Welcome to my guide on the best things to do in Anaga Rural Park, one of Tenerife’s most breathtaking and unspoiled treasures! Nestled in the northeastern tip of the island, this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Anaga’s rugged mountains, deep ravines, and lush laurel forests create a landscape that looks straight out of a fantasy novel. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast eager to explore its numerous trails, a bird watcher keen to spot some unique species, or simply someone who loves to immerse in the tranquility of nature, Anaga Rural Park has something special for you.
From the charming ancient hamlets tucked away in its hills to the stunning viewpoints offering panoramic vistas of the Atlantic, this park is a treasure trove of natural and cultural wonders.
In this guide, I’ll unveil the top activities and hidden gems that make Anaga Rural Park a must-visit destination in Tenerife. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and let’s discover the magic of Anaga!
What is the Anaga Rural Park in Tenerife
Anaga Rural Park in Tenerife is a true natural wonder, a place where the beauty of the island’s landscapes comes to life in the most spectacular way.
Nestled in the northeastern part of Tenerife, this park was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its rich biodiversity and stunning geological formations. It’s a world away from the bustling beaches and resorts, offering a glimpse into the wilder side of the island.
Anaga is renowned for its ancient laurel forests, a throwback to the Tertiary period, making it a haven for botanists and nature enthusiasts. The park is crisscrossed with trails that range from easy walks to challenging hikes, each leading to breathtaking views, from misty mountains to rugged coastlines.
Quaint villages dot the landscape, offering a peek into the traditional Canarian way of life. Birdwatchers are in for a treat, as the park is home to many endemic species.
Whether you’re trekking through the greenery, exploring the charming hamlets, or simply soaking in the panoramic vistas, Anaga Rural Park is a place that captures the essence of Tenerife’s natural beauty and leaves visitors in awe of its untouched wilderness.
Are There any Fees to Enter Anaga Rural Park?
Visiting Anaga Rural Park in Tenerife comes without any entry fees! That’s right, exploring this stunning UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is completely free, making it an accessible option for everyone.
You can freely explore the vast majority of its paths, soaking in the stunning scenery and rich biodiversity that the park offers.
However, there’s an exception for certain protected areas within the park, like the Integral Nature Reserve of Pijaral, where access is regulated to protect its delicate ecosystem. For hiking in these specific areas, you will need to obtain a free permit in advance.
This permit system is in place to ensure the preservation of the environment and to manage the number of visitors. You can easily apply for the permit online through the official website of the Tenerife government or the OAG (Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales).
It’s a straightforward process, but it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your planned hike, especially during peak tourist seasons, as permits can be limited. By securing this permit, you’re contributing to the conservation efforts and ensuring that the natural beauty of Anaga Rural Park can be enjoyed by future generations.
How to get to Anaga Rural Park
Getting to Anaga Rural Park in Tenerife is a breeze, whether you’re driving, taking public transport, or even hiking. Each mode of transport offers its own unique experience of the journey.
By Car: If you’re driving, the park is easily accessible via the TF-12 road, which offers a scenic route from the capital city of Santa Cruz. Driving gives you the flexibility to explore the park at your own pace and visit more remote areas that might be less accessible by public transport. There are several spots to park your car and start your adventure.
By Bus: For those preferring public transport, the TITSA bus service provides a convenient and eco-friendly way to reach the park. Buses from Santa Cruz, like the 947, can take you to key locations within Anaga. It’s a great option if you’re looking to avoid the hassle of driving and parking, and it gives you a chance to enjoy the stunning views along the way.
On Foot: For the more adventurous, Anaga can also be reached by hiking from nearby areas. There are several well-marked trails leading into the park, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty right from the start. This option obviously requires a bit more time and effort but can be a rewarding experience for avid hikers.
💡 TIP – We went with a rental car but do know that parking is very limited in Anaga Rural Park. So try to start exploring as early as possible.
9 Very Best Things to do in Anaga Rural Park
1. Hike the Roque de Taborno Trail
Known as the ‘Matterhorn of Tenerife’, Roque de Taborno is a striking rock formation located in the Anaga Rural Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve known for its ancient laurel forests and rugged terrain.
The trail to Roque de Taborno is a moderately challenging one, spanning about 3 kilometers, and it takes around 2 hours to complete. As you embark on this hike, you’re immediately immersed in the park’s unique environment, with its ancient laurel forests and stunning views of the rugged coastline and the Atlantic Ocean.
The path weaves its way up to the base of the Roque, providing hikers with panoramic vistas that are simply breathtaking. The terrain can be rocky and steep in parts, so sturdy hiking boots are a must.
It’s also wise to bring along water, snacks, and sun protection, as most parts of the trail are quite exposed.
💡 TIP – Start your hike as early as possible cause there’s very limited parking space in Taborno.
2. Watch the sunrise from Mirador De Jardina
This viewpoint, nestled in the mountains of Tenerife’s northeastern corner, offers a front-row seat to one of nature’s most magnificent displays. As the first light of day breaks, the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors, casting a warm glow over the sprawling laurel forests and rugged landscapes of Anaga.
The viewpoint provides a panoramic view that not only captures the beauty of the park but also offers glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean and the distant peaks of Teide on clear days. It’s advisable to arrive a bit early, as the colors of the sky start to change before the actual sunrise.
Don’t forget to bring a jacket, as it can be quite cool in the early hours, and a flask of coffee or tea to keep you warm as you wait for the sun to greet the day.
3. Visit the Camino Viejo al Pico del Inglés
This historic street, once a primary route connecting the villages before modern roads were built, is a hiker’s delight. As you traverse the Camino Viejo, you’re enveloped by the lush greenery of the laurel forest.
This ancient path, nestled in the lush landscapes of northeastern Tenerife, offers a glimpse into the past, winding its way through the same routes once traversed by the island’s early inhabitants.
As you set foot on the Camino Viejo, you’ll be instantly captivated by the dense canopy of laurel forests, a unique ecosystem that dates back millions of years.
4. Admire the views from Mirador Pico del Inglés
Perched at one of the highest points in Anaga, this viewpoint offers some of the most stunning panoramic vistas on the island.
As you reach Mirador Pico del Inglés, you’re greeted with breathtaking views that span across the lush laurel forests of Anaga, the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, and, on clear days, the neighboring islands in the distance.
The viewpoint is easily accessible by car, making it a convenient stop for those exploring the area.
5. Hike the Path of the Senses
The Path of the Senses, or ‘Sendero de los Sentidos’, in Tenerife is a unique and enchanting hiking experience that truly lives up to its name.
Located in the lush Anaga Rural Park, this trail is designed to engage all your senses as you explore the beauty of the laurel forest, a relic of the Tertiary period.
The path is split into three routes of varying lengths, with the shortest being just 340 meters, making it accessible to hikers of all abilities, including those with limited mobility.
As you walk, you’re invited to touch the diverse textures of the forest, listen to the symphony of bird songs and rustling leaves, smell the fresh, earthy scents of the vegetation, and feast your eyes on the verdant greenery and occasional glimpses of the ocean in the distance.
Informative panels along the route provide insights into the local flora and fauna, enhancing the educational aspect of the hike.
6. Visit Playa de Benijo
Getting to Playa de Benijo is a bit of an adventure, involving a scenic drive through the Anaga mountains and a descent down a series of steps, but the effort is more than worth it.
As you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the stunning sight of black volcanic sand, framed by dramatic rock formations and cliffs that plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.
The beach is especially popular among photographers and nature lovers, as it offers some of the most spectacular sunsets on the island, with the sun dipping into the ocean horizon. It’s also an ideal spot for picnicking, relaxing, and simply soaking in the natural beauty and serenity of the surroundings.
Keep in mind that swimming here can be challenging due to strong currents and waves, so it’s more suited for experienced swimmers. Also, there aren’t many facilities on the beach, so it’s a good idea to bring water, snacks, and any other essentials you might need.
7. Walk from Benijo to El Draguillo
The walk starts at the stunning Playa de Benijo, where you can admire the dramatic rock formations and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. As you set off towards El Draguillo, the trail takes you along the coastline, offering ever-changing views of the sea and the cliffs.
The path can be challenging in parts, with some steep and rocky sections, so good hiking shoes and a reasonable level of fitness are recommended.
8. Admire the views from Mirador Risco Amogoje
This viewpoint, perched high in the mountains, provides one of the most spectacular panoramas in the area.
The viewpoint is easily accessible, making it a perfect stop for all visitors, including those who might not be up for strenuous hiking.
9. Complete the Punta del Hidalgo – Chinamada hike
The Punta de Hidalgo to Chinamada hike in Tenerife is a hidden gem for those who love coastal trails with a mix of cultural insights. This moderately challenging hike starts in the small, picturesque coastal village of Punta de Hidalgo, located in the northeastern part of the island.
As you ascend, the path offers breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and the vast Atlantic Ocean. One of the highlights of this hike is the opportunity to explore Chinamada, a unique hamlet where inhabitants still live in traditional cave houses carved into the mountainside.
It’s essential to wear sturdy hiking boots, as the terrain can be uneven, and to carry plenty of water and snacks. The trail can also be quite exposed to the sun, so sun protection is a must.
Don’t bother hiking to Mirador Aguaide cause it is closed.
Where to stay near Anaga Rural Park
When visiting Anaga Rural Park we choose to stay 3 nights in San Cristobal La Laguna. This way we were close to the entrance and most of the hikes. Especially when you’re traveling with a young baby you try to limit your travel time.
La Laguna Gran Hotel provides express check-in and check-out, non-smoking rooms, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free WiFi and a garden.
Other Tenerife Blog Posts
- The Very Best 7 Days Tenerife Itinerary
- Anaga Rural Park In Tenerife – 9 Very Best Things To Do
- The Ritz-Carlton Abama – The Best Luxury Hotel In Tenerife To Stay With A Baby
- The 7 Very Best Hikes In Tenerife (Map + Tips Included)
- The 9 Very Best Luxury Hotels In Tenerife To Stay With A Baby
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Charlotte Lint is the founder of Charlies Wanderings.
Charlotte has traveled all over the world and is based in Belgium where she also owns her very own dental practice.
She is an expert on writing efficient travel guides and finding unique places to stay.
Every month she helps over 134.000 people discover the most beautiful places in the world through her detailed travel guides.