Barranco de Azuaje

Share post

Discover Moya, the Azuaje Gorge and the Canary Islands’ drinking water value. Barranco de Azuaje is one of the hiking gems of Gran Canaria.

Water in Gran Canaria is rare

When I registered the accommodation through AirBnb I was surprised by the conditions of the house: “Shower in 5 minutes water is more expensive than Whiskey on the island”.

Most locals don’t drink the tap water because it’s “nasty and disgusting”. It’s desalinated sea water. That’s also why you can buy bottles of water in supermarkets for ridiculous amounts of money. Drinking water is subsidised in the Canary Islands.

The showering phenomenon

We discussed showering with my host the other evening. He was explaining to us the difference between a man and a woman. A guy walks into the shower, puts shower gel on his head, runs his hands through his hair, fumbles under his armpits, between his legs and rinses off. What goes down, comes down.

As the woman prepares for the shower, the half-hour preparation begins. Heating the water, presenting the DM, towels,… Then the woman enters the shower and locks herself in. After half an hour, the door opens, and for ten minutes, only steam comes out. Then the woman comes out wrapped in 4 towels. The boiler is empty, the house is without water, and the village reservoir is at the bottom. And the locals still need water to water their banana trees and onions.

Barranco de Azuaje

The gorge spreads in the north of the island between Firgas and Moya. A nature reserve, the Azuaje Gorge has what most of the island does not. Water. All year round, even in the hottest months. And not just any water. Rich in iron, carbon dioxide and bicarbonates. The spa was established here in the 19th century to treat the digestive system and kidneys.

Jungle in the gorge

A ravine is like a jungle in a canyon. It is undoubtedly one of the greenest and most beautiful places on the island.

Difficulty of the route

The 8 km long circular route starts in Firgas. But if you want to walk it, don’t underestimate it. It is for experienced hikers. Not a hike in flip-flops with kids. The route goes over stream footbridges, wet slippery rocks, and auxiliary chains and ropes in two places.

Crossing wooden bridges over crystal clear water
Crossing wooden bridges over crystal clear water

I recommend you set aside 4 hours for the gorge without taking photos. And most importantly, don’t go there when it’s raining.

If you want to admire the beauty of Azuaje, park at the Bridge under Moya, towards the village of Firgas. The shorter route avoids the most dangerous sections and the ordinary tourist can pass it.

Azuaje Spa

Azuaje Spa
Ruinf of the Azuaje Spa

Under the bridge you will pass the ruins of an old spa hotel. Cynaries built the spa in 1868 and after a brief healing glory it was closed before the war around 1938. It has been in disrepair ever since. But it’s partially abandoned. Upon closer inspection, I discovered a rooster and hen pen that a local farmer had created there—a respectable home for chickens.

Anyway, the waters from the ravines around Teror and Moya are among the island’s most valuable and tasty waters.

Seven Los Cocks

On our way back through the gorge, we came across a group of aborigines. Or so it seemed at first. Seven painted, stripped guys with sticks in their hands were heading towards the upper cascade of the falls. Only later did we discover gay pride in Maspalomas, and the group decided to take a ritual bath in the falls.

Exit route to the lake
Exit route to the lake

Firgas and Moya

If you want a good ending to the entire Azu’s Gorge and to experience the adventure, I recommend the circular route and the town of Firgas. The 8.5 km circuit should take approximately three and a half hours. It took us twice as long with photo taking. Gorge offer water, roots, stumps and rocks. After this experience, I recommend the whole trail only for experienced hikers with equipment and good-quality hiking boots. Just make sure you don’t get dizzy. 🙂

In places, we were climbing in the creek quadrupeds. Remember that 80% of the trail is unmarked, so it is recommended to follow the path closely. Water flows through the gorge year-round. There are sections where you must climb (with and without ropes), sometimes even quadrupeds. It’s a wet terrain fest and, therefore, slippery.

Azuaje Nature Reserve

As mentioned, Azuaje National Nature Reserve has abundant water flow throughout the year throughout the gorge. Therefore, it has an incredible biological richness and is one of the greenest and most beautiful gorges on the island. Undoubtedly, it is one of the hiking routes that could not be missing from our itinerary in Gran Canaria.

The central part of the gorge lies in a 5 km stretch below Moya. Part of the Gran Canaria laurel forest is still preserved here. In addition, it has areas of reed fields, willows and some Canarian endemisms such as the bicácaro. The locals look after these cosmopolitan-looking trees. A local who volunteered to water them in the Los Cernicalos ravine explained this to us. It’s their symbol.

The colour of the rocks is extraordinary, thanks to the mineralisation.

Gran Canaria hiking

Azuaje mineral waters

The fact that Gran Canaria is an island of volcanic origin has fostered the formation of water springs with mineral-medicinal properties in the gorge. The waters that flow through the Azuaje are rich in iron, silicates, carbon dioxide, sodium bicarbonates, and many ferric ones. Because of this, the Firgas waters are ideal for cardiac patients, calming the nervous system and promoting sweating and urinary excretion. Thus, everything that old prostatic might need. 🙂

Jungle in the Gorge
Jungle in the Gorge

Barranco de Azuaje trail

The route through the central gorge is 90% easy, but you must remember there is a stream along the way, which you cross several times on stumps. Climbing over rocks a metre high in some places will also be challenging.

Always check the weather forecast, though. All hiking portals recommend not to enter this gorge during rain.

There are very few parking spaces around the gorge. Around the bridge is the best place. However, if you can’t park near the bridge (there are parking lots around the bridge indicated on maps, but you can’t park there), I recommend taking your car to the village of Firgas or Moya.

Share post