Crystal clear water, a cooling breeze and a sense of adventure - these are the ingredients for an unforgettable kayak trip along the coastline of southwest Tenerife.
If the prospect of this particular coastline conjures a somewhat negative image of concrete hotel bunkers and overcrowded beaches, I have a real insider tip for you:
Between the tourist hotspot of Costa Adeje and the resort town of Playa Paraíso lies a beautiful natural area: Punta de las Gaviotas. A dusty sand path connects the fishing village of La Caleta in this area to the picturesque El Puertito. On slightly cooler days, this hiking route is very popular. But who wants to trudge through this desert-like area in temperatures well into the 30ºC (and Calima)?
A fantastic alternative is to explore this natural oasis from the water. And what better way than by kayak?
First, I have to try it out myself, of course. Fortunately, I can convince a dear friend to accompany me. Although there is some swell on the day of our trip, we don't hesitate for a second: we are determined to brave the water and start our adventure.
We check in at the kayak center La Caleta Adventures and are warmly greeted by the Flemish manager Jan. He understands that we are eager to hit the water but explains that, for safety reasons, he will first assess the conditions in the bay. Afterward, he carefully studies the weather app. After all, there is a yellow weather warning (aviso amarillo) announced by the meteorological service AEMET. Fortunately, luck is on our side because the weather is expected to change only later in the afternoon. That should give us enough time to paddle from La Caleta to El Puertito and back.
Ready to go!
We get the green light, and Jan guides us to the large truck opposite the kayak center. The cargo area has been transformed into a changing room, equipped with free lockers and a shower. We are allowed to choose our own life jacket. There is also the option to have your mobile phone packed in waterproof and vacuum-sealed bags so you can safely take it with you and capture beautiful photos along the way. These special bags cost 5 euros per mobile phone, with the option of an attachment chain for 3 euros.
Once wrapped in our life jackets, we head to the bay of La Caleta. With a gentle push, we glide the 2-person kayak into the sparkling water, and the adventure begins!
Playa Diego Hernández – our first stop
It doesn't take long before we find a good rhythm. The paddles cut through the water while we absorb the natural beauty around us. Our first stop is the beautiful Playa Diego Hernández, also known as Spaghetti Beach. I used to come here almost weekly, but the somewhat challenging descent from the dirt road to the beautiful beach (and my not-so-young legs anymore) keeps me from visiting this hidden piece of paradise more often nowadays. Once in the bay, we can't resist the temptation: the crystal-clear water beckons, and we let the kayak slide onto the soft sand. Armed with a snorkel and underwater camera, we dive into the waves.
Respect the waves
After a delightful snorkeling session, we return to the kayak. Meanwhile, the waves have become a bit higher. Concerned, we try to find a way to drag the kayak back into the water without capsizing. We position it straight into the waves. Suddenly, a high wave manages to grab the kayak in the flank, throwing us – kayak and all – back onto the beach. Fortunately, nothing serious, just a few minor scratches. In any case, it's clear that, even with some experience, the ocean must always be respected.
Cautiously we make another attempt. This time it works. We just hope no one filmed our fumbling.
El Puertito – Turtle Bay
Happy (and a bit proud) that we managed to brave the waves, we decide to paddle further to the nearby bay around the corner, El Puertito. This bay is also known as Turtle Bay due to the sea turtles that once inhabited the area. Unfortunately, due to the increasing number of excursion boats and jet skis that dock here (especially the jet skis are a source of irritation due to the enormous noise they make), no sea turtles have been spotted here for quite some time. However, this doesn't diminish the magic of the place. The rhythmic movement of paddling and the salty sea air have a calming effect.
Such a kayak tour is a very enjoyable and sporty way to experience Tenerife in a different way. I would recommend renting for at least 3 hours, then you have time to dock at your leisure, do a bit of snorkeling, and perhaps enjoy a tasty tapa at the informal restaurant Bodegón Pepe y Lola in El Puertito, which, in addition to tapas, also offers typical Canarian dishes at a very reasonable price. Highly recommended, and this way you really have a great day out.
What should I bring on my kayak adventure?
- Water shoes or water resistant flip flops as you will have to walk through the water a bit before you can get into the kayak. There are quite a lot of stones in the bay of La Caleta, so such shoes are a must.
- Sunscreen lotion.
- A T-shirt over your swimwear and a cap to protect you from the scorching sun.
- If you have them: sunglasses with polarized lenses, ideal for looking through the clear water.
- Swimming goggles.
- Possibly a Tupperware to put camera and wallet in. I brought a compact camera with me on this tour and it stayed perfectly dry in the Tupperware box I brought with me.
- Small waterproof bag or backpack to put your things in. You can attach this to the kayak using a strap. Don't take too much with you, because you also want to sit comfortably.
Do you have to be top fit to do this?
No, a certain level of fitness is required, but it's really not a top sport. It's actually more about relaxing, enjoying floating on the water and the wonderful tranquility in this busy part of the island. Being able to swim is a must though.
Safely back in port
Our kayaking adventure ends where it began, in the idyllic bay of La Caleta. Full of new energy and a deep appreciation for the power of nature, we return our kayak. But this is definitely worth repeating!
How and where to book?
Are you ready to explore the waters of Tenerife in an original and eco-friendly way?
Click on the link below for the booking portal of GetYourGuide and book your kayak adventure for your next vacation. Explore the beautiful waters of Tenerife and enjoy an unforgettable experience!
Enjoy your kayaking adventure, and ¡Hasta Pronto!