tenerife Observatory offers guided tours and is completely fascinating.
Los Roques de Garcia
Los Roques de Garcia is a collection of otherworldly rock formations that run from the north of the island to the south along the main caldera in Teide National Park. They sit at over 2,000 meters above sea and are incredible at 1,700 meters below the peak of Mount Teide. Roque Cinchado is the most famous and recognizable of the Roques de Gracia formations because of its gravity-defying, contorted shape.
There is no shortage of hiking and walking routes in the park. Whether you are a novice hiker and an advanced hiker, or you just want to take a leisurely stroll there is a route for you in Teide National Park.
As the altitude changes, so does the landscape. The higher you go, the more arid, volcanic, and alien the landscape becomes. If you just want to enjoy a delightful stroll through the park, head over to the crater at Samara. The pathway is easy and will take you along lava flows with views of the neighboring island of Gomera. It’s a round trip that takes about an hour and a half to two hours depending on your speed.
If you want more of a challenge, why not just scale the Teide. It takes about 7 hours to complete, but there is no more rewarding experience you can enjoy on the island, and when you have earned the view, it is that much more spectacular.
If you are more of a daredevil there is one activity you can enjoy that will get your blood pumping. Paragliding is a very popular activity in Tenerife with more than 40 launch sites and a large selection of clubs offering jumps. Whether it is your first time taking the leap, or you are an experienced glider, there is an option for you.
The Natural Park of Teno is for many people the most beautiful area in Tenerife. Over 8,000 hectares of nature with just a few hamlets scattered here and there, it offers the perfect escape from mass touristic resorts. As in the case of the Agana park in the northeast side of Tenerife, Teno provides fantastic hiking opportunities and enjoying a bit of “real” island life.
Teno Park – what to expect
Hiking is the reason why visitors arrive at Teno every day. This area is a bit isolated and cars are not allowed in certain parts of it, which increases its protection and charm. Ravines, barrancos, and laurel forests are found in Teno, and for those seeking solitude, you will for sure also find one or two good spots to feel just by yourself.
We will cover our favorite hikes in Teno and provide with recommendations to prepare for your day.
Teno or Alto Teno village
Teno, also known as Teno alto, is a tiny village that provides a very good image of how life in Tenerife was one century ago. It is very easy to imagine how the more touristic Masca was before it was chosen as a cultural stop for many visitors to the island.
Teno is more difficult to access. It is located 9 kilometers away from El Palmar and driving is tiresome.
Some quaint houses, a couple of bars, and a small and nice church await you. If you drive to Teno you will be able to rent bikes or hike all the way to Punta de Teno. Cars are not permitted most of the day. Another option is to take a guagua (bus).
Punta de Teno lighthouse
The natural area of Teno is probably the most isolated spot in Tenerife. Not all routes are marked and it makes sense to get your day organized beforehand. Punta de Teno is located at northwest of the island and it is a magical place: the volcanic rocks and cliffs and the deep blue ocean water contrast with the white and red colors of the Punta de Teno lighthouse. The Gigantes cliffs on the south contribute to the overall beauty of this place.
When is best to visit Punta de Teno?
The ideal time to be at Punta de Teno is at dusk since the views are fantastic. But anytime during the day, you will enjoy an overall great experience. We would recommend however not to go on rainy or windy days to avoid any problem with possible rock falls.
Recommended trek in Teno
Carrizales trek 4 kilometers. 1,5 hours
This is an area of Tenerife that has very little in common with the crowded resorts in the south of the island. This area was dedicated to agriculture through any harvesting here is a very complicated task. Such labor-intensive reality plus the low yields made most people abandon the area in the 1960s and 1970s at a time when the island started to develop.
Cereals, lentils, chickpeas, and beans are still cultivated at some spots but the natural vegetation has grown back in most areas. This trek is easy to follow and perfect if you feel like enjoying a small adventure. Your prize: fantastic landscapes with stunning views of cliffs that plummet down to the coast.
The walk of Los Carrizales is an out-and-back one so you will come back the same way you take to get to its end. But we believe the scenery is so splendid that this should not pose a problem. To access the trek you will need to arrive at Los Carrizales (on the road between the village of Masca and Teno) Leave the car in the village since the walk starts some 100 meters before the village (from Masca).
You will need to climb a bit at the beginning though the path becomes more demanding when you reach La Roque Barbita. Get ready to enjoy dramatic views of the ravine, with the cliffs and the ocean at the bottom at the end of the path.
The Parque de Anaga is located in the northeast of the island, at 30 minutes drive from Santa Cruz de Tenerife (at 30 minutes drive). This park offers ravines, a lauresilva (laurel) forest that could have been taken from a fairy tale, beautiful rock formations, and beaches that are hardly visited.
The park was declared a biosphere reserve and it covers around 14,500 hectares (some 8% of the total surface area of Tenerife island). The mountain range is so close to the sea that visitors can enjoy a good number of places with breathtaking views. This park is one of the oldest areas of Tenerife. Volcanic sediments shape ravines and cliffs of great beauty.
Anaga Park – what to expect
Over 100 endemic species of flora and fauna gather in the park. The isolation of the park and the diversity of spaces have contributed to its preservation. The park is probably the best area in Tenerife to enjoy bird watching, and it is a great place too to enjoy reptiles and bats. The same richness and abundance of life can be found in the sea areas. Tenerife’s largest laurel forest is located in the park. This forest has survived 40 million years… and it is there for all of us to be enjoyed!
The area has been inhabited since Guanche times and today there are some 25 small rural areas that cater to less than 2,000 people whose main occupation is agriculture, fishing, and farming. This is an area where ancient traditions have been maintained in Tenerife and where you will still be able to enjoy traditional Tinerfeño culture.
Anaga park information center
A very good option to enjoy the park is with a guided tour. Local experts know the best areas but also can explain the different species in the park.
If you prefer to visit the park on your own the visitor center provides good information on routes available. There is a small exhibition at the center. It is open every day (with a few exceptions like Christmas, New Years, eve, etc.) till 15:00 or 16:00 in high season.
It rains often in this part of Tenerife, so bring adequate clothes and shoes.
Recommended circular trek in Anaga park
La Ensillada-Roque de Anambro-Cabezo del Tejo-La Ensillada
Distance: 6,7 km; time: 2 hours; difficulty: little wikiloc directions
If there is one trek we can recommend in Anaga it is this one (it is simple enough to be enjoyed by everybody) since it will bring you to the best example of laurel forest in Tenerife. Besides, you will also enjoy splendid views of the coast. It is a circular trail that simplifies logistics.
The hike starts in the old recreation area of La Ensillada (Mk 4,9 TF 123) You will be able to park here. A wide path will take you straight into the forest. The path is easy to follow and after a little walk, you will be able to enjoy Roque Chinobre. Once you enjoy this and return to the path you will head to Roque Anambra which offers the remains of a volcanic chimney that exploded millions of years ago. You will then head to the viewpoint at Cabezo del Tejo which offers fantastic views.
The way back will be through a path that you will find when you reach TF 123.
If you prefer a longer trek there are many options to enjoy excavated caves, winding paths, dense vegetation, and splendid views of the coast. They include areas like Taganaga, Roque de las Bodegas or the Benijo beach. You will be able to get information on these routes at the visitor’s center.
The Barranco del Infierno is with no hesitation one of the most popular hikes in Tenerife. Its appealing name contributed to this, but the main reason lies in its proximity to the most important tourist resorts in the island. Well, the main reason really lies in the beauty of the ravine itself.
Since it is not a complex walk it appeals to both hikers and less experienced walkers. This created some problems some years ago and the local authorities introduced some limitations to avoid crowds, queues and other problems related to crowds.
How long is the Barrando del Infierno?
The Barranco is seven kilometers. You should estimate a three-hour hiking time. It is not a moderate hike in terms of difficulty. It is not a circular route, so basically you will return using the same route you used to get to the end of the trek.
Price to enjoy el Barranco
You need to book in advance to enjoy the Barranco del Infierno since there is a daily 300-people limitation. The price is close to 10 €.
Things to bear in mind prior to your visit
- Pre-booking is mandatory!
- A helmet is mandatory throughout the trek and will be provided at the entrance.
- We strongly recommend enjoying the trek during the morning to avoid the heat.
- It is not recommended to enjoy this trek on rainy days or windy days.
- In case you do not book a guided tour make sure you bring your booking information with you in paper or mobile phone.
- Children under 5 cannot enjoy the trek.
Route to Follow in El Barranco del Infierno and What to Expect
The route once you are at El Barranco is pretty straightforward. You will find on your way smaller paths to your left and right. Simply ignore them and continue all the way on the main path.
One of our favorite things in El Barranco del Infierno is vegetation and it changes through the trek. As you get closer inside the ravine the landscape gets drier. Water from this area is used for irrigation further south. The first interesting viewpoint is Acequia Larga. You will arrive after 30 minutes of walking. You will enjoy fantastic views of the southern coast and the Adeje area. The last area where you will be able to stop is called La Cojedera, a good place to enjoy a break. From this area onwards you cannot stop. The path becomes greener and narrower.
Continue for 30 more minutes on the same path and you will arrive to a stream. You will encounter much more vegetation in this area of the ravine. You will find some pools along the stream and after a short more difficult walk of fewer than ten minutes, you will encounter a beautiful 200-meter waterfall! The waterfall is well-protected by the steep ravine walls. Depending on the time of the year the waterfall brings more or less water.
The waterfall is your prize at the end of this trek and we are sure you will be able to take excellent pictures here. You will need to return using the same path from where you arrived.
This is a 6 kilometer, 3 hour circular trek in the south of Tenerife. This area is part of a protected natural park and a beautiful example of volcanic landscape. The trek starts at El Puertito de Güimar and ends there too. Average difficulty, you will not need to climb the mountain but follow the trail and stay in between the mountain and the coast. Great contrast of desertic type of nature (cactuses and volcanic rock formations) and the blue sea! Route in Wikiloc
One of the most mysterious hiking routes in Tenerife, you will for sure enjoy its fantastic landscapes, caves, abandoned houses… If you love mysteries, legends, and walking in a spectacular area this is a fantastic walk to enjoy Tenerife (it starts near the town of Güimar. Directions in Google maps
Fantastic views in this is a rather difficult walk and not recommended at all in case you suffer from either vertigo or claustrophobia. Having said this, the walk is very impressive and the trail goes through 8 tunnels (some were built by the Guanches centuries ago!) These tunnels are in reality the remains of what used to be an aqueduct for water transportation. A hike that is only suitable for those with high adrenaline! Route in wikiloc