Malpaís de Güímar 1 Trail

Malpaís de Güímar 1 Trail

Technical information

  • Start: Calle Almirante Cervera (El Puertito de Güímar)
  • Finish: Calle Almirante Cervera (El Puertito de Güímar)
  • Approval status: Not officially approved
  • Degree of difficulty: Intermediate
  • Type of trail: Circular
  • Distance: 6.11 km (12.89 ft)
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Highest altitude: 122 m (12.89 ft)
  • Lowest altitude: 1 m (12.89 ft)
  • Elevation gain: 169 m (12.89 ft)
  • Elevation loss: 169 m (12.89 ft)
  • Links to other trails: Malpaís de Güímar 2, Malpaís de Güímar 3
  • Protected Nature Areas: Malpaís de Güímar Special Nature Reserve
  • Authorisation required: No

Trail description

This circular trail starts and finishes in the port area of El Puertito de Güímar. The Malpaís de Güímar is a special nature reserve of great ecological significance that was declared a protected area in 1987. This is a unique volcanic landscape that spans all the way from Montaña Grande to the coast. The region’s mild climate makes it a wonderful habitat for a great many endemic species. Cardons and tabaibas thrive here. Nearer the coast, you will find sea fennel and the local species of sea lavender, while the sandy areas are populated by spiny broom bushes and Canarian clovers, with over 60 species of lichens dotted all over the Malpaís landscape. All across the inland area of El Malpáis are a series of volcanic tubes and caves. The most spectacular ones are the caves of Cueva Honda and Cueva de los Burros, with some stretches measuring as long as 100 m (330 ft) and as tall as 5 m (16 ft). The best way to discover this landscape is to explore its trails and stop at its many lookout points, where tongues of lava, cardons and tabaibas dominate the scenery. We welcome you to take it all in slowly on a leisurely walk.


Malpaís de Güímar 1 Trail

Malpaís de Güímar Special Nature Reserve

Malpaís de Güímar Special Nature Reserve

Malpaís de Güímar Special Nature Reserve

In the Malpaís landscapes of Güímar, the lava twists and turns into impossible shapes, daring you to keep on looking at it without wondering whether you’ve somehow slipped into another world. The landscape here is a real biological and geographical gem. This is the gateway to another planet. As you venture out into its three square kilometres (740 acres) of land, you will be able to sense the salty sea air and see one of the most fantastic displays of Canary Island spurge and euphorbia plants in the archipelago. There are other endemic plant species such as the balillo, as well as a great many birds (shrikes, hoopoes and kestrels). Not to mention a variety of lizards scurrying across the stones in search of the sun. A sight that will make a lasting impression is the iconic figure of Montaña Grande, a volcanic mountain with a subdued reddish hue.

The land’s inhabitants have made the very most of the varied and valuable resources it has to offer by fishing and collecting shellfish. A traditional fishing method was known as “embarbascado”, which consisted in poisoning the water in small pools using the milk of the Canary Island spurge or bitter euphorbia plants to stun the fish.

These same inhabitants would also use take advantage of their proximity to the sea to obtain valuable products such as salt. The salt pans are still perfectly preserved to this day. Years ago, when refrigeration was not an option, they would salt their meat and fish to preserve it.

Municipality: Güímar.

Expanse: 290.3 hectares (717.35 acres).

How to get there:

Accessible from the TF-1, taking the exit signposted as Polígono Industrial de Arafo. Head towards the industrial estate and take a right turn at the first crossroads. Malpaís de Güímar is roughly 1.6 km (1 mile) from there.

Download free maps Tenerife hiking trail

Malpaís de Güímar 1 KML

Also see walking routes:

Remember: Prevention, Information and Knowledge are the key to avoiding unpleasant situations.

  1. Make sure you always have somebody else to walk with, stick to the marked footpaths and respect the way of life, privacy and property of the local inhabitants.
  2. If you keep your noise levels down, you will discover just how much life there is all around you.
  3. Take any rubbish with you, even organic waste. This will help preserve the beauty of the scenery and prevent the proliferation of rodents in the area. Take special care with cigarette butts.
  4. Picking up plants, animals or other items from the environment may entail the loss of irreplaceable resources.
  5. The people who take care of these Protected Nature Areas would be very grateful if you let them know about any incidents you may have noticed on your walk.
  6. Remember that the Island’s environment is as unique as it is unpredictable. It must be enjoyed responsibly and sensibly. Take special care in natural areas and don’t forget that accidents can happen at any time.
  7. Pay attention to signs.
  8. Check the weather forecast? to make sure the conditions are suitable.
  9. Wear suitable clothing and footwear for hiking and always pack your mobile phone, sunscreen, a hat, a coat, a waterproof, enough food and plenty of water in your backpack.
  10. Let your family and/or friends know which route you will be taking and bear in mind how many daylight hours you will need to complete it.