The circular walk from Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo is a phenomenal hike in the Anaga Mountains, Tenerife. Essentially, this hike is a shorter trail variation of the classic Playa de Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail. The main reason for doing the Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike is to do a shorter and more streamlined hike to reach the legendary Mirador Cabezo del Tejo. From Mirador Cabezo del Tejo, you’ll enjoy some of the best views in the Anaga Mountains. We’d even go as far as to say that Mirador Cabezo del Tejo is THE best viewpoint in Tenerife. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike.
Before diving into this guide, please watch our Tenerife Hiking YouTube production below. By using the chapter function, you can quickly check out footage of the awesome Mirador Cabezo del Tejo along the Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike in Tenerife.
For information about other great Tenerife hikes in the Anaga Mountains, read our Anaga Rural Park Hiking Guide.
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Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo Loop
The Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo circular walk is an awesome bite-sized version of the Playa de Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail. Also known as the Benijo Loop, this shorter route is a great hiking option. First, it’s a far shorter, quicker and easier walk than the Playa de Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail. You’ll still get to explore many beautiful sections of this part of the Anaga Rural Park, without needing to do a particularly long walk. I mean, don’t get me wrong – Beck and I love hiking, especially speed hiking long trails. But, we only had an afternoon to spare. So, the shorter Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo circular walk was perfect for us.
Additionally, reaching Mirador Cabezo del Tejo is by far one of the highlights of the Playa de Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail. Indeed, it’s the best viewpoint along this long trail. By doing the shorter Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo loop, you’ll reach this viewpoint, walking almost three times less distance and covering three times less elevation gain. Basically, the shorter loop provides an easier way to reach the awesome Mirador Cabezo del Tejo.
Of course, the absolute easiest way to reach Mirador Cabezo del Tejo is to simply do an out and back from Playa de Benijo. But, we personally recommend the Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo loop as a more adventurous route, that’s only slightly longer and harder.
Below, you’ll find the trail specs and a link to a GPS-guided hiking map for the Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo trek in Tenerife.
Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo Loop: Stats and Map
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 5.2km
- Time: 1.5–2.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 400m
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Trailhead: Benijo
- Map: Wikiloc
Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo: Trail Description
Below, we’ll describe the incredible Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike in the Anaga Mountains in Tenerife. As mentioned, the pinnacle of the hike is the majestic views from Mirador Cabezo del Tejo.
Starting in Benijo: Finding the Trailhead
From the small town of Benijo, you’ll head north to find the PR-TF 6.2 trailhead to El Draguillo. At the trailhead, you’ll be positioned high above Playa de Benijo and other beaches below. Indeed, you’ll immediately enjoy spectacular views of the coastline along the Anaga Rural Park.
Following a Dirt Road to El Draguillo, Tenerife
From Benijo, you’ll follow a wide dirt road to a small village called El Draguillo. FYI – the unpaved road is only accessible to locals. During the approx. 1.9km hike to El Draguillo from Benijo, there were no vehicles that passed us. So, despite road walking, it was a peaceful and quiet walk on an even and easy-to-navigate track. Along the dirt road, you’ll enjoy far-reaching views of the ocean and the incredible sea stacks that litter the Anaga coastline. It’s a welcome distraction from the constant uphill walking.
Soon enough, you’ll reach the small village of El Draguillo. It’s at this point that the steep climb up towards Cruz del Draguillo begins. You’ll leave the wide dirt road behind, joining a narrow dirt trail up the mountainside. It’s a very steep trail, so you’ll be huffing and puffing the further you climb.
After a tough uphill climb, you’ll soon reach a signpost prior to reaching Cruz del Draguillo. Basically, you’ll turn right, following the PR-TF 6.3 sign directing you towards Benijo. Not far from this junction, you’ll arrive at the mesmerising Mirador Cabezo del Tejo.
Mirador Cabezo del Tejo
Honestly speaking, Beck and I were blown away by the views on offer at Mirador Cabezo del Tejo. We’d heard nice views were to be expected on the Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike. But, this was something else. We agreed that the views from Mirador Cabezo del Tejo were the best we’d experienced during our time in Tenerife. At Mirador Cabezo del Tejo, you’ll find a large rock, where you can sit and admire the coastal views. A little further down the trail towards Playa de Benijo, there is another rocky outcrop, which makes for another awesome viewpoint.
Hiking Back Down to Playa de Benijo
After experiencing the joys of Mirador Cabezo del Tejo, you’ll head back towards Playa de Benijo. The winding descending trail is a welcome relief from the steep trail encountered during the first half of the walk. You’ll enjoy similarly mouthwatering views as you continue to approach Playa de Benijo. But, of course, as you lose elevation, the views become slightly less sweeping and far-reaching. But, you’ll always have the memories (and photos) of the views from Mirador Cabezo del Tejo!
Once you reach Benijo, we recommend heading down to Playa de Benijo to explore the incredible black sand beach.
Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail
When it comes to Benijo hikes, there are many different hiking variations to choose from. Obviously, we’ve just detailed the shorter Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike. But, the Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail is the well-known longer hiking option. If you have enough time, we highly recommend doing the full Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail. Below, you’ll find the trail specs and a link to a GPS-guided map.
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 14.2km
- Time: 6–8 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 1,020m
- Difficulty: Hard
- Trailhead: Benijo
- Map: Wikiloc
Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail Highlights
By doing the Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail, you’ll experience even more of the wondrous Anaga Rural Park. In particular, there are two highlights you’ll enjoy on this longer walk, that you’d miss by doing the shorter Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike. Let’s look at the additional attractions you’ll see by doing the Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail.
Faro de Anaga Lighthouse
One of the main highlights of doing the Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail is seeing the Faro de Anaga Lighthouse. It’s one of the oldest lighthouses in Tenerife with its construction finishing in 1864. It’s still an active lighthouse and the northernmost lighthouse in Tenerife. Indeed, reaching this lighthouse is quite an achievement given the huge elevation gain to reach it. Of course, by getting to the Faro de Anaga Lighthouse, you’ll enjoy marvellous views of the coastline and the Anaga Mountains en route. In particular, you’ll enjoy immense views of Roques de Anaga.
By doing the Benijo to Faro de Anaga Loop Trail, you’ll also pass through the tiny town of Chamorga. This charming town is located in the heart of the Anaga Mountains. It’s quite a fascinating town to see and is a welcome attraction as you hike back to Playa de Benijo from the Faro de Anaga Lighthouse.
FYI – the Chamorga hike is an option for those simply wanting to do a shorter loop walk that includes visiting the Faro de Anaga Lighthouse.
How to Get to Playa de Benijo
In terms of reaching Playa de Benijo in Tenerife, your best options are getting there by car or bus.
The simplest and quickest way to get to Playa de Benijo in Tenerife is to drive there yourself. If you’re visiting from abroad, you’ll need to hire a car. Beck and I always use Rentalcars.com when renting a car. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars, which are easy to book online. Also, they offer an outstanding cancellation policy which is always free.
There is very limited free parking in the small town of Benijo. Annoyingly, there are seemingly lots of spare spaces of land, but they’ve been privatised by locals or restaurant owners. Your best bet is to arrive early to find free street parking or find a spot at the Playa de Benijo Car Park. Because Beck and I arrived around midday, unfortunately, there wasn’t any parking available. We had to park opposite Almáciga Beach and walk to Playa de Benijo from there!
Public Transport: Bus
For those who don’t have a set of wheels, Benijo is accessible by bus. You’ll alight at this bus stop, which is located between Almáciga Beach and Benijo. Essentially, you’ll need to walk around 700–800 metres to reach Playa de Benijo from the bus stop. We recommend using Google Maps or the official Titsa website to plan your journey to Playa de Benijo in Tenerife.
Anaga Rural Park
The Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike takes place in the stunning Anaga Rural Park (AKA Anaga National Park and Anaga Country Park). There are many other brilliant hikes to do in the Anaga Rural Park in Tenerife. Personally, we enjoyed the Roque de Taborno, Chinamada Trail and Sendero de los Sentidos. We’ve also heard the Taganana to Playa de Tamadite trail is a good one!
Where to Stay
We recommend staying in San Cristobal de La Laguna (known simply as La Laguna) in the north of Tenerife. Located on the outskirts of the Anaga Mountains, it’s a great base for doing the Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike. Given it’s the second most populated city in Tenerife, you should find plenty of accommodation options. Below, we’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury options in La Laguna.
- Budget – Patio Hostel: if you’re looking for the best budget option, then stay at Patio Hostel. Featuring a garden, terrace, shared lounge and kitchen and luggage storage, you’ll have everything you need for a pleasant stay.
- Mid-range – Estudio La Concepción: Beck and I stayed at Estudio La Concepción in La Laguna and can highly recommend it. This apartment has all the amenities you’ll need. It has a well-equipped kitchen, a nice private bathroom and a cosy living space with a comfortable bed. Indeed, this is one of the best value-for-money stays in La Laguna.
- Luxury – La Laguna Gran Hotel: the popular La Laguna Gran Hotel is the obvious choice when it comes to a more luxurious stay in La Laguna. The hotel has excellent facilities, including an on-site restaurant, fitness centre, bar and swimming pool. Certainly, it’s one of the best places to stay in La Laguna. Indeed, it isn’t by luck that the hotel is highly rated with tonnes of glowing reviews.
These are our gear essentials for doing the Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo hike in Tenerife.
- Merrell Moab Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots: these hiking boots are super comfortable and lightweight.
- The North Face Venture Jacket: a fantastic windproof/waterproof jacket.
- Osprey Skarab 30L Day Backpack: a great backpack for hiking, which has plenty of space to store your gear.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a lightweight pair of water-resistant convertible trousers that are great for warmer climates.
- Other great Tenerife hiking trails to consider: other than the Anaga Rural Park, you should visit the El Teide National Park. This national park boasts many amazing hikes such as Roques de Garcia and Roque Cinchado, Montana Rajada, Mirador de Samara, Mount Guajara and the Chinyero Volcano Loop.
- Alternate to staying in La Laguna: other than staying in 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 to choose from.
- Other things to do in Tenerife in the Canary Islands: of course, Tenerife is known for its amazing coastline. Boat tours are another popular way to explore the coast. In particular, whale and dolphin-watching tours are some of the most popular tours in Tenerife. GetYourGuide’s Tenerife: Dolphin and Whale Eco-Cruise with Snack & Drinks is an excellent eco-friendly catamaran tour. This great value-for-money tour includes seeing (if you’re lucky) captivating whales and dolphins whilst offering opportunities to swim and snorkel.
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