Anaga Rural Park is a protected natural area in the northeastern tip of Tenerife. This mountainous region full of craggy peaks and deep ravines was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2015. Anaga earned its UNESCO status in part because it encompasses the largest Laurel forest on the island and many other endemic plants. It’s also the oldest part of Tenerife, as it was formed by a volcanic eruption 7 to 9 million years ago.
Though Spain’s largest Canary Island might be famous for resort towns and package tourism, it also harbors many unspoiled and mysterious places like Macizo de Anaga. Here, you can eat in cave dwellings, hike through sub-tropical forests, and swim in natural pools. Though many people visit Anaga in a single day, we recommend 3 full days.
In this guide to visiting Anaga Rural Park, we’re sharing our favorite trails, places to swim, and scenic roads.
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How to Visit Anaga Rural Park
In this travel guide to Anaga Rural Park, we’ll cover:
- Anaga Rural Park Map
- How to get to Anaga Rural Park
- Essential Info for Visiting Anaga Rural Park
- Anaga Hiking Trails
- Scenic Roads in Anaga Rural Park
- Best Swimming Spots in Anaga Rural Park
- Where to Stay when Exploring Anaga Rural Park
Anaga Rural Park Map
How to Get to Anaga Rural Park
Anaga Rural Park can be accessed from many different roads and villages in northeastern Tenerife. There’s no “park entrance” or “park gate.”
From Santa Cruz de Tenerife, drive north along the coast to Igueste de San Andrés, or drive across the range from San Andrés to Taganana via TF-12 and TF-134.
From La Laguna, you can drive the entire Anaga Mountain Road, ending in Chamorga. Alternatively, you can drive to Punta del Hidalgo, and start a number of hikes into the Anaga range.
Essential Info for Visiting Anaga Rural Park
Entrance Fee | Parque Rural de Anaga is free for everyone. There are no entrance fees or parking fees. However, parking at trailheads can be very limited, so it’s best to get an early start.
Visitor Information | Visit Centro de Visitantes del Parque Rural de Anaga in Cruz del Carmen to get advice on hiking trails and transit in the park. You can purchase trail maps and pamphlets at the visitor center as well.
Permits | While most of Anaga Rural Park is accessible to the public without permits, there are some areas that are off-limits unless you have a permit. For example, if you want to see the Enchanted Forest (Bosque Encantado / El Pijaral), you must secure a free permit before your visit (1-3 months ahead of time).
Safety | Only explore Anaga on clear days. When it’s foggy, visibility is very low and driving can be dangerous in the park. Additionally, forest walks are dangerous, because you’ll be walking on wet, slippery leaves.
Food | There are a few taverns and restaurants throughout Anaga Rural Park, but they’re not always open. We highly recommend bringing water and snacks with you.
Theft | Never leave valuables in your car. Throughout Tenerife, rental cars are often targetted by thieves because tourists leave their possessions in plain sight. We recommend peeling off your rental car sticker as well.
Essentials | Hiking boots, water, sun protection (sunglasses, sun lotion, sun hat), and a map. We used Maps.me (offline maps app) to find trailheads and follow trails.
Anaga Hiking Trails
Anaga Rural Park has an extensive network of trails. Many trailheads are located in remote areas, so a rental car is very helpful in getting around the park. We used the Tenerife Rother Walking Guide to find out where to hike. Though the English translation could be a lot better, the guidebook was nevertheless tremendously helpful.
Here’s a list of our favorite day hikes in Anaga. You can read more about these trails in our Anaga hiking guide.
- Grand Faro de Anaga Loop Trail
- Igueste to Atalaya de los Ingleses
- Punta del Hidalgo – Chinamada – Las Carboneras
- Roque de Taborno
- Taganana to Playa de Tamadite
- Trail of the Senses Forest Walk
Learn More: Best Hikes in the Anaga Mountains
Scenic Roads in Anaga Rural Park
Driving through Anaga Rural Park is a wonderful experience. However, the roads are steep, narrow, and windy. Viewpoints along the Anaga roads can get crowded really easily. For a more enjoyable visit, start your Anagan day trip early.
The only way to get to the village of Taganana and the hamlet of Benijo is via the TF-134. This road cuts through the Anaga range and delivers heavenly views of Taganana and the northern Anaga coastline.
As you drive to Taganana, make sure to stop at the lookout point called Mirador del Risco Mogote, or Mirador “Risco Magoje.” Shortly before arriving at the viewpoint, there will be a brown road sign with the text: “megoje.” From here, you can safely enjoy views of the Anaga rocks (Roques de Anaga) off to the right and Taganana below, on the left.
Anaga Mountain Road
The Anaga High Mountain Road connects La Laguna with Chamorga and follows the main ridge of the Anaga massif. From this road, you can descend into idyllic villages like Taborno, Afur, and Carboneras. A few viewpoints along the Anaga Mountain Road you shouldn’t miss are:
- Mirador de Jardina – Beautiful view of the fertile valley of La Laguna and Mount Teide.
- Mirador Cruz del Carmen – This viewpoint can be accessed from the parking lot at the Anaga Park Visitor Center. You’ll see the city of San Cristobal de La Laguna and Mount Teide in the distance.
- Mirador Pico del Inglés – This viewpoint is located at a loft 967 m and delivers views of layered ridges and rugged mountains extending to the ocean.
- Camino viejo al Pico del Inglés – A walking path flanked by high walls, from which trees rise and create a canopy. It’s very cinematic.
Best Swimming Spots in Anaga Rural Park
Bounded by the ocean, the Anaga mountain range literally plunges into the sea. There are a number of natural pools and beaches around the Anaga Peninsula you can explore. Some are easy to access, while others require some determination. The safest places to swim are the man-made natural pools (piscina natural) that offer shelter from the strong ocean waves.
The best places to swim:
- Playa de Las Teresitas – golden sandy beach north of Santa Cruz. This is the most kid-friendly beach on the Anaga Peninsula.
- Piscina Natural Punta Del Hidalgo – Natural pool
- Piscina Natural de Bajamar – Natural pool
These are popular beach destinations. We didn’t swim at any of these beaches, b/c of high tide and lack of proper gear (e.g. water shoes).
- Playa de Benijo – The beach at Benijo, accessible by car and then a steep staircase.
- Playa de Antequera – You can hike here from Igueste.
- Playa de Roque Bermejo – You can hike here from Chamorga, or Benijo.
Where to Stay When Exploring Anaga Rural Park
San Cristóbal de La Laguna, or simply La Laguna, is located inland, 10.5 km from Santa Cruz de Tenerife. If you stay in La Laguna, you’re well-positioned to reach Punta del Hidalgo, Cruz del Carmen, and the Anaga Mountain Road. You can also use local buses to reach trailheads and do point-to-point hikes, like Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo.
Furthermore, La Laguna is one of Tenerife’s most charming cities, offering plenty of dining options amidst colonial architecture. During your visit, don’t miss out on the city’s bustling marketplace: Mercado Municipal de San Cristobal de la Laguna.
Budget | Casa Lagunera is a newly renovated apartment-style accommodation in the quiet neighborhood of El Coromoto. The owners offer a free shuttle service from the Tenerife Norte Airport. With its small, but mighty kitchenette, you can prepare your own breakfast and lunch supplies for hiking.
Mid-Range | Casa Del Casco Historico is a centrally located guesthouse in La Laguna, walking distance to many restaurants and cafés in the historic center. Guests have access to a shared kitchen, lounge, garden and terrace. Coffee, tea, and cookies are provided.
Luxury | Sogno Di Gio is a comfortable bed and breakfast located just 1 km from the city center (15-minute walk). A continental breakfast featuring homemade cakes is included in the room rate. Guests also love eating dinner in the hotel’s Italian restaurant.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Though not as photogenic as La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife feels genuine and local. Seeing the sunrise over the ocean each morning was a real treat. Also, if you stay in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, it’s easy to access Playa de Las Teresitas (Tenerife’s most beautiful beach), the white-washed village of Igueste de San Andrés (trailhead), and TF 134 (scenic road to Taganana and Benijo).
Budget | Casa Weyler is a friendly and centrally located bed and breakfast in Santa Cruz. Guests have access to a large communal kitchen and lounge and balcony (6th floor) with mountain and sea views.
Mid-Range | EDI Astoria impresses easily with its bright and cheerful interior. Each modern unit has it’s own fully equipped kitchen and dining space. EDI Astoria is located in the center of the city, which is very convenient, but it can also get noisy at night.
Luxury | Monkey House (2 nights minimum stay) is the best option for a family. This gorgeous 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment is modern, impeccably clean, and well-equipped. Free private parking included.
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