Anaga Rural Park is simply unmissable. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve offers wild, untamed black sand beaches, soaring mountain peaks, dramatic dark rocks, deep ravines, lush green forest, incredible hiking trails and traditional villages untouched by tourism.
Thanks to a cool and wet climate, Anaga Rural Park is a lush, green mountainous area in northeastern Tenerife. This unspoiled area is packed with mind-blowing hiking trails, wild and unspoiled beaches, charming villages with an authentic feel, and a wide variety of local flora and fauna. It’s an absolute must to see this place while visiting the island.
The Anaga mountains are volcanic and were formed by an eruption that occurred about seven million years ago. It’s one of the oldest parts of Tenerife. The park is only 90 minutes from the island’s southern resorts, and is also characterised by laurel forests, knifelike peaks, abyssal ravines and settlements untouched by time.
Ways to enjoy Anaga National Park include visiting the viewpoints, hiking the trails, driving the scenic routes and spending time at the magnificent beaches. If you want to experience the Anaga Mountains in Tenerife, this guide will show you all this area has to offer. From when to go to where to stay and what to see and do, continue reading to discover the abundant natural beauty of Anaga Rural Park.
When is the Best Time to Visit Anaga Park
Although it’s Tenerife’s coldest and wettest spot, Anaga Rural Park remains – like all of the Canaries – a year-round destination. Hiking conditions and temperatures here are thus comfortable during all seasons.
Anaga’s climate depends on the altitude and proximity to the mountain peaks of each particular area. Rain clouds constantly accumulate close to the summits, causing almost 1000 mm of precipitation per year. The average temperature in the mountains is about 16ºC, while in the lowlands the air temperature can be as warm as 21ºC (or 18.5ºC on average). Precipitation is rare in coastal regions, and here you can expect temperatures as high as 25ºC (or 20ºC on average).
May to November marks the driest and warmest period in Anaga. The coldest month is January, while during the summer months it can even get too hot for hiking. Just be prepared for rain at any time outside of summer: always check the weather report before planning your trip to the park.
In fact, cloudy weather in Anaga is not necessarily a bad thing, because the natural surroundings can look even more stunning when set against a dull backdrop.
We visited Anaga in September and in April. In autumn it was considerably warmer, sunnier and drier. During April, the weather was wet but not cold, with light rain. A hoodie or light rain jacket was sufficient for us and the kids. In summary, this is a place to visit anytime. It’s simply too beautiful an area to skip because of slightly inclement weather.
How to Plan Your Visit to Anaga Mountains
With deep ravines, remote beaches and lofty peaks, Anaga is not the easiest part of Tenerife to access. For the best experience, you therefore need to plan your visit carefully. This guide is here to help, and outlines all your options for visiting the Macizo de Anaga UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Day Trip from Tenerife South
This isn’t the best or easiest option, but it is doable if you haven’t much time to spend on visiting Anaga. To see something of Anaga in one day, you’ll need a rental car. It takes around 1.5 hours to reach Anaga from Tenerife South, or about 45 minutes from a more northerly resort such as Puerto de la Cruz.
In a day, it is possible to drive through Anaga, stop at a couple of viewpoints, visit a wild beach and enjoy a nice meal at a local restaurant. You may even have time for a very short and easy hike (like the Path of the Senses).
It would be a long day, though, with a very early start and a late finish – and you would still only see the merest glimpse of the park. This option is of course better than nothing, though, and well worth choosing over yet another day at a beach resort.
Stay in San Cristobal de La Laguna
As it only takes 20 minutes to reach the park from La Laguna, this is a much better option. You can also use local buses to reach the park when staying here.
In fact it’s worth staying in La Laguna in any case. It has lots to offer, including historic and colonial architecture, great restaurants, a charming Old Town, good museums and cultural attractions, appealing tapas bars and vibrant nightlife. In fact the town was once the capital city of Tenerife.
Buses to Anaga Rural Park from La Laguna
Bus routes 274, 275, 271, 76, 77 all go to various parts of Anaga. Using buses can work better than a hire car too. This is because you can access the start of a trail via one bus route and return to La Laguna via another at the end of the trail.
Places to Stay in La Laguna
BEST – Hotel Boutique San Diego – Adults Only
Hotel Boutique San Diego can be found within walking distance of the town centre. This hotel is beautifully kept and offers a welcoming feel, with helpful staff, a delicious daily breakfast and comfortable, spacious accommodation. Some rooms have garden view balconies.
MID-RANGE La Laguna Gran Hotel
La Laguna Gran Hotel offers a rooftop pool and terrace, a sophisticated lobby bar, a relaxing guest lounge and superb views over the Anaga Mountains. Friendly staff, stylish decor, clean rooms, comfortable beds, outstanding food and great value for money make this a very pleasing place to stay.
BUDGET – Casa Del Casco Histórico
Casa Del Casco Historico offers private accommodation as well as lovely, sociable shared spaces such as a lounge, a garden with sun terrace and a larger kitchen. There is free WiFi throughout, and all units have fully equipped kitchens and private bathrooms. The owner is most welcoming and the location very central.
Stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife or San Andrés
Another great option within close proximity of Anaga Rural Park is to stay in the capital of Tenerife – Santa Cruz – or in the small village of San Andrés. The latter is even closer to the park.
Santa Cruz is home to local islanders rather than being a tourist town or resort. More people speak Spanish rather than English, so spending time here is a great way to connect with locals and experience life as it is for residents. Moreover, there are plenty of things to do in Santa Cruz.
The must-see Palmetum botanical garden boasts palm trees from all over the world: the collection is the biggest in Europe. We enjoyed visiting a lot. There is also the Museum of Nature and Archaeology, and The César Manrique Maritime Park complex which offers three salt water swimming pools, sports facilities, kids’ play areas, a jacuzzi, a gym, restaurants and a small beach.
The best market on the island – The Mercado Nuestra Señora De África – can also be found here. Open daily, this vast market has several hundred stalls selling all manner of fresh produce, from fruit and vegetables to flowers, dairy products and meat.
In fact Santa Cruz is the best place on the island for bagging a bargain because it boasts the biggest and best shopping centres on the island. Santa Cruz is also close to Playa de las Teresitas, arguably Tenerife’s most beautiful beach.
San Andrés village is even nearer: it’s within walking distance of Teresitas beach. It’s also closer to Anaga Rural Park, and Santa Cruz is only 15 minutes away by car. While the village has a nice selection of restaurants, there are no hotels here, only apartments. If you want less big city hustle and bustle and plan to visit Teresitas beach frequently, you can opt to stay in San Andrés.
We actually stayed here ourselves with the kids once, for precisely these reasons – and we all loved it.
Buses to Anaga Rural Park from Santa Cruz
There are two good bus routes that can get you to Anaga: 946 and 947. Bus number 946 runs from Santa Cruz bus station to the wild beaches of Playa del Roque de las Bodegas and Playa de Almáciga. It stops en route at the charming village of Taganana, plus there are plenty of other stops you can start hiking from.
Bus number 947 runs all the way to the village of Chamorga in the Anaga mountains. Once again there are hikes from Chamorga, or you can pick any stop along the way to set out from.
Check out all the hikes in Anaga to see if the buses pass the trailhead of a hike you’re interested in. Some of our favourite Anaga hikes are discussed later in the article.
Places to Stay in Santa Cruz
This five star hotel occupies a grand, Canarian-style building and offers a wealth of modern facilities. These include a huge spa, pretty gardens, tennis courts, and a quartet of restaurants. The coastline and centre of Santa Cruz are within 15 minutes’ walk, and accommodation here is stylish, clean and spacious.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Taburiente S.C.Tenerife
Close to García Sanabria Park in central Santa Cruz is the four star Taburient hotel. This property offers an outdoor pool, a gym, parking, a hot tub, a shop, two restaurants and a bar and lounge. The location, amenities and standard of accommodation is fantastic and it offers great value for money.
BUDGET – Hotel Nautico
Hotel Nautico is just ten minutes’ walk from the city centre and close to the cruise terminal and yacht club in Santa Cruz. It’s a lovely property at a great price, with clean, air-conditioned rooms with balconies, a restaurant and a cafe-bar. You can also find local eateries in the immediate vicinity.
Places to Stay in San Andres
If you’d like to stay in San Andres, we have a few suggestions for you. This apartment is simply stunning: it’s well equipped, spotlessly clean and offers mind-blowing views of Playa de las Teresitas.
Another recommendation is not right in San Andres but a little further down the road, past Las Teresitas beach. We can’t fail to mention this apartment because it’s located in a very unique spot. The complex is located right on a private beach, and no one but people living or staying in this complex can use this. Playa de las Gaviotas is also nearby.
Stay in Taganana
Taganana makes the perfect base for exploring Anaga Rural Park. We always choose to stay there when hiking in Anaga. Or when we want to catch the sunset at unspoiled Playa de Benijo beach without rushing back.
Taganana is a true gem. This pretty village features whitewashed Canarian houses surrounded by mountains, vineyards and wild, untamed, black sand beaches. By staying here you also get to experience life in a small Tenerife village in an authentic way – and have easy access to Anaga Rural Park.
The village has limited amenities, with only one small grocery store, so do bring food and other essentials with you. Alternatively, enjoy meals in the splendid local restaurants of the area.
Having a hire car is always the best option in Tenerife, but it is feasible to organise your entire stay in Taganana without needing one. The number 946 bus can take you to the village from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and also allow you to reach some Anaga Rural Park trails and wild beaches.
Best of all is the fact that some Anaga hiking routes begin right here in the village: Taganana – Playa del Tamadite and Las Vueltas de Taganana. One of the best hikes in Tenerife – Benijo – El Draguillo – also starts near Benijo beach, and you can get close to the trailhead via bus 946.
Places to Stay in Taganana
There are no hotels in the village, but we can recommend a few great apartments for your stay in Taganana.
We stayed in this holiday home in 2022 and honestly can’t recommend it enough. It’s a three bedroom, two bathroom house with lots of outdoor space and amazing views of the mountains and ocean. You can read more about our experience in our Taganana guide.
This is another great choice for those seeking accommodation in Taganana. It’s a pleasant two bedroom house with a seaview terrace and a well set-up kitchen for self-catering.
This two bedroom apartment is close to the Santa Catalina de Alejandria church, and offers stunning mountain and ocean views. The apartment has a flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area, and an outdoor terrace. There is also a restaurant and bar on site.
Book a Tour
You can also visit the Anaga Rural Park by booking a guided tour. This option saves you from any planning and transport hassles. Here are the ones we recommend.
Pickup from a cruise ship pier or your accommodation in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is included with this tour. You’ll go on a two hour hike in the park that’s perfect for beginners.
To join this tour, you need to make your own way to Mirador Cruz del Carmen, where you’ll meet your guide there. It includes a 3.5 hour walk to the volcanic arch, followed by a lunch featuring local produce.
While it’s not the cheapest option, this is a whole day tour in a luxurious, 100% electric vehicle. This tour is for just one or two people, and includes pickup available from anywhere in northern Tenerife.
Things to Do in Anaga Rural Park
Stop at the Viewpoints
There are so many fabulous viewpoints in Anaga Rural Park. Here, we cover all our favourites.
Mirador Cruz del Carmen
The visitors centre is at this viewpoint, so most people begin their Anaga experience here. You can also access one of the most family-friendly hikes – Path of the Senses (more about this later in the article) – here. There is a restaurant too.
Though a large car park is available, it still gets super busy here, especially at weekends. Tourist buses also stop here, and it can be difficult to find a parking space. Sometimes you’ll need to wait for one to be vacated.
Other than that, this is an incredible spot offering panoramic views over the lush green landscapes of northern Tenerife. Unless it’s cloudy – when you may see very little – expect stunning views that really demonstrate how different northern Tenerife is from the southern beach resorts.
Mirador de Jardina
Here you can enjoy stunning views over La Laguna with Mount Teide as a backdrop. This viewpoint is on the way to Anaga from San Cristóbal de La Laguna, via the TF-12 road. Expect 360 degree ocean and mountain views, especially at sunset (though it can get rather chilly at this time of day).
Mirador Pico del Inglés
This spectacular viewpoint is only a five minute drive from Mirador Cruz del Carmen, and over 950 metres above sea level. It’s possible to see the entire mountain range from here, and Santa Cruz city. On a clear day, you might even spy La Palma and Gran Canaria emerging from the Atlantic too.
There is a small car park, or you can reach this viewpoint via bus 273 from La Laguna. Keep in mind that there are only a couple of buses per day, though. You can also use buses 76, 77 or 275, but the “Cruce Pico El Ingles” bus stop you need to alight at is about a kilometre from the viewpoint.
Mirador Risco Amogoje
The sweeping views over the ocean and mountains from here are jaw-dropping, and it’s the perfect place for taking pictures. Follow the short trail to get the best photos of Taganana.
Check Out the Old Tunnel
One of the most frequently seen photos of Anaga park is an old, mysterious, moss-clad tunnel. When we first visited Anaga, it was one of our main points of interest – yet to our surprise it was not that easy to locate. We weren’t able to find much information on the internet about it either.
We did manage to find it, however, and now we can share the location with you via Google Maps. It’s on the way to the Pico del Inglés viewpoint, and part of the old road. The tunnel looks truly amazing, especially on an overcast or rainy day. It’s a must for photography enthusiasts.
Anaga Hiking Trails
When it comes to Anaga rural park hiking, where do we even start? The park is a paradise for hikers, so it’s really hard to choose the best hikes in Anaga. Here, we’ve covered our favourite ones of all.
La Ensillada – Cabeza de Tejo Loop
Our first recommendation is one we haven’t actually had the opportunity to try yet. Why so? Well for this hike you need a free permit – and without it you cannot go. While the permit itself involves paying no fees at all, it’s not that easy to get it. You have to watch this website to get one, and grab a free place ASAP because they disappear in minutes.
45 places are released daily, for a date exactly 15 days later. They become free at 12pm in winter and 1am in summer, always in Tenerife time. Our trips to Anaga Park have so far been spontaneous, so we weren’t able to get permits for this hike. We recommend it, though, because we’ve heard so often that it’s one of the most amazing experiences in Tenerife.
If you’re lucky enough to get a permit, use this map for the 6.8km loop hike. By the way, the fine is 600 euros if you try to hike this route without the permit, so don’t do so!
The hike – also known as the Enchanted Forest path – passes through a mysterious laurel forest. This setting seems otherworldly, like something from a fairytale, due in part to the mist enshrouding the area. It’s also down to the twisted trees and giant ferns.
The shaded forest walkway doesn’t really get sunlight, so don’t forget to wear – or pack – warm clothing.
The Path of the Senses
This very popular 1.3km loop hike is really more of a walk. It’s also known as Sendero de los Sentidos in Spanish. It’s perfect for families with small kids because it’s really easy: we did it with 3 and 5 year old children without any problem.
We couldn’t honestly recommend this hike for adults in good shape who are looking for a challenge: it’s very short and not at all demanding. Also, because it’s easily accessible, it’s always busy with many people walking the trail. That said – it is perfect for families! There are fun nature and sensory activities for kids along the way too.
It’s also a historic route, as it once connected Anaga villages to the city of La Laguna. There are three possible routes to take, and the first and easiest of these is also wheelchair accessible.
El Bosque de los Enigmas – Mirador de Zapata
This is another great kid-friendly hike. It’s quite similar to the Path of Senses, so we recommend doing just one of these hikes. The route is around 5 kilometres, and is easy to complete in under two hours. There are uneven sections, however, so sturdy footwear is required.
Around halfway along this mystical route is the Zapata viewpoint, from which you can see as far as Mount Teide. Use this map for a 5.0km loop trail from The Forest of Enigmas – Zapata Viewpoint.
Taganana – Playa del Tamadite
This impressive 9.5 kilometre out and back trail from Taganana to Playa de Tamadite gives hikers breathtaking views of the magnificent Anaga coastline throughout.
Playa de Tamadite makes the ideal picnic location en route. It has volcanic black sand during low tide, and pebbles during high tide. You can use this map for the hike, and it generally takes under three-and-a-half hours to finish.
Benijo – El Draguillo
Of all Tenerife hikes on the Alltrails hiking website, this five kilometre loop hike takes first place: it’s one of the best in the Canary Islands. You will also find the hike map on the site.
This two-and-a-half hour hike takes you via a coastal road to El Draguillo, an isolated and typically Canarian hamlet. If you’re driving to the trailhead, set off early as there aren’t many parking spaces. There is a steep section of under a kilometre, but you’re rewarded with views of Roque Benijo, Roque La Rapadura and Roques de Anaga for your efforts.
Punta del Hidalgo – Chinamada
Terraced farmland, rugged mountains, cave dwellings and insights into Canarian rural life await on this trail. The colours and contrasts of the scenery are incredible too, but do expect some steep ascents during this hike. It takes around three and three-quarter hours to complete.
Varied viewpoints along the way allow you to see the ocean, forest and mountains as you go. The hike sets out from Punta del Hidalgo, a Tenerife town, before skirting the edge of the mountains and revealing the coastline. You can walk up to the Mirador de Aguaide viewpoint from Chinamada too.
Las Carboneras – Chinamada – Mirador de Aguaide
We didn’t find this 7.6km loop trail particularly challenging, and managed to complete it with our 4 and 6 year old children. The trail starts in the small village of Las Carboneras and goes around Mount Tenejias before continuing to the village of Chinamada and the beautiful Mirador de Aguaide viewpoint. Here is the full map.
On this route you get varied views of mountains, forest, coastline and villages. For an easier option, drive to Chinamada and opt for a short 1 kilometre walk to the Aguaide viewpoint. Use this map for that alternative route.
For even more hikes in Anaga Rural Park, check out the selection on the Alltrails website.
Wild Black Sand Beaches in Anaga
Anaga is not only about lush, dense forests and breathtaking, soaring mountain peaks. There are also plenty of spectacularly picturesque and entirely unspoiled black volcanic sand beaches here to discover.
If you plan to visit only one beach in Anaga, make it Benijo. It’s located in the northern part of Anaga Park and is accessible by car. You have to go down a set of stairs to access it, however, so it’s not the best option for those with reduced mobility. If you can reach it, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramas of towering cliffs, rugged rocks and stretches of black sand. It really is nature at its finest.
In our opinion this is the most scenic beach in Anaga and probably in the whole of Tenerife. Just make sure you check tide times before visiting because during high tide the beach is almost non-existent. Watching the sunset here is one of the most beautiful things to see in Tenerife. Be sure to come here a couple of hours before the sun sets, though, because the mountains obscure your view of the sun earlier here.
There are plenty of great restaurants to be found in the area around the beach. Take care in and near the water, though, as the currents and tidal action here can be very strong.
Find out more about parking and other amenities in our guide to Tenerife beaches.
Playa Roque de Las Bodegas
This is the park’s most popular beach, with volcanic sand, shingle and stones. It’s more family friendly, and there’s a number of seafood restaurants dotted along the road leading to it. You can also visit the Roque de Las Bodegas viewpoint (location) while you’re here, and the sweeping ocean views from the clifftop are awe-inspiring.
Due to gentler wave action this beach is more suitable for swimming than others nearby, but you must still take great care as unexpected swells aren’t uncommon. This peaceful beach offers limited facilities, so don’t expect to find sunbeds, parasols and showers here.
Playa de Almaciga
Surfers and lovers of untamed, natural seascapes flock to Almáciga. Wild waves crash against the Roques de Anaga here and the lofty cliffs form an imposing backdrop. Though popular in summer, this beach is generally free from crowds. There is parking close by, or you can use bus number 946 to reach the beach from Santa Cruz or Taganana.
Playa de Roque Bermejo
This beach is only accessible via a 9 kilometre loop hike from Chamorga. Here is a map of the trail. This is a beautiful black sand beach, and the hike itself is also very picturesque.
Playa de Antequera
Playa de Antequera is another breathtaking black sand beach that can’t be reached by car. This spot is only accessible by boat or via hiking trails. There are a few ways to reach it. Here are a couple of these: Semáforo de Anaga – Playa de Antequera hike or Playa de Antequera – Las Casillas hike.
Playa del Tamadite
You’ll also need to hike if you want to visit this beach. It’s worth it for the incredible coastal views you can experience en route. We’ve already covered the Taganana to Playa del Tamadite hike above, which begins at the village of Taganana.
Once you get there, you can see powerful waves washing against the shore comprising black rocks and sand. It’s not a safe spot for swimming, but this photogenic beach by a deep ravine is the perfect picnic place.
Dine at the Local Restaurants
There are plenty of very good local restaurants in the Anaga area. They are particularly famous for serving authentic Canarian cuisine and delicious fish and seafood dishes. Here are a few of our favourites.
This eatery is located near Playa del Roque de las Bodegas and serves simple, delicious seafood in a traditional, relaxed setting.
Restaurante La Ola is situated near Playa de Almáciga and serves some of the best value and highest quality local food available anywhere in Tenerife.
This restaurant is near Taganana village and has won a Tripadvisor Travellers Choice award for the standard of its Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine.
El Fronton can be found near Benijo, and there are exceptional views over the beach from here. There is private parking, so you can leave the car after your meal to spend time on the sands. Must-trys include the grilled seafood and Canarian potatoes.
Casa Picar is conveniently positioned in the centre of Taganana village. It’s great for meat, fish and tapas dishes.
The location of this restaurant on the TF-12 highway near La Laguna makes it a good place to go when visiting Mirador Cruz del Carmen or Mirador Pico del Inglés. Try authentic local fare here, and don’t miss the desserts and Barraquito coffee.
To explore Tenerife to the fullest and at your own pace, we highly recommend renting a car. Our favourite place for car rental is the RentalCars website. It allows you to compare different providers and pick the best deal. You also get the best protection and flexibility for booking terms.
We also recommend taking at least one guided tour. Our favourite place for booking tours in Tenerife is GetYourGuide.
Top 3 excursions on the island:
- A whale and dolphin watching (pick by location: Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes).
- Stargazing in Teide National Park
- Kayaking and Snorkeling with Turtles
The best hotels for families with kids (in our opinion):
Luxury: GF Victoria (Costa Adeje) or Bahia Principe Fantasia (Golf del Sur)
Mid-Range: Spring Hotel Bitácora (Playa de las Americas) or Iberostar Bouganville Playa (Costa Adeje)
Budget: GF Isabel (Costa Adeje) or Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle Hotel (Los Cristianos)
The best adults-only hotels:
Luxury: Iberostar Grand El Mirador (Costa Adeje) or Gran Melia Palacio de Isora (Alcalá)
Mid-Range: Tigotan Lovers & Friends (Playa de las Americas) or Iberostar Selection Sábila (Costa Adeje)
Budget: Barceló Santiago (Puerto de Santiago)
Top hotels for everyone:
Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama or Bahia del Duque (Costa Adeje)
Mid-Range: Hard Rock Hotel (Playa Paraiso) or Dreams Jardin Tropical Resort & Spa (Costa Adeje)
Budget: Alexandre Hotel Gala or Olé Tropical Tenerife (both Playa de las Americas)