Masca Walk / Trekking in Tenerife
The Walk starts just left of the ridge that runs through the centre of the town - and, despite requiring the use of hands for support in a couple of places and often being steep and full of loose rock, is easy enough for relatively experienced hikers. Along the walk, the sides of the ravine climb as high as 600m above the sea, and at its narrowest the gorge is only 20m wide. These narrow sections are the most memorable since they're filled with bizarre, swirling rock formations and curious endemic vegetation. After around two hours of hiking down the gorge, the noise of waves breaks into the still, humid air which soon gives way to a sea breeze. The path terminates at a pretty little black sand beach - a great place to relax and swim.
How to Get to Masca and Back
The easiest way to get to Masca is by car. But if you want to save money, or don't fancy the drive up the steep sinuous roads, then you can either use the infrequent public buses (Mon-Fri 2 daily from Santiago del Teide; Mon-Fri 4 daily from Buenavista del Norte), or take a guided hiking trip to the valley. Companies offering this trip operate out of most of the main coastal resorts and usually offer a shuttle bus to the village and a boat to pick you up from the beach after your hike through the Masca canyon. If you want to organize your own transport to Masca, but would like to take a boat from the Masca beach to the Los Gigantes, check out the water taxi services listed below.
The village of MASCA , in an impressively isolated and picturesque gorge, is generally considered Tenerife's prettiest village. And outside the hours of 11am and 5pm, when streams of crowds and tour buses beset the village, it's hard to argue with this opinion - the village's pretty old stone houses looking out across palm-trees and improbably steep ravine walls towards the Atlantic Ocean. So, if you're happy to arrive in the village early, and are fit and energetic enough for the hike down the incredible, narrow gorge to the sea, then visiting the valley is likely to be among your most memorable experiences on Tenerife.
Considering it was only connected by road to the outside world in 1991, and is a good three-hour hike from the coast, it's hard to imagine quite what inspired the village of Masca in the first place. However, fertile valley soils spawned a relatively large six-hundred strong community here at one point. Now the population hovers around one hundred, with many of the old stone houses of the village lying vacant and most of the villagers remaining here only to service tourist needs. For the hardy, the six-hour return hike down the impressive steep-sided Barranco de Masca, from the village to the sea, is a must.