TENERIFE INSIDER TIPS

Barranco del Infierno in Adeje

Barranco del Infierno in Adeje

Adeje

In the south of Tenerife, just a stone's throw from the touristy Costa Adeje, lies the charming mountain village Adeje. By taxi, you can reach here from Costa Adeje in about 15 minutes. By bus, it takes about half an hour (for information about the buses, click here). If you're coming by car: there's

Freely translated, Barranco del Infierno means "hell gorge". But don't let that name scare you, because this is one of the most famous and beautiful mountain gorges on the island.

The legend of the Barranco del Infierno – in short

The ominous name is, as far as known, based on an ancient legend about the original inhabitants of the island, the Guanches. According to tradition, there was once an entrance to hell in the gorge, Nautemio. This also became the scene of an unfortunate love triangle between the beautiful but rather arrogant Iora and the royal sons Xampó and Saute.

The legend goes that Iora, who was actually engaged to Xampó, ultimately chose Saute, who as the heir to the throne would naturally inherit more wealth and power. In a false plot, orchestrated by his former lover and brother, Xampó plunged into the deep abyss of Nautemio. But the two villains hadn't counted on Xampó returning as a gigantic, vengeful giant.

Although they still tried to flee, Iora and Saute were trampled under Xampó's gigantic foot. After taking his revenge, Xampó turned into a giant monolith. And to this day he is still there.

You don´t believe the saga? Then put on your hiking boots and venture on the 6.5 km long walk through the gorge!

(Source: Luis SALCEDOLa Leyenda del Barranco del Infierno-1932)

Hiking in the Barranco del Infierno

The walk starts at the end of Calle de los Molinos in Adeje, right next to the restaurant Otelo.

The gorge is a nature reserve and can only be visited by reservation. In order not to burden nature too much, only 20 people are allowed in every half hour. Which is a plus, as it allows you to enjoy the breathtaking beauty in peace, without being trampled (not even by Xampó).

Access to the gorge is possible between 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM (20 people every half hour), but you have until 3:30 PM to explore the gorge.

At the entrance of the gorge you will also receive a helmet, in addition to some instructions. The helmet is mandatory, and not a luxury as occasionally loose stoness roll down.

What else should I bring?

The hike is not too difficult, but keep in mind that you are somewhat above sea level (up to 1300 meters), so the air is slightly thinner. Furthermore, there is still a bit of ascent and descent. And although the hiking trail is well laid out, I would personally recommend maybe bringing a hiking stick or something similar. I've always found it beneficial. An average level of fitness is required.

Furthermore: wear good hiking shoes. They don't necessarily have to be heavy-duty hiking boots, but make sure you have good grip and tread. No flip-flops (and in my time, I've really seen a lot of locals gracefully hopping from rock to rock in flip-flops). Nowadays, wearing flip-flops is prohibited if you want to do this hike.

You can optionally bring a small snack for the journey. A piece of fruit like a banana always does well if you need to replenish your energy. But don't bring too much because... we're going to eat the famous garlic chicken soon!

A bottle of water is also a must, and you can potentially refill it along the way in the icy cold stream flowing through the gorge (no fear of wet feet, bridges are built at most crossing points).

Oh, and before I forget: a camera, sunscreen, and maybe also a head covering (a cap with a visor or something). In the beginning of the hike, the sun can still be very bright. As you progress, there will be more shade.

What can I expect along the way?

The temperature and plant variety vary as we ascend. You will encounter different vegetation, from cacti in the lower areas to pine trees in the higher elevations.

If you look up, you can still see old caves here and there. The Guanches from this area lived in these caves and left behind some interesting archaeological souvenirs in the form of rock paintings, indigenous mummies, and artifacts. The largest collection of these is now housed in the Museum of Nature and Man in the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Waterfall

After about 3 km you will reach the end of the gorge. And the beginning of a 200 meter high waterfall. Now don't expect Niagara-esque scenes. In a dry period it is more like a pathetic trickle, but nevertheless a real eye-catcher. Real die-hards even take a leap into the (ice) cold water.

How and where can I make a reservation for this unique walk?

Reserving is cheap and easy. Click here for the website, where you can find everything about the prices and also reserve the desired day and time. It's best to plan this a few days in advance to avoid disappointment.

And now...food!

Such a walk naturally makes you hungry. And what could be more fun than to end this successful (half) day with a typical dish from Adeje: the famous garlic chicken.

At the entrance of the Barranco is the unbeatable restaurant Otelo. In addition to garlic chicken, they also have other local dishes on the menu, such as conejo and salmorejo (rabbit in special sauce). There is also a lot of goodies on the menu for vegetarians. The location of the restaurant is nothing short of spectacular, just above the gorge.

This is not the only chicken restaurant in Adeje, there are many. Unfortunately, my former favorite Oasis, in the main street, is not what it used to be, partly due to the unfriendly service, so you can skip that one.

So much for this week's Tenerife Insider Tips, stay safe and…

Hasta Pronto!

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