Ijuana Tenerife is a desolate and uninhabited area in the eastern part of Tenerife island. The region is one out of three areas on Tenerife that are under protection. Roughly speaking, it occupies several valleys to the east from the line Playa de Antequera (which is to the east of Igueste de San Andres) – Lomo de Las Casillas, all the way to the line Lomo de las Bodegas – Rogue de Bermejo in the far east of the island.
[Bach – Busoni: Toccata, Adagio & Fugue BWV 564 (II)]
The easiest approach from the land is from the road La Laguna – Chamorga. From the seaside, cliffs are very steep at many places but there are several beaches to approach by a boat. However, there are almost no paths from that side toward the Ijuana area.
Some claim that nearly 9 million people visit Tenerife throughout the year, which is a huge number for such a small island. I would say these estimates are not completely accurate, but one could speak about 5 million. So imagine such a unique desolate space like Ijuana in all this.
The map of Tenerife. The Ijuana park is roughly marked.
From the Chamorga road, there is only one path which leads to this area. It starts at the sharp turn to the left, which is at 3.4 kilometers from Chamorga, near the road to the cemetery. This road to the cemetery is well visible and you will not miss it. So you may park at the ‘main road’ (a funny word for such a narrow but beautiful mountain road) and follow the sign which shows the walking path to Chamorga. Walk several hundred meters till you get to the cemetery. From there just behind the corner, you will see the path to Chamorga going down the woods.
But do not follow this path. Instead, continue to your right side along a pleasant path toward the south. It continues all the way to the sea several kilometers away and it ends up at Playa de Ijuana. I did not walk all the way to the sea (simply was not interested in descending to the beach), but I have followed the path for about 1 hour and a half and stopped at the cliffs 460 meters above the sea.
You do not need any special equipment to do this route. Here is a short summary:
More about my tour to Ijuana
I started my tour at Igueste de San Andress, a small village on the south coast of Tenerife. To get there from Santa Cruz you take the bus number 945. See here more about the bus schedule.
You may go to the last stop and then walk back for a few minutes along the road through the village till the sharp turn. You will see the sign there for hiking tour toward Lomo de Las Casillas. So you follow the road (Carretera Lomo Bermejo) along the baranco (gorge) toward the north.
After a couple of kilometers you will see the signs on the right toward Las Casillas, so just follow it until you get there. At the altitude of 500 meters, you will be at the ridge, and there will be a sign for Antequera in the south, and for Las Casillas in the north direction. Follow the latter and soon you will pass Las Casillas. This is a group of a few houses, some of them obviously just ruins, at a very desolate place and with only footpath access from the south and from the north.
From Las Casillas the path is beautiful, you will descend for almost 100 meters and then it goes up again, and soon you will be on Chamorga road, exactly at the big turn and at the road toward cemetery mentioned above. You can see this point and the cemetery if you zoom in the map given here.
Here are a few photos from the part Igueste de San Andres – Chamorga road:
From the cemetery, I continued to the south. A long and pleasant path in the first half of the tour. Later it becomes almost invisible through the rock and cacti zones. At several sections, it is a bit exposed and hard, with a few places with a bit of scramble. Having some ankle injury or anything similar at such a place could have serious consequences, not to speak about costs of helicopter transport. In short, there are no roads around, there is no water, and going alone is not the best way.
At many places on the path, you will see goat dung, and you will hear them around. I was lucky to have three of them very close to the path. The udder of one of the goat was so full that it looked it would burst, so I was wondering if anybody was taking care of them at all. It looked impossible to collect them from such rugged area, unless they themselves gather somewhere where they can get water or salt by people. Anyhow, those were the only living creatures I saw there apart from a falcon flying and making sounds above.
I continued for about 90 minutes up to a point where I realized that I had to turn back if I wanted to catch a bus from Chamorga. So I walked the same way back till the road, and then followed it to the village. Once on the bus, I had a good nap almost all the way to San Andres.
Here are a few photos from the second part of the route, from cemetery toward the south through Ijuana:
Regarding my timing, I started after getting off the bus at Igueste de San Andress, at 11:20 am, and I was just in time in Chamorga to catch the bus at 16:30.
So this was my experience in Ijuana, hopefully, you liked it and enjoyed the photos. Please leave some comments below.
Read more about Tenerife hiking here:
And here something about climbing on Tenerife: