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Alto de Guajara: An Epic Hike to Mount Guajara in Tenerife

Alto de Guajara: An Epic Hike to Mount Guajara in Tenerife

Alto de Guajara, also known as the Mount Guajara hike, is one of the best trails in Tenerife. Starting at the Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre, next to Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide, the trail explores the immense volcanic landscape of Teide National Park. The trail leads you to the summit of Mount Guajara, which faces opposite Mount Teide, providing some of the most excellent views of Mount Teide, in all of Tenerife. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Alto de Guajara. This will include information about getting to the Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre and even staying at the awesome Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide.

Before reading this guide, feel free to watch our Tenerife Hiking YouTube production below. By using the chapter function, you can quickly check out footage of Alto de Guajara.

We hope you find this guide useful. For information about other great hikes in Teide National Park, read our guides about Montana Rajada, Mirador de Samara and the Roques de Garcia loop trail. Otherwise, read our huge Tenerife Hiking Guide.

Alto de Guajara: The Hike to Mount Guajara, Tenerife

When it comes to hiking routes in the Canary Islands, Alto de Guajara is right up there with the best of them. Mount Guajara, in Teide National Park, is one of the highest mountains in Tenerife at 2,718 metres above sea level. Starting at the Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre, you’ll have a physically challenging hike to reach the summit of Mount Guajara. But, the effort is all worth it once you reach the summit. The views of Mount Teide, Las Cañadas del Teide and Pico Viejo are absolutely incredible from the summit of Mount Guajara.

Certainly, Alto de Guajara is an underrated walk. It’s one of those trails that simply doesn’t get the numbers it deserves. Although, Beck and I will never complain about a quiet trail! Without further ado, let’s look at some trail specs below. We’ve also included a link to our GPS-guided map, which we recorded during the walk.

FYI – Mount Guajara is written as Montaña Guajara in Spanish.

Dan hiking near Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre and Parador de Cañadas del Teide in Teide National Park in Tenerife.

Alto de Guajara Route Directions and Stats

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 11.15km
  • Time: 3.5–5.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 660m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre/Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide
  • Map: Wikiloc

It’s worth noting that our GPS recording follows a combination of recognised trails, which form the circular Mount Guajara hike. Technically speaking, Alto de Guajara is just a small section of the trail that makes up the Mount Guajara hike. But, it’s the necessary trail that leads to Mount Guajara – the pinnacle of the hike. So, that’s why the Mount Guajara hike is also generally known as Alto de Guajara.

As mentioned, the Mount Guajara hike involves following a series of interconnected trails. Admittedly, it’s difficult to keep up with what trail you’re actually following. But, as long you follow our map or any other map with the same combined-trail route, you won’t get lost!

Roughly speaking, the Mount Guajara hike includes following the GR-131.1/PR-TF 86 combined trails, initially, towards Vilaflor. Eventually, you’ll join the Alto de Guajara (Sendero 15) trail, which leads to the summit of Mount Guajara. Then, you’ll join Degollada de Guajara (Sendero 5), which descends Mount Guajara and connects with Siete Cañadas de Teide (Sendero 4 AKA Pista de Siete Cañadas). This trail then leads you back to Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre and Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide.

A map showing the Mount Guajara hike in Tenerife, which includes Alto de Guajara and starts and finishes in Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre and Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide.

Starting at the Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre

Once you’ve parked at Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre, it’s time to start the hike to Mount Guajara via Alto de Guajara. The visitor centre itself has a cafe, an information booth, informational and educational displays and toilets. It’s even possible to ask for a hard-copy map from the information booth at the entrance of the Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre. For those lucky enough to be staying at the splendid Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide, you’ll simply walk out the door of your hotel to begin the hike!

As mentioned, initially you’ll join the GR-131.1/PR-TF 86 combined trails, following signs towards Vilaflor. Early on, you’ll walk along uniquely shaped orange- and reddish-coloured volcanic rock formations. You’ll even enjoy distant views of Roques de Garcia. Personally, Beck and I had completed the Roques de Garcia trail before taking on Alto de Guajara later in the day! So, it was nice to see Roques de Garcia from afar during this walk as we easily recognised the shapes of the rocks.

The Hike Up to Mount Guajara via Alto de Guajara

Soon enough, the trail steepens as you join Alto de Guajara (Sendero 15). As we approached another peak called Degollada de Ucanca, we encountered an amazing section of the trail, positioned at the base of a rugged cliff wall. Because of the shade of the cliff wall and being high in the mountains, the trail was actually covered in snow. Expect this sort of thing if you visit in winter! After all, you’re reaching a high elevation above sea level.

After passing Degollada de Ucanca, you’ll continue along Alto de Guajara, ascending towards Mount Guajara. Along this section of the trail, you’ll enjoy mouthwatering views of Pico Viejo, Mount Teide and the Las Cañadas del Teide caldera, that’s positioned in between these two mountains. Eventually, you’ll briefly follow alongside a fence as you near the summit of Mount Guajara.

Views of Pico Viejo and Las Cañadas del Teide alond Alto de Guajara in Tenerife. Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre and Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide is out of sight.

At around 3.9km, you’ll arrive at a trailhead for the Mount Guajara summit. From there, it’s around 200 metres to reach the summit.

Views From the Mount Guajara Summit

Reaching the highest point of this hike, at the summit of Mount Guajara, provides exceptional views of Teide National Park. Indeed, you’ll experience an awesome view of Mount Teide – the highest mountain in Tenerife. From the summit, Beck and I found ourselves a rock to sit on to enjoy lunch. My word, they were some mighty fine views to enjoy while chomping down a sandwich!

Views of Mount Teide from the summit of Mount Guajara in Tenerife
Views of Mount Teide from the summit of Mount Guajara in Tenerife

Finishing Alto de Guajara

After enjoying the summit views, you’ll retrace your steps back to arrive at the trailhead of the summit side trail. You’ll then continue along Alto de Guajara, which meanders and gradually descends. You’ll pass by otherworldly volcanic cliff walls and rock formations as you near another peak called Degollada de Guajara. In fact, arriving at Degollada de Guajara means you’ve officially finished the Alto de Guajara trail. You’ll now join Degollada de Guajara (Sendero 5) which further descends Mount Guajara. Soon enough, you’ll reach Siete Cañadas de Teide (Sendero 4), turning left to head back to Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre and Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide.

The Siete Cañadas de Teide section of the Mount Guajara hike is absolutely incredible. You’ll find large and rugged volcanic rock formations, similar to the ones found at Roques de Garcia. After walking around the base of these mega structures, you’ll soon arrive back at Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre and Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide. This signals the end of your hike!

Practical Information About Alto de Guajara

We hope the trail description and photos have inspired and helped you to hike Alto de Guajara. Below, you’ll find practical information that’ll help you plan your visit. Let’s start with information about getting to Teide National Park.

How to Get There

In terms of getting to Teide National Park to do this walk, you have two options – car or bus.

A road in Teide National Park, leading to Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre and Parador de Cañadas del Teide

Car

The easiest and quickest way to get to Teide National Park is to drive there yourself. If you’re visiting from abroad, you’ll obviously need to hire a car. We recommend using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide range of cars on Rental Cars, which are simple to book in advance online. The free and flexible cancellation policy is an added bonus too.

As mentioned, you’ll simply park at the Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre, which is where Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide is also located. Parking here is free.

Bus

It’s possible to reach Teide National Park by using public transport. Titsa is the bus company that runs the 342 bus to and from the national park. Thankfully, the bus stops at Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre/Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide. Visit the Titsa website for the latest information about departure times, locations and costs.

Where to Stay

The closest town with decent accommodation options is Vilaflor de Chasna. Although, most tourists will visit Teide National Park from the south of the island, where there are more hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars and nightlife. Of course, the best accommodation option for doing Alto de Guajara in Tenerife is staying at Parador de Cañadas del Teide.

Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide

Located next to the Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre, the highly-rated Parador de Cañadas del Teide is really the perfect place to stay, particularly if you’re wanting to do Alto de Guajara. The hotel is literally located at the trailhead for the hike to Mount Guajara. So, you’d simply roll out of bed to complete the hike!

But, it’s not just the convenience of the location that makes Parador de Cañadas del Teide a great place to stay. There are two telescopes on-site, for those interested in astronomy and stargazing. In terms of food, there’s a restaurant on-site, serving delicious Canarian cuisine, whilst the bar is never too far away! Also, when you’re not exploring Teide National Park, the hotel has a lovely garden and gym.

Useful Things to Know Before Doing Alto de Guajara

Below, we’ve noted some important things to know before hiking Alto de Guajara in Tenerife.

  • Mount Guajara weather: in summer, the temperatures in Tenerife are often very dry and hot. Even in the mountains, where you’re higher above sea level and temperatures are generally lower, make sure to pack plenty of water and wear long sleeves, sunscreen and a hat. You’ll be out in the sun, doing the hike for around 3.5–5.5 hours. So, make sure you’re sun safe! On the flip side, particularly in winter, the weather can be unpredictable, which, is typical for the mountains. Be prepared for sudden adverse conditions if you’re hiking in winter – pack your waterproofs!
  • Trail terrain: the trail is mostly uneven and rocky underfoot. Keep this in mind if you’re not an experienced hiker or have dodgy ankles.
  • Popularity: surprisingly, the Mount Guajara hike isn’t hugely popular. Most people will simply visit Roques de Garcia or do shorter walks from Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre. So, expect a relatively quiet trail.
  • The Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre Car Park fills quickly: despite being a large car park, it can fill very quickly, particularly in the peak season. Arrive early to avoid disappointment. Otherwise, you can find alternate nearby parking on the road leading to Roques de Garcia here.

El Teide National Park Tours

Other than hiking Alto de Guajara, there are many other excellent natural attractions and places to visit in Teide National Park. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend doing an organised tour. We’ve heard great things about GetYourGuide’s Tenerife: Teide National Park Full-Day Scenic Tour. Taking an organised tour takes the time and stress out of planning your day trip to Teide National Park. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn more about the national park, including information about Mount Teide geology.

What to Bring

These are our five gear essentials for hiking Alto de Guajara in Tenerife.

For a longer hiking gear list, read our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. Otherwise, for a list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • Shop at Lidl: you won’t find much in the way of food in Tiede National Park beside the cafe at Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre. If you want to take food and drinks with you, head to Lidl beforehand for groceries. Lidl is generally well-stocked and has all the basics.
  • Visit the Canary Islands outside of peak season: for milder weather, fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation and flights, visit outside of summer. Beck and I visited in the non-peak season in February and had a great time.
  • Hiring a car is easiest for hiking and exploring national parks in Tenerife: buses visit most parts of the island. But, there are some attractions and trailheads which buses don’t go to. Certainly, a car will give you the ultimate flexibility and freedom to explore and hike in Tenerife.

Make sure to bookmark this page if you’re planning your walking holiday to Tenerife.

Daniel Piggott

Physiotherapist turned travel blogger, Dan is a keen hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

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