The Barranco de Masca is one of the most popular hiking trails in Tenerife, Canary Islands. This ravine is in Teno Rural Park and, after being closed to the public for more than 3 years, you can visit the Masca Gorge on weekends and holidays.
The Masca hiking trail takes you down the famous ravine to Masca Beach, considered one of the best beaches in Tenerife. Once on the beach, you can take a boat ride to Los Gigantes or begin your return ascent to Masca village.
|The Masca pier is currently closed, so hikers must make the return trip on foot.|
The Masca gorge hike is difficult, and you must be in good physical condition to do it, but I assure you that it’s well worth it! The surrounding landscape is gorgeous, and the impressive rock walls are otherworldly. It’s undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Tenerife.
In this guide, I’ll tell you everything you should know about hiking through the Barranco de Masca in Tenerife, as well as the new restrictions now that Masca Gorge is open.
Is Masca Gorge open? New restrictions in Masca, Tenerife
Before the route in Masca, Tenerife closed, you could choose between doing the entire hike on foot, or only hiking the descent or ascent with a boat ride to Los Gigantes. However, the pier is currently closed, so the boat option is unavailable. If you’d like to do the round-trip Masca Gorge hike, you’ll have to do both the descent and ascent on foot. Be aware that hiking up the ravine is very challenging, so it’s only recommended for people in good physical condition.
The Masca Gorge is open on weekends and holidays, and capacity has been limited to 25 people every half hour from 8:30 am to 11:00 am in summer (8:30 am to 10:30 am in winter). Due to these restrictions, you’ll have to request a free trail ticket on this website. Keep in mind that visitors must arrive at the designated checkpoint (Masca Visitor Center or Masca pier) 30 minutes before their booked time, or else their ticket will be deemed invalid.
At the checkpoint, the trail staff will verify your ticket, provide a helmet, and check that you’re wearing suitable hiking shoes and clothing and that you have enough water. Along the Masca hiking trail, you’ll pass two more checkpoints, where you’ll undergo a similar process.
Also, remember that you must begin the ascent up the ravine no later than 2:00 pm since the area closes at 6:00 pm and the hike could take up to 4 hours.
Guided hiking tour in Masca Valley, Tenerife
One of the best ways to see the Masca Gorge is by doing a guided hiking tour. Moreover, this is the most practical option for most people since you won’t have to reserve a ticket or worry about parking, which is something I’ll talk about later.
If you’re interested in a hiking excursion through Masca valley, I recommend this tour. It starts at Santiago del Teide and goes to Caserío de Masca, where you’ll get beautiful views of the mountains and ravines that make up this corner of Tenerife.
After stopping at the Visitor Center, the hike through the gorge begins. Your guide will tell you all about the different plant species that grow in Masca, Tenerife, as well as the birds and animals that live there. Since the pier is currently closed, you’ll hike down the ravine, stop at Masca Beach, and then hike back up.
Not only is this one of the best tours in Tenerife, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to experience the Barranco de Masca trail. The tour price includes your hiking ticket, transportation, water, and energy bars.
- Highlights: Descent and ascent along the Masca ravine, a visit to Masca Beach
- Price: $64
- Duration: 7-8 hours
- Starting point: Santiago del Teide
- Description: Hike down the Masca ravine, then check out Masca Beach before making the ascent back up the gorge. This tour includes a guide, hiking tickets, transportation, water, and energy bars.
Hike down the Masca Gorge on your own
While booking the guided tour is the easiest option, you can also do the Masca hike on your own. Of course, until the pier opens back up, you’ll have to do both the descent and ascent on foot.
Masca Gorge hike registration and ticket request
Before you can access the ravine, you must register online and request a free ticket through this link.
Along with your ticket, you must bring a valid form of photo ID. Hikers must be over 8 years old, and minors must be accompanied by an adult. If the adult is not the child’s legal guardian, they must present this form with parental authorization.
Keep in mind that access to Masca valley is limited to 25 people every half hour from 8:30 am to 11:00 am in summer and from 8:30 am to 10:30 am in winter. In other words, only 150 people in summer and 125 in winter.
You can stay in the area from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm regardless of the time you entered. That said, everyone must depart from Masca Beach by 2:00 pm to begin the ascent up the ravine since the hike can take up to 4 hours.
How to get to Masca, Tenerife
You can get to Masca village in your own vehicle, but I don’t recommend this option since there are very few parking spaces. Also, the road to Masca, Tenerife is narrow and winding, so it can be dangerous if you’re not used to it.
The best way to get there is by taking bus route 355 or 365, depending on whether you depart from Santiago del Teide or from Buenavista del Norte. You can check the timetables for line 355 here and for line 365 here.
You can also arrive by taxi or on foot by following the Masca hiking trails that connect with other locations like El Palmar, Las Portelas, Teno Alto, or Baracán. However, I don’t recommend the latter option since you’ll want to save your energy for descending and ascending the ravine!
Masca Valley hike – Requirements and what to bring
To hike up and down the ravine in Masca, Tenerife, you must be in good physical shape. In addition, there are a few other requirements you should be aware of.
Once you arrive, you’ll head to the checkpoint, where they will check that you have the appropriate footwear and clothing. You’re also required to have enough water for the hike, a cellphone with sufficient battery, and proper ID documents. If you take medication prescribed by a doctor, you should bring that, too. Visitors who don’t meet these requirements may be denied access to the gorge.
It’s also recommended that you bring sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, and a trash bag so you don’t litter. The trail staff will loan you a helmet for the hike, which must be worn at all times.
Masca hike starting point – Caserío de Masca
The Caserío de Masca is the starting point for this Masca Gorge hike. Until the pier opens up again, it will also serve as the endpoint. Caserío de Masca is next to the Visitor Center, and this is where you must present your ID and ticket.
In addition to serving as the trailhead into the ravine, Caserío de Masca is a Site of Cultural Interest and one of the top places to visit in Masca, Tenerife. The houses here are perfectly placed along the side of the mountain, which creates a unique and pretty landscape.
Masca village is a remote hamlet where you can spend some time before or after hiking the ravine. That said, I recommend visiting the Cherfe viewpoint to see this small town from above!
Masca Gorge hike
The hike through Masca Gorge is one of the most popular in Tenerife. However, it’s a difficult hike that’s not recommended for people who aren’t in good physical shape. Moreover, the pier at Masca Beach is currently closed, so you must do the ascent on foot. The descent is of medium difficulty, while the ascent is very challenging.
All the effort is worthwhile because you get to hike in an impressive ravine with unique geological formations. Also, there are plant and animal species that only live in Masca, Tenerife, so if you’re in good shape, I highly recommend doing this hike.
- Time: 3 hours for the descent and up to 4 hours for the ascent
- Distance: 3.1 miles one-way (6.2 miles round-trip)
- Elevation: 2,460 ft
- Difficulty: Medium for the descent and high for the ascent
- Best time to do it: Spring and autumn
- Points of interest: Masca village, Masca Beach, rock formations, flora, and fauna
Boat ride from the beach in Masca, Tenerife to Los Gigantes
In the past, most travelers descended the Masca valley on foot and took a boat from Masca Beach to Los Gigantes to avoid the challenging ascent. That’s what we did when we traveled to Masca, Tenerife. Unfortunately, the boat option isn’t available right now, so you must complete the entire route on foot.
There are plans to reopen the pier soon, so when that time comes, you can check here to see which tour companies make the Masca-Los Gigantes trip. In this case, you’ll just have to present your boat ticket at the Visitor Center when you start your hike.
Where to stay in Masca, Tenerife
If you’re looking for hotels in Masca, Tenerife, I recommend Sweet Home Masca. Located in Masca village among the mountains, it’s the perfect accommodation if you want tranquility. Plus, it’s less than 2 miles from the ravine.
Where to eat in Masca, Tenerife
My top recommendation is to bring your own food with you when you do the Masca hike. Even so, there are some nearby restaurants that you can visit before starting your route.
One of those spots is the El Guanche restaurant, which is a good value for the money. It specializes in Canarian cuisine and has vegetarian dishes. Two other options are the Chez Arlette restaurant, which serves a varied menu, or the Blanky restaurant, Casa Fidel, where they make delicious empanadas.
As you can see, the Masca Gorge is one of those places you can’t miss in Tenerife, especially if you love to hike. I hope this guide helps you organize your visit! If you have any questions, leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to help. Safe travels!