Tenerife’s natural pools, or charcos, have become popular with both tourists and locals since they offer a scenic place to swim without strong currents or waves.
The numerous natural pools in Tenerife were formed by lava after it seeped toward the sea and ran into the cold water. This process solidified the lava, creating the closed off puddles or swimming holes that you can find all across the island. While the solidified lava acts as a breakwater, it still allows seawater to enter, thus giving lucky visitors the chance to go swimming without rip currents or big waves.
We’ve visited this Canary Island several times, so we’ve had the pleasure of seeing several beautiful lagoons in Tenerife. While some are more crowded than others, that doesn’t diminish the pristine environment and breathtaking views. The contrast of the blue water with the black volcanic stone creates a unique picture that you’ll have trouble finding anywhere else.
So, if you want to take a swim in a charco, keep reading to learn about the 15 best natural pools in Tenerife and where to find them.
1. El Caletón, one of the best natural pools in Tenerife
First, El Caletón is one of the most well-known natural pools in Tenerife, so I must recommend it. It’s in the town of Garachico, at the foot of the Castillo de San Miguel, so you’ll have beautiful views while you swim here.
These famous natural pools in Garachico are the result of the Arenas Negras volcanic eruption of 1706. More specifically, El Caletón is a series of lagoons, including Las Viejas, Los Niños, and Los Chorros, and has been declared a Point of Tourist Interest.
As one of the most popular natural pools in Tenerife, El Caletón has several convenient amenities and services, including changing rooms, showers, and a beach bar. So, you can come here with family or friends and spend a whole afternoon swimming and sunbathing. Just be sure to heed the lifeguards and flags, which indicate how strong the waves are, especially if you’re with small children.
2. Charco del Viento, one of the most popular natural pools in Tenerife
Another popular natural pool in Tenerife is El Charco del Viento. It’s in the northern part of the island in La Guancha, near Icod de los Vinos.
This swimming hole is one of the largest charcos on the island, and it stands out because it’s not totally enclosed like many others. Rather, two large lava tubes extend toward each other, providing enough protection for swimmers to safely wade in the waters. Another cool thing about this natural pool in Tenerife is that its waters are not only calm, but crystal clear, so it’s a great place to go snorkeling.
Without a doubt, if you plan on visiting the top attractions in northern Tenerife, you must add El Charco de Viento to your list. To get there, take the TF-351 road to La Guancha and head to the Santa Catalina neighborhood. In addition to going to El Charco del Viento, you can also visit nearby lagoons like Charco Verde and Charco de la Arena. However, keep in mind that they’re more remote and harder to get to, although this also means they are less crowded with tourists.
3. Los Chochos, another well-known natural pool in Tenerife, Canary Islands
Another northern Tenerife natural pool that I recommend visiting is Los Chochos in Los Silos. It’s next to Charco de La Araña, another swimming hole that I’ll talk about later.
Los Chochos is one of the most beautiful natural pools in Tenerife thanks to its contrasting colors and the amazing views of Mount Teide and the La Culata cliffs. On clear days, you’ll have the most incredible backdrop to make your swim in this lagoon even more memorable.
At its deepest, Los Chochos is about 6.5 feet deep, and there is a ladder that you can use to get in and out of the water. Moreover, the seawater is crystal clear and usually very calm, although, at high tide, the currents are rougher and can even bring in small fish.
Despite its smaller size, this is one of the best natural pools on Tenerife, so it’s worth visiting. To get there, I recommend leaving from the historic center of Los Silos and following the Puertito road.
4. Bajamar pools, one of the best natural pools in northern Tenerife
The natural pools of Bajamar, Tenerife, are also very pleasant, so I also suggest coming here if you’re exploring the northern part of the island. You’ll find these lagoons in the coastal town of Bajamar, in the municipality of San Cristóbal de La Laguna.
These natural pools consist of three separate swimming holes by a small beach, so it’s the perfect place to visit as a family or with kids. In fact, this area has become a popular spot for all ages, including the elderly and people with limited mobility since it’s one of the most accessible.
The crystalline waters of this natural pool in Tenerife are usually calm, although you should be careful near the rocky edges where the waves break. Fortunately, there are colored flags in place that indicate the safety level of the waves, and lifeguards are on duty during the peak travel months. You’ll also find changing rooms, showers, and restrooms here, and the surrounding area is full of shops and restaurants.
An ideal plan would be to visit the sites in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, then take a break and enjoy a refreshing swim in these natural swimming pools.
5. Los Abrigos, another scenic natural pool in Tenerife
If you’re looking for natural pools in south Tenerife, I suggest Los Abrigos in Granadilla de Abona. Los Abrigos is a group of small lagoons that are surrounded by rocks and a gorgeous natural landscape. The rustic beauty of this area makes these pools some of our favorites, and it’s also nice that they’re more private.
There are ladders to get in and out of the pools, and the waters tend to be quite calm since the rocks offer protection from strong winds. Of course, you should be careful if the sea is particularly rough when you visit, especially if you have children with you. This is one of those places where you can really disconnect and bask in the quiet, which is why it’s one of the best lagoons in Tenerife.
To get there, take the road that connects La Tejita with Los Abrigos, then take the dirt road that appears right before you reach the town. While you’re here, it’s also worth checking out some nearby attractions, like El Médano and the Red Mountain.
6. La Jaquita, an easily accessible natural pool in Tenerife
La Jaquita is another natural pool in Tenerife that you shouldn’t miss. It’s in the southern part of the island, in Guía de Isora, specifically in the coastal town of Alcalá.
While the volcanic rock here acts as a breakwater, bars were installed to help swimmers stay safe and avoid being carried away by the current. There are also stairs leading into the water, so it’s quite an accessible lagoon in Tenerife. The crystal clear waters are super enticing but be sure to listen to the lifeguards and take precautions if the tide is high since there will be strong waves.
Something I like about this natural pool in southern Tenerife is that it’s in a great area with lots of entertainment and dining areas. It’s also next to Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora Resort & Spa, one of the best hotels in Tenerife, so you can even stay overnight.
7. Charco de La Virgen, one of the most breathtaking natural pools in Tenerife
El Charco de La Virgen, also known as Charco La Viuda, is another natural pool in Tenerife that we loved. It’s in the fishing village of La Jaca, Arico, and boasts a stunning environment that you need to see to believe.
You’ll notice that this lagoon is smaller and more intimate than many others, which is why many locals consider it to be more of a natural jacuzzi than a pool. Either way, I recommend visiting this place for its pleasant and quiet atmosphere. Not many tourists come here, but you’ll probably see one or two locals relaxing in the water.
This natural rock pool in Tenerife is a short distance from El Muellito Beach in La Jaca, and if you decide to go, I suggest checking the tides beforehand. At high tide, the seawater overruns this small pool, causing it to completely disappear, so plan accordingly.
8. Faro de Buenavista, another place in northern Tenerife with natural pools
Back in the northern part of the island, there is El Charco del Faro de Buenavista, also known as El Charco el Rayo. This Tenerife lagoon is special because it has incredible views of the ocean and the nearby lighthouse. It’s also close to Teno Rural Park, one of the most beautiful places to see in Tenerife.
As one of the top natural pools in northern Tenerife, this charco has beautifully clear water, so you can really appreciate the volcanic rock formations. It also has a more remote location, so it’s usually not too crowded with tourists.
That said, be mindful of the waves and currents, especially if the sea is particularly rough or there is a high tide. It’s also a good idea to wear water shoes to protect your feet from the debris and pebbles at the bottom of the lagoon.
Of all the natural pools in Tenerife, this is one of the wildest, which is why it attracts fewer people. It’s an amazing place to go swimming in total privacy, and getting there isn’t too difficult. First, go to the El Rayo area and follow the dirt road toward the Buenavista Lighthouse. From there, it’s about a quarter-mile walk to the pool.
9. Charco de La Laja, a Tenerife natural pool with a special charm
Between Icod de los Vinos and Puerto de la Cruz, in San Juan de la Rambla, you’ll find El Charco de La Laja, another spectacular natural pool in northern Tenerife.
The calm, crystal-clear waters here make this pool a great place to go swimming or sunbathing. The volcanic rocks here formed hundreds of years ago and act as a breakwater to slow down the ocean currents, so it’s safe to swim here. Of course, you should still be careful and avoid diving in if the waves are particularly strong.
If you want to go here, I recommend starting from the La Laja viewpoint in San Juan de la Rambla. From here, you can see the lagoon from above, as well as the sea. After admiring the views, go down the stairs to reach the natural pool.
10. Jover Natural Pool, a beautiful natural pool near Tenerife’s Anaga Rural Park
Another gorgeous natural pool in Tenerife is that of Jover, which is in the town of Tejina, near Anaga Rural Park. This swimming hole isn’t usually frequented by tourists, but locals like to come here during certain times of the year.
The Jover natural pool in Tenerife has generally calm waters, but you should still be mindful of rough seas or high tides. One of the nice things about this lagoon is that it has access ramps for people with limited mobility. Also, while the pool was formed by solidified lava, the bottom has been paved with cement, so it’s a much more comfortable experience, especially for your feet.
Overall, this area has a calm and family-friendly vibe, so it’s a nice place to cool off with your loved ones. I also can’t forget the incredible views you’ll get from the pool, which sweep across the pristine, wild landscape.
To get to this Tenerife lagoon, go to the Cocal distillery in La Tejina and drive along the road until you reach the Jover natural pool.
11. Charco de Isla Cangrejo, a natural pool in Los Gigantes, Tenerife to swim in
El Charco de Isla Cangrejo is a natural pool in Los Gigantes, specifically in the Isla Cangrejo condo of Santiago del Teide. It’s very close to the Los Gigantes Cliffs, one of the most popular places to see in Tenerife, so you should consider visiting it.
Here, there is a large concrete wall that surrounds the pool, so there are hardly any waves or currents to deal with. If you’re traveling with children, be sure to avoid this area at high tide; otherwise, you can enjoy calm and shallow waters.
Of all the natural pools in Tenerife, we liked this one a lot because it was more tranquil and had fewer people. There is even a little spot where you can sit and sunbathe or marvel at the views. A word to the wise is to bring water shoes since the bottom is quite rocky.
12. Charco de Golete, another one of Tenerife’s natural pools that you should visit
To the east, you’ll find El Charco de Golete, another quiet natural pool in Tenerife. While you won’t find many tourists here, it’s not uncommon to see some locals enjoying a swim.
Like the other natural pools on Tenerife, this charco formed naturally, but stairs were installed to help visitors enter and exit the area. If you go swimming here, you’ll appreciate the calm waters, which have virtually no waves. In addition, the location is great and close to a walking/biking path, making it one of the best natural pools in Tenerife.
To get here, go to the municipality of Güimar and take the exit for Punta Prieta and La Coleta. You’ll pass a bridge, and after that, you should see the sign for El Charco de Golete.
13. Cueva de la Vaca, one of the most spectacular natural pools in Tenerife
I mentioned Santiago del Teide earlier, and there is another swimming hole in this area that you should check out. La Cueva de la Vaca is among the best natural pools in Tenerife, with impressive scenery, a relaxing atmosphere, and very little noise.
Moreover, the pool is next to La Arena Beach, so the location is quite good. Something that stands out about this Tenerife lagoon is it’s a sort of crater, giving it a cave-like appearance. This also makes it more intimate, so there are fewer people.
The waters were very pleasant when we visited, so we didn’t have to deal with any waves or currents. Of course, if there had been strong winds that day, it might’ve been a bit too dangerous to swim here. Another thing to keep in mind is that there aren’t any stairs, so you should be very careful when entering and exiting the pool.
If you want to go to Cueva de la Vaca, I recommend starting at La Arena Beach in Santiago del Teide, then going to the natural pool right next door.
14. Charco de la Araña, the disappearing natural pool in Tenerife, Canary Islands
Next, El Charco de La Araña is right next to another natural lagoon in Tenerife that I already mentioned, Los Chochos. That said, El Charco de La Araña is important in its own right since you can only visit it at low tide.
During high tide, this swimming hole plays a vanishing act and disappears under the seawater. So, make sure you plan your visit for low tide so you can enjoy the crystalline waters. This place is also great for snorkeling, and from here you can see the cliffs of La Culata, so it’s quite an impressive natural pool in Tenerife.
You’ll also appreciate that there is a lifeguard on duty, as well as changing rooms, showers, and restrooms. The nearby area is full of shops and restaurants, as well as the peculiar sight of a boreal fin whale skeleton. Given all these features, it’s not surprising that this is one of the most popular natural swimming pools in Tenerife, so it does get crowded.
15. Mesa del Mar, another impressive natural pool in Tenerife
Finally, Mesa del Mar is a beautiful lagoon in Tenerife, specifically on the Tacoronte coast in the town of Mesa del Mar. It’s also within the Costa Acentejo Protected Landscape Area, which is known for its wild cliffs and native flora.
This is another quiet natural pool in Tenerife, and it’s a nice place to spend some time as a family. Both tourists and locals frequent this area, and it has convenient amenities like stairs and a little sun terrace. Like the other swimming holes on the island, the waters tend to be calm since the rock walls provide protection from the wind.
Getting here is a bit tricky since the road leading to Mesa del Mar travels down the mountain and has lots of twists and turns. However, I can assure you that it’s worth the effort to see one of the best natural swimming pools in Tenerife, not to mention the lovely views of Mount Teide. You can even enjoy hikes and other outdoor activities in the surrounding area.
Map of Tenerife’s natural pools
Now that you know which are the best natural pools in Tenerife, here is a map so you can locate them all and plan your trip:
I hope you found this guide helpful and that you found a few lagoons in Tenerife that you’d like to visit. I know you’ll appreciate the beauty of these places as well as the chance to take a refreshing swim. Always remember to be mindful of the tides and to bring water shoes to protect your feet from sharp stones and rocks.
With that, you have everything you need but don’t hesitate to leave me a question or comment below. Enjoy swimming in Tenerife’s natural pools!