The Chinamada Trail is easily one of the most incredible hiking trails in Tenerife. Technically known as PR-TF 10 (Tenerife Footpath Network), the Chinamada Trail stretches from Punta del Hidalgo to Cruz del Carmen, with Chinamada located in between these towns. There are many trail variations involving PR-TF 10. An increasingly popular option is the out and back Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada (including Mirador Aguaide) hike. That’s the Chinamada trail variation that we did and will focus on in this guide. But, we’ll also discuss other trail variations, such as the circular Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada hike and the one-way Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo option.
Overall, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about hiking the Chinamada Trail. But, before reading this guide, feel free to watch our Tenerife Hiking YouTube production below. By using the chapter function, you can check out footage of the Chinamada Trail.
Table of Contents
The Chinamada Trail: Hiking From Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada
Honestly speaking, the Chinamada Trail is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Tenerife. Beck and I promise you that the Chinamada Trail, whichever route variation you choose, will go down as one of your favourite hikes in Tenerife. If we had a full day, we would have hiked from Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo via Chinamada and Mirador Aguaide, or vice versa.
But, we only had an afternoon free to explore the Chinamada Trail. So, we were either going to do the Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada return or the Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada return. In the end, we opted for the Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada return (via Mirador Aguaide). This Chinamada trail variation seems to be increasing in popularity. Indeed, we wanted a taste of it for ourselves!
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Exploring the Anaga Mountains and Chinamada
Located in the serene Anaga Rural Park (AKA the Anaga Country Park and the Anaga Mountains), the Chinamada Trail offers diverse landscapes. You’ll enjoy mouthwatering views of the coast. But, some of the best views are of Barranco del Río, which is the gorge you’ll be hiking through in the mountains. Indeed, you really do get the best of both worlds during the Chinamada Trail. Splendid coast and glorious green-carpeted mountains.
You’ll also get to explore the small village of Chinamada. It’s a fascinating settlement where residents still live in cave houses, which are carved into the hillside. During your exploration of Chinamada, you should also scope out the magnificent views from Mirador Aguaide.
Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada Trail Map (Route Directions)
Here’s a GPS-guided map of the out and back Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada hike. This map also includes directions to Mirador Aguaide in Chinamada.
Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada Stats: Time, Elevation and Difficulty
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 10.5km
- Time: 3.5–5.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 700m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Punta del Hidalgo
Starting Point (Trailhead): Punta del Hidalgo
Depending on how you get to Punta del Hidalgo, will determine exactly where you start the hike! Basically, the trailhead for the hike to Chinamada from Punta del Hidalgo is located here. If you catch the bus, you’ll get dropped off here, which is very close to the trailhead (about a minute’s walk). Otherwise, if you drive to Punta del Hidalgo, you’ll simply walk to the trailhead from where you park. We were lucky enough to find free street-side parking, near the trailhead here.
Punta del Hidalgo to Barranco del Río
After getting to the trailhead in Punta del Hidalgo, you’ll follow an unpaved road down towards Playa de los Troches. Right from the get-go, you’ll enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Anaga Mountains.
After descending this road, the trail then briefly flattens and winds its way towards the mountainous hiking trail that ascends through Barranco del Río. You’ll soon enjoy increasingly breathtaking views of the Anaga Mountains. With the gorge floor to your right, you’ll begin huffing and puffing as you steeply ascend the gorge.
Epic Viewpoints Along the Chinamada Trail
During the initial stages of the gorge ascent, you’ll lose sight of the coast. The Chinamada Trail meanders and undulates as you steadily gain elevation. With sweat starting to pour out from all parts of your body, you’ll soon arrive at a magnificent unnamed viewpoint.
We’re actually really surprised this viewpoint is unnamed. Certainly, this Mirador is one of the best in all of Tenerife. You’ll enjoy mind-blowing views up the coast with the Anaga Mountains towering above the ocean. Even just an out and back hike to this viewpoint from Punta del Hidalgo would be justifiable given the sensational views from the lookout.
To be honest, the amazing coastal and mountain views just keep coming as you become more immersed in Barranco del Río. The trail also wickedly bends around cliff walls. Certainly, the Chinamada Trail is an exciting and exhilarating trail – one of the best in Tenerife.
Barranco del Río to Chinamada
After experiencing more impressive views of Barranco del Río, the gruelling ascent continues to Chinamada. Along the way, you’ll enjoy many incredible landforms and rock formations standing tall in the Anaga Mountains. Eventually, you’ll reach the fascinating small settlement of Chinamada. From there, you’ll enjoy some of the best views on offer of Barranco del Río and the Anaga Mountains.
Whilst you’re in Chinamada, we recommend exploring the town to scope out the amazing cave houses. If you’re keen on a drink or a bite to eat, head to the famous Restaraunte La Cueva. You should also check out the town’s viewpoints, including Mirador Aguaide.
From the small settlement of Chinamada, we recommend the short out and back to Mirador Aguaide. Along this short detour, you’ll pass another viewpoint called Mirador hacia el Roque de los Pinos. But, the more impressive views are enjoyed from Mirador Aguaide.
Returning to Punta del Hidalgo
After visiting Mirador Aguaide, it’s time to retrace your steps to Chinamada and back to Punta del Hidalgo. Unless, of course, you’re continuing all the way to Cruz del Carmen (more details on that trail here)!
Thankfully, the hike back down to Punta del Hidalgo from Chinamada is much easier given the descent. So, you’ll find the return leg of this hike is much quicker.
Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada Trail Recap
The Chinamada Trail, spanning from Punta del Hidalgo to Cruz del Carmen, is an exceptional stretch of hiking terrain. In particular, the trail from Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada is extraordinary. Indeed, we highly recommend the return walk from Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada. Guaranteed, it’ll be one of your favourite hikes in Tenerife.
Practical Information About the Chinamada Trail
Now that you know more about the Chinamada Trail itself, let’s look at home practical tips for visiting. Let’s start with how to get to Punta del Hidalgo.
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How to Get to Punta del Hidalgo
In terms of reaching Punta del Hidalgo, your best options are getting there by car or bus.
The easiest and quickest way to get to Punta del Hidalgo to do the Chinamada Trail is to drive there yourself. If you’re visiting from abroad, you’ll need to hire a car.
If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.
Let’s look at the most common routes for those driving to Punta del Hidalgo.
How to Get There From San Cristobal de La Laguna
San Cristobal de La Laguna is located in the north of Tenerife and is the second most populated city on the island. Located on the southern outskirts of Anaga Rural Park, San Cristobal de La Laguna is a fantastic base for exploring the mountains. Indeed, Beck and I stayed in San Cristobal de La Laguna during the time when we did the Chinamada Trail. For more details about accommodation in San Cristobal de La Laguna, click here. Otherwise, here are the driving directions from San Cristobal de La Laguna to Punta del Hidalgo.
How to Get There From Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Other than staying in San Cristobal de La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is another popular base for exploring the Anaga Mountains. Being the capital city of Tenerife, you’ll have plenty of accommodation options. You’ll also be based near the spectacular Tenerife coastline. Although, the coastline around the capital city isn’t quite as nice as other parts of the island due to the presence of large industrial areas. Additionally, in terms of convenience for doing the Chinamada Trail, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located further away from Punta del Hidalgo than San Cristobal de La Laguna.
Anyway, if you decide to visit Punta del Hidalgo from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, here are the driving directions.
Best Budget Hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
This hotel is a great budget option. You’ll find rooms at Hotel Océano Centro are even cheaper than hostels in the area. Additionally, people rave about the great location near the beach.
Best Mid-range Hotel in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
It’s hard to beat AC Hotel Tenerife by Marriott when it comes to value. The hotel offers free bikes, private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Also, you’ll find a highly-rated restaurant and bar on-site.
How to Get There From Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz is a popular place to stay on the mid-north coast of Tenerife. It’s a great base for doing the Rambla de Castro coastal walk. It wouldn’t be the best base for exploring Anaga Rural Park as it’s further away than both San Cristobal de La Laguna and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. But, in reality, with good traffic, it’s only an approx. 45 minute drive from Puerto de la Cruz to Punta del Hidalgo.
How to Get There From the South (El Médano, Los Cristianos, Las Americas…)
Most tourists stay in the south of Tenerife where there are many resorts and hotels. This includes coastal areas such as El Médano, Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes, Los Cristianos and Las Americas. Admittedly, if you’re travelling to the Anaga Mountains from the south of the island, you’ve got a bit of a drive to do (approx. 1.5 hours). But, it’s certainly still possible to do the Chinamada Trail, from south Tenerife, as a day trip.
Public Transport: Getting Around Tenerife By Bus
Thankfully, Punta del Hidalgo is easily accessible by bus. We recommend using Google Maps or the official Titsa website to plan your journey to Punta del Hidalgo to do the Chinamada Trail.
Chinamada Trail Variations: Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo
As mentioned, the PR-TF 10 (Chinamada Trail) is a hiking trail stretching from Punta del Hidalgo to Cruz del Carmen. Indeed, there are many trail variations. Let’s look at the most popular Chinamada trail variations below.
- PR-TF 10 – Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo: this is the full Chinamada trail. If you have enough time, we recommend doing this full trail, in either direction. Although, the traditional direction is from Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo. After completing the hike in Punta del Hidalgo, it’s possible to get a bus back to Cruz del Carmen.
- Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada via Las Carboneras: basically, instead of doing an out and back from Punta del Hidalgo, you’ll do an out and back to Chinamada from Cruz del Carmen. The most popular route for hiking from Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada involves a circular component, which involves visiting Las Carboneras.
Before You Hike: What to Expect When Hiking the Chinamada Trail
Below, we’ve highlighted some of the best things to know before hiking the Chinamada Trail.
- Accessibility: often, PR-TF 10 is closed for track maintenance. Sometimes, it’s only closed on weekdays, so hikers can still enjoy the trail on weekends. Keep this in mind when you visit and ask local authorities about trail closures.
- Be sun smart: even in winter, the temperatures on the Chinamada Trail are very dry and hot. So, make sure to pack plenty of water and wear long sleeves, sunscreen and a hat.
- Best time to hike: with the hot weather in mind, it may be best to avoid hiking during midday, when the sun is at its most potent. Either start early in the morning or early afternoon.
- Navigation: thankfully, trail navigation is fairly simple and straightforward. There are plenty of signposts en route. But, there is the odd occasion when you’ll meet an unexplained fork in the trail or a side trail option. Just in case, have a map handy.
Facilities Along the Chinamada Trail
You won’t find any facilities along the Chinamada Trail itself between towns. But, there are plenty of facilities and amenities in Punta del Hidalgo. Additionally, you’ll find a restaurant bar in Chinamada. But, it’s not always open.
Where to Stay: Anaga Mountains Accommodation Options
We recommend staying in San Cristobal de La Laguna. It’s a great base for exploring the Anaga Mountains. Given the city is fairly densely populated, you should find plenty of accommodation options.
Budget – Patio Hostel
If you’re looking for the best budget option in La Laguna, then look no further than Patio Hostel. Featuring a garden, terrace, shared lounge/kitchen, a tour desk and free luggage storage, you’ll have everything you need for a pleasant stay.
Mid-range – Estudio La Concepción
Personally, Beck and I stayed at Estudio La Concepción. This small apartment has all the necessary amenities. This includes a well-equipped kitchen, a private bathroom and a cosy living space with a comfortable bed. Certainly, this is one of the best value for money stays in La Laguna.
What to Pack and Wear
These are our gear essentials for hiking the Chinamada Trail in Tenerife.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
- Hiring a car is easiest for hiking and exploring Tenerife: hiking Tenerife by bus is possible. Buses are able to access most places on the island. But, a car will give you the ultimate flexibility and freedom to explore and trek Tenerife at your own pace.
- Other great Tenerife hiking trails: the Masca Tenerife hike and Playa de Tamadite – Taganana hike are other trails you should consider. For easy hikes in Tenerife, consider going to Teide National Park to do Roques de Garcia, Montana Rajada, Mirador de Samara or the Chinyero Volcano Loop.
- Other things to do in Tenerife: of course, Tenerife is known for its amazing coastline. Other than coastal walking, exploring the coast by boat is a popular thing to do. Whale and dolphin-watching tours are sensational ways to experience the Tenerife coast. GetYourGuide’s Tenerife: Dolphin and Whale Eco-Cruise with Snack & Drinks is an incredible eco-friendly catamaran tour. It’s actually one of the most popular tours that you can do in Tenerife. This great value-for-money tour includes seeing (if you’re lucky) beautiful whales and dolphins whilst offering opportunities to swim and snorkel.
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