Where to go?
A friend of mine told us to check out Tenerife if we want a holiday full of climbing and hiking. So we booked our flights for about two weeks on this beautiful island. The question was, where should we build up our “basecamp” since north, south, east and west on Tenerife are completely different sceneries. We picked Villa de Arico in the end, a tiny little village in the south, about 15 minutes away from the sea. The biggest climbing area of the Island is located here and it´s not spoiled by mass tourism. The travel date was mid to end of September.
We were happy with our decisioin because the barrancos (canyons) of Arico turned out to be the very best playground for climbing and bouldering. It´s a huge canyon with climbing routes on both sides. The rock is solid and the grip is quite good. If you are looking for really long pitches, it´s the wrong place. Short but hard was my impression. If you are tired of carrying a rope with you, there are tons of boulders out there. I think I could spend another month there without any signs of boredom.
Highlight routes:Alucina con mi vecina 6c/5.11a, Alguien palmo 6b+/5.10c
Another awesome place we found were the Canadas del Capricho at Teide national park. From Arico it´s a trip of about 1,5 hours by car (YOU NEED A CAR ON TENERIFE). The rock there is completely different, weird structures and formations…. But the highlight (2200m above sea level) is the view on the 3718 m high volcano Teide. We spent half the time up there just staring at the surrounding nature.
Highlight routes: No repercute 6a/5.9, Placa kantosa 6a/5.9, Curry 6b/5.10b
The possibilities seem to be endless here. You have the Teide (with its nation park), the coastline, rainforrests, endless canyons and so on.
The hike to the top of the volcano Teide is quite simple. It´s just quite hard to pick a good time to start (we did not have a permit which you normally need to go the last 170 m altitude difference to the top). We decided to start at 12 o clock noontime. The hike up (and down) are about 1400m altitude difference. The scenery is awesome and totally diffent to the Alps, where we usually go out. The cooled lava can form so many different shapes… At 3260m you reach the Refugio Altavista. This hut with 54 beds can be used for free, you just have to sign up early enough. We stayed there for about an our to chill. From here it´s about 300m altitude difference to the ropeway (for the ones who are lazy) and another about 170 to the peak. The view from up there is just amazing. You can see La Gomera, Gran Canaria and La Palma. We started our way back at around 6 pm so we had to walk the last our in darkness which was pretty cool. The stars seem to be so close.
The second hike was a short one but with an awesome view. We went to Benijo, which is in the very north of the Island. First we had some tapas and decided that a little walk woud be nice. So we hiked a bit furher north to El Draguilo and in a little roundtrip back to Benijo.
The third hike was specatular again. It went from Tamaimo in the west of Tenerefe to Los Gigantes. First you have to walk through a 1.2 km long pitch black tunnel (bring headlights) to come to a steep canyon (Barranco Seco). Following that canyon to the sea you feel like being in an old wild west movie. After another 1 km long tunnel you reach the steep face of the Acantilado de Los Gigantes. In the middle of this about 500 m hight steep face the way goes down the Los Gigantes. It´s not a difficult walk, but you should always watch out where you put your feet…
We enjoyed our trip a lot. If you are looking for great places to climb, hike, kitesurf or mountainbike, this island is yours! We will definitelly come back because there is still so much to do and see.
A great place to stay in Villa de Arico is: https://www.fewo-direkt.de/ferienwohnung-ferienhaus/p516056
For local climbing/bouldering information/camps, accomodation, awesome hand made climbing pants and just everthing that concerns the Tenerife climbers community… go to: http://www.allyearclimbing.com