Most hikers climb to the hills. The higher, the better. In Gran Canaria, that’s not quite the case. You can find unforgettable moments in gorges. One of the most memorable is
Barranco de Los Cernicalos
Los Cernícalos is one of the most beautiful gorges in Gran Canaria, along with the Azuaje Gorge. The water flows here 365 days a year, and you feel it at every turn, in the upper part of the reserve by the lush greenery, in the lower leg (near Lomo Magulo) by the aqueducts that cross the canyon.
Reserve (Valsequillo) and the Lomo Magulo Protected Landscape Area in Telde. The navigation sent us by car the shortest way to Lomo Magulo. Make no mistake. Two roads lead from one side of the gorge to the other. The easy way goes through Telde or this one – the shortest one we choose. It could have been a better elevation gain, maybe a hundred, two hundred meters. But it felt like we were descending into hell. The road, the better path between the houses, was so narrow, steep and winding that we needed help turning out with the small car.
Lesson: If you hear honking in the distance, stop immediately. That’s a twenty-year-old truck rolling up the hill in the opposite direction with a hardened home driver who wants to make it up the hill in second gear and without stopping. You are unimportant in his efforts. And if you want to avoid backing up a winding hill at 20% grade on a road that’s narrower than a run treadmill, stop and move out of the way in time.
This particular transition was the most adrenaline-filled thing we experienced in the gorge. That is, apart from the natural beauty of the Cernicallos Gorge.
I recommend dividing the exit into two parts. The upper part is through the nature reserve up to the waterfalls and cave from the Los Arenales – Merendero del Barranco de Los Cernícalos picnic area. On the trails, you enter alongside the water channel straight into virgin nature and a jungle of ancient trees, willows, cacti and sugar cane. The 7 km trail (up, down) will take 3 hours unless you’re taking photos. But you can’t.
If you take photos, count on an extra hour. You’ll still be stopping. The trail is not as exposed as Azuaje, but the sections around the falls ask for good trekking shoes. You’re occasionally skipping at times and almost crawling. Add to that the wet and slippery rocks.
When to go
Go to the Barranco de Los Cernicalos in the morning, as early as possible and avoid weekends and holidays. The route is particularly popular with locals. You won’t find any buffets on the trail. What you don’t take with you, you don’t have. The entire crossing from the Telde coast to the waterfalls is 13 km. At the bottom, however, it is worth shortening the hike by crossing the Canyon de San Miguel y El Pastel on the Telde.
We have two reasons for this. The lower stretch to the coast could be less attractive, and San Juan (the historic part of Telde) sells great Tropical beer, including a lemon version.
Barranco de San Miguel y El Pastel
If you want the ultimate experience, descend by Lomo Magulo to the Gorge de San Miguel y El Pastel, a natural continuation of the canyon to the coast. You will find yourself in another world full of history, authenticity and aqueducts.
Somewhere above us, a rooster crows. And you can hear the clucking of chickens. Directly above us, a chicken coop completes the atmosphere in what we imagine to be the most amazing terrace restaurant. It completes the atmosphere. 🙂
But I’ll admit, I wouldn’t want to be in that ravine in a torrential downpour, with water pouring down from the nearly two-kilometre-high peaks of the Tejeda Mountains.
If Telde, then San Juan
At Telde the gorge widens. It’s time to get out. The Tropical is calling. We’ve been planning for two days to peek into the heart of Telde’s historic district, San Juan. The colourful colonial streets and the local San Juan Basilica are worth a one-hour stop.