Masca valley: hiking in Tenerife

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12 July 2021

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Masca valley: hiking in Tenerife

Masca is a small mountain town on the island of Tenerife. Originally a Guanche settlement, before the Spanish conquest in 1496. The town now houses about 100 inhabitants. It is located at an altitude of 650 m in the mountains of the Macizo de Teno, which extend to the most northwestern point of Tenerife.

 

In Masca you can find deep ravines and cliffs that end in the Atlantic Ocean between the vegetation and the curved roads. It has the reputation of having been a hideout for pirates. Masca also stands out for its traditional architecture, despite the fact that most of its buildings are not very old. The Masca farmhouse preserves the best example of rural architecture in the entire Canary Islands.

 

Until the 1960s, the village of Masca was only accessible on foot or on the back of a donkey. Today, it is well communicated with the rest of Tenerife by road. Several kilometers of curves through a narrow road that crosses the mountain and that is worth going through the impressive landscape that surrounds it.

Masca valley: hiking in Tenerife

HOW TO GET TO THE MASCA CANYON

 

The beginning of the path, when it is made in a downward direction, is in the Masca hamlet, within the Teno Rural Park, on the TF-436 road, between the centers of Los Pedregales and Santiago del Teide. It must be taken into account that the access road to the Masca village is steep and narrow, with difficulties in traffic maneuvers when there are several vehicles. To improve access security conditions, it is recommended to access the village by collective transport (public or private). You have connections through the bus company TITSA with Santiago del Teide, Buenavista and the main tourist spots on the island, which also have taxi services. You can also get there on foot through the official network of trails in the rural park, which connects Masca with El Palmar, Las Portelas, Teno Alto or Baracán, among other possibilities.

From the final point, the departure is by boat to one of the nearby ports, which you must have reserved in advance.

At the access control at the Masca Visitor Center and at the Control Points along the way, you will be asked to present the ticket for the maritime vessel to depart from the Masca pier.

Masca valley: hiking in Tenerife
Masca valley: hiking in Tenerife

ROAD CHARACTERISTICS

 

The Masca valley path is not adapted for people with reduced mobility or sensory difficulties.

Due to the special characteristics of the path, you are required to be in a suitable physical condition to carry out this activity. In the mode of descent it has medium difficulty, but in ascent and especially in the joint mode of descent and ascent, due to the unevenness and length, it becomes a route of high difficulty.

 

  • Difficulty level MEDIUM in descent and HIGH in ascent or descent and ascent together, with uneven pavement, steps and areas with unevenness and the possibility of slipping and falling.
  • Length: 5 kilometers. 10 kilometers in the mode of descent and ascent together.
  • Estimated duration: About 3 hours in DESCENT, at least 4 hours in ASCENT, and at least 7 hours in the mode of descent and ascent together.
  • Elevation gain: The highest point is 750 meters above sea level (Masca village) and the lowest is at sea level (Control Point 3, next to the jetty).
Masca valley: hiking in Tenerife
Masca valley: hiking in Tenerife

CLOSURE OF THE MASCA CANYON DUE TO ACCIDENTS

 

The Barranco de Masca was closed to hikers for three years due to the number of accidents. It was reopened as a pilot project from March 27, 2021. In the three years that it was closed, 1.25 million euros were invested to make the Masca Ravine safer for walkers.

 

As in any natural environment, walking the path of the Masca ravine carries some risks. It is the place where more rescues have been made in recent years throughout the Canary Islands. For this reason, basic rules have been put in place for the safety of hikers.

 

The basic rules to follow are the following:

  • Use only the marked itinerary.
  • You cannot use the flow of the riverbed or the ponds for bathing.
  • Do not camp or spend the night.
  • You cannot make fire or smoke.
  • It is not allowed to hunt or fish, except for exceptional conservation measures.
  • It is not possible to enter with dogs or other domestic animals (except with assistance or working dogs, prior communication in the reservation form).
  • Do not access the beach area of the cove or use the pier for anything other than access to maritime transport.
  • Bring all the equipment with you.
  • Follow the directions of the road personnel at all times.
Masca valley: hiking in Tenerife

From Hotel el Duque, we can help you with everything you need so that you can visit this privileged enclave. Come to our reception and do not hesitate to ask us, we can offer you all the information so that you can go alone or with a specialized guide. With Hotel El Duque you will be at home.

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