The Rambla de Castro coastal walk is a popular trail in an area called Los Realejos on the mid-north coast of Tenerife. Located in the Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro (Protected Landscape of Rambla de Castro), the Rambla de Castro hike visits many brilliant viewpoints. From the initial viewpoints (Mirador Roque Grande and Mirador Playa los Roques) until the last (Mirador San Pedro), you’ll enjoy breathtaking coastal landscapes. In particular, the views of Playa de los Roques from Mirador Playa los Roques are simply mesmerising. In this guide, we’re going to cover every necessary detail regarding Rambla de Castro.
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 coastal walk taking place in the Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro.
For information about other great coastal walks in Tenerife, read our guides about Playa de Benijo to El Draguillo and Punta del Hidalgo to Chinamada. Otherwise, you can read our Tenerife Hiking Guide.
Table of Contents
Everything You Need to Know About Rambla de Castro
In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Rambla de Castro in Tenerife. After describing the highlights of the coastal walk, we’ll provide you with all of the practical information. This will include details about how to get there, where to stay nearby, a little history about the area and also what to pack. By reading this guide, you’ll be totally clued up on what to expect during the Rambla de Castro coastal walk.
FYI – Rambla de Castro is also known as the Puerto de la Cruz coastal path.
Rambla de Castro: Route Directions and Details
- Type: Out & Back
- Distance: 11.2km
- Time: 3–5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 290m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Maritim Hotel (AKA Precise Resort)
Keep in mind, that the Rambla de Castro route has recently changed. You’ll find many older maps, such as this Wikiloc, showing the old route. Basically, the section between Mirador Roque Grande and Mirador Playa Los Roques, following alongside Playa de los Roques, is now closed. That’s because of the risk of landslides.
These days, you’ll need to walk inland from Mirador Roque Grande, follow around a banana plantation and then join a road leading down to Mirador Playa Los Roques. This is all shown in the illustrated map below. Additionally, you’ll see official Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro signs showing this new route (see above).
Admittedly though, we found lots of people ignoring the new signage and proceeding via the old route. We assume locals, who are used to walking this way, continue to do so. Or, tourists, using old maps, may ignore the new route. But, you’d have to squeeze through the gap in the wooden fence, and pass by the red safety netting, whilst ignoring the new trail signs and warning signs about the old route.
As visitors, we wanted to respect the rules and follow the new route, despite the old route being quicker and looking really cool. To that end, don’t be like the people seen on the old route in the photo below! Anyway, let’s discuss the highlights of this gorgeous coastal walk.
Points of Interest: The Highlights of the Rambla de Castro Coastal Walk
Rambla de Castro in Los Realejos isn’t short of highlights. Along the trail, there are many incredible viewpoints, which provide stellar views of the coastline. But, there are also historical sites and natural green spaces to explore. Below, we’ve listed the main highlights of the coastal walk found in the Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro.
- Mirador Roque Grande
- Playa de los Roques
- Mirador Playa Los Roques
- Mirador de la Gordejuela
- Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela
- Playa de Gordejuela
- Fortin de San Fernando
- Playa de la Fajana
- Madre del Agua
- Playa de Castro
- Playa de Castro Waterfall
- Garden of Eden
- La Casona de los Castro
- Mirador San Pedro
Rambla de Castro Trail Descripton
Below, we’re going to tell you more about the highlights and best sections of Rambla de Castro. The awesome coastal walk starts at the Maritim Hotel (AKA Precise Resort) in Puerto de la Cruz.
Start at the Maritim Hotel (AKA Precise Resort)
You’ll find a decent amount of free street-side parking near the Maritim Hotel (AKA Precise Resort). Once you’ve parked and prepared, it’s time to begin Rambla de Castro. The first stop is Mirador Roque Grande.
Mirador Roque Grande
Very soon after beginning the walk, you’ll arrive at Mirador Roque Grande. This is where you’ll get your first glimpse of the impressive Playa de los Roques. You’ll also spot a mighty sea stack called Roque del Camello. It’s an incredible coastal landform and is one of the reasons why Playa de los Roques is so well known.
Playa de los Roques
After enjoying the views of Playa de los Roques, it’s time to continue further along Rambla de Castro. The old trail used to follow a cliff wall precariously placed above Playa de los Roques. But, as mentioned, this old route is now closed and fenced off. Instead, you’ll proceed up a steep and wide unpaved road heading inland towards the town of El Toscal. You’ll walk behind a banana plantation before road walking down to Mirador Playa los Roques, which is the next major viewpoint in the Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro.
Mirador Playa los Roques
Admittedly, we think the views of Playa de los Roques are actually better from Mirador Roque Grande compared with Mirador Playa los Roques. Of course, we’re being picky. The coastal views from Mirador Playa los Roques are still superb, offering another awesome vantage point to scope out Playa de los Roques.
After enjoying the views from Mirador Playa los Roques, you’ll continue to head further south. The section immediately after Mirador Playa los Roques does involve more road walking. Honestly speaking, this is probably the dullest point of the walk. But, the walk improves very quickly. Soon, you’ll join a coastal trail, weaving its way around bends of the cliff walls. It’s this part of Rambla de Castro where you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the ocean.
Mirador de la Gordejuela
After walking along this well-defined track, you’ll cross a ravine via a small wooden bridge. Then, you’ll find the next major viewpoint, which is called Mirador de la Gordejuela. It’s from this lookout, that you’ll enjoy brilliant views of both Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela and Playa de Gordejuela.
Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela
Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela is an abandoned industrial building found along the coastline in the Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro. It was the first steam engine to be operated in Tenerife. In 1903, a company called Hamilton & Co., built a water mill, to pump water from the Gordejuela springs to the banana plantations in the Orotava Valley. Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela is now in a state of ruins, but the site looks really rustic and interesting.
Playa de Gordejuela
From Mirador de la Gordejuela, you’ll also get a good look at Playa de Gordejuela. It’s a small pebble beach, positioned below Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela. Whilst Playa de Gordejuela isn’t as spectacular as Playa de los Roques, the beach is still impressive in its own right.
Possible Add-Ons: Fortin de San Fernando and Playa de la Fajana
After passing Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela, you’ll soon reach a spectacular stretch of Rambla de Castro, nearing Mirador San Pedro. At this stage of the walk, there are many attractions packed into a relatively small area. There are also many trail variations depending on exactly what you want to see and explore. You can simply follow the main trail, which visits viewpoints of; but, bypasses directly visiting Fotin de San Fernando, Playa de la Fajana and Playa de Castro. If you’re keen to check out this historical attraction and beaches, respectively, feel free to take the relevant paths leading to these attractions.
Otherwise, you’ll continue along Rambla de Castro, heading towards Mirador San Pedro.
Playa de Castro
It’s worth noting that Playa de Castro is a popular black pebble beach to explore. It even features Playa de Castro Waterfall – an unassuming cascade rolling off the cliff’s edge, onto the rocks littered along the shoreline of the beach. You don’t even need to go down to the beach to see Playa de Castro Waterfall – you’ll see it from the Rambla de Castro trail.
Other Possible Add-Ons: La Casona de los Castro and Madre del Agua
Once you’ve passed Playa de Castro, you’ll walk through a lovely garden area featuring rich haciendas, palm trees and dragon trees. Then, you’ll pass La Casona de los Castro, which is a former farmhouse of the famous Bethencourt and Castro family. It was built in the 16th Century. Currently, it operates as a visitor centre. Personally, Beck and I didn’t stop in to visit. Honestly speaking, we were keen to arrive at Mirador San Pedro, which we heard was an amazing lookout. Of course, you’ll have to work for it! Before arriving at Mirador San Pedro, you’ll have a steep series of switchbacks to contend with.
Along this zig-zag trail, you’ll pass the entrance sign of Madre del Agua, which is a small quaint pond. On this occasion, we didn’t visit. Admittedly, the final steep switchbacks are a bit tiring. But, much of the switchbacks are covered by shade by lovely palm trees. It’s a lovely quiet area along the Rambla de Castro with benches to sit and relax. We actually ate lunch here after visiting Mirador San Pedro.
Restaurant Mirador San Pedro
Mirador San Pedro is the final lookout along the Rambla de Castro walk. From Mirador San Pedro, you’ll enjoy far-reaching ocean views and a sublime look at the coastline further south of Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro. There’s also the appropriately named Restaurant Mirador San Pedro, that’s positioned next to the viewpoint. After you’ve stopped in for an ice cream, cortado or a bite to eat, it’s time to leave Mirador San Pedro behind. You’ll simply retrace your steps to complete the out and back Rambla de Castro coastal walk.
Our Impression of Rambla de Castro: We Recommend It For Awesome Coastal Views
Rambla de Castro is a stunning coastal walk that should be prioritised as part of your Tenerife hiking itinerary. Personally, we did this walk around late morning on a Sunday. So, understandably, the trail was quite busy with many locals walking, and some running, along the route. Perhaps, for a more serene walk, it would be wise to try and do the walk during the week. On top of that, visiting outside of peak season (summer) will also mean having a quieter trail.
Of course, Tenerife is well known for its amazing coastline. Many of the best activities in Tenerife involve exploring different stretches of its coastline. Other than coastal walking, exploring the coast by boat is very popular. Whale and dolphin-watching tours are really fun and adventurous ways to experience the Tenerife coast. GetYourGuide’s Tenerife: Dolphin and Whale Eco-Cruise with Snack & Drinks is an amazing eco-friendly catamaran tour. It’s actually one of the most popular tours in Tenerife. This great value-for-money three or five-hour tour includes seeing (if you’re lucky) beautiful whales and dolphins whilst offering swimming and snorkelling opportunities.
Rambla de Castro History
For those interested in a little history, the area now known as Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro was once the property of Don Hernando de Castro. The area was given to him around the 15–16th Century after his conquest of the island. He then set up a plantation in the area, and even today, you’ll see many plantations and farms there. As you may have gathered, the Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro is named after him.
Practical Information About Rambla de Castro
Now that you know about the hike itself and a little history about the area, let’s look at some practical tips for your visit. Let’s start with some details about how to get there.
How to Get to Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro in Los Realejos
It’s possible to reach Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro by either driving there yourself or using public transport. Let’s explore these two options below.
How to Get There From Different Places In Tenerife
The easiest and quickest way to get to Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro 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 straightforward to book online. The flexible cancellation policy is also really good. As mentioned, you’ll want to drive to Maritim Hotel (AKA Precise Resort), where there’s usually street-side parking available.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels, don’t worry, it’s possible to reach Paisaje Protegido de Rambla de Castro by bus. It would be quite time-consuming to visit from places such as Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes, Los Cristianos and Las Americas, in the south of the island, as you’d need to catch several buses via Santa Cruz de Tenerife. With that said, you’ll have a more direct journey from either Santa Cruz de Tenerife or San Cristobal de La Laguna. Although, it’s still a bit of a journey on a bus, even with the more direct routes. We recommend using Google Maps to plan your journey. But, overall, we recommend driving there as that’s much more convenient and time efficient.
How to Get There From Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz town is a fairly popular place for tourists to stay at. With that in mind, if you’re staying in Peurto de la Cruz, you can simply walk to the Rambla de Castro trailhead from your accommodation. Depending on exactly where you’re staying, it would take anywhere between 5–20 minutes to reach the Rambla de Castro trailhead. Of course, you could always catch a taxi to the trailhead if you’re a little further away. With all that in mind, let’s look at some accommodation options in Puerto de la Cruz.
Where to Stay Near Rambla de Castro
Indeed, if you’re looking for accommodation near Rambla de Castro, look no further than staying in Puerto de la Cruz.
Accommodation in Puerto de la Cruz
We’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options in Puerto de la Cruz. That way, you can simply walk out of your hotel and begin the Rambla de Castro walk. Hopefully, the list below also helps you find an option that suits your budget.
- Budget – Puerto Nest Hostel: this is the perfect option for the shoestring traveller. Indeed, Puerto Nest Hostel offers affordable dorm rooms. Best of all, the hostel is well located near the coast and features an epic rooftop terrace, garden and optional buffet breakfast.
- Mid-range – Coral Teide Mar: if you’re trying to avoid the dorm rooms, but are still looking to save on pennies, then we recommend Coral Tedie Mar. This apartment hotel is set in a lovely tropical garden area and features a well-equipped kitchen. Coral Teide Mar is highly-rated and a great value-for-money option.
- Luxury – Maritim Hotel (Precise Resort Tenerife): staying at the Maritim Hotel (AKA Precise Resort Tenerife) would be the most convenient option for doing Rambla de Castro, as it’s literally where the hike starts from. Other than for convenience, you’d simply stay here for the amazing amenities. The resort features an awesome pool, whilst the on-site restaurant serves up delicious buffet meals. You can even use the site’s mini golf and tennis courts!
Things To Know Before Doing Rambla de Castro
Below, we’ve highlighted some of the best things to know before walking Rambla de Castro.
- Be sun smart: in summer, the temperatures in Tenerife are usually very dry and hot. So, make sure to pack plenty of water and wear long sleeves, sunscreen and a hat.
- Popularity: in many sections, the trail is quite narrow. So, the trail can get quite busy in parts. Indeed, expect a crowded trail on the weekend.
- Navigation: with the section between Mirador Roque Grande and Mirador Playa Los Roques being officially closed and there being some road walking, trail navigation isn’t always so clear. Just in case, make sure to have a map handy. Overall though, there is quite a bit of signage, so you shouldn’t get too lost along the way!
What to Pack For Rambla de Castro
These are our five gear essentials for hiking Rambla de Castro 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.
- The North Face TKA Glacier Fleece Jacket: an excellent warmth:weight ratio fleece jacket that’ll help keep you warm.
- Columbia Convertible Trousers: a value for money pair of water-resistant convertible trousers.
- Hiring a car is easiest for hiking and exploring Tenerife: a car will give you the ultimate flexibility and freedom to explore and hike around Tenerife at your own pace.
- Shop at Lidl: this is one of the most popular and well-known supermarkets in Tenerife.
- Other great Tenerife hiking trails: the Barranco de Masca hike and the short Puerto de Santiago to Los Gigantes coastal promenade walk are other trails you should consider.
Other than hiking in Tenerife, have you hiked in other parts of the Canary Islands (Islas Canarias)? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear your suggestions.