Tenerife – Circular walk around the Roques de García

Blick auf die Ucanca Ebene


Roques de García – small but fine round tour around an impressive rock massif

Panorama - Hiking trail around the Roques de García with Teide in the background

On the hike you will see the Roques de García with the famous Roque Cinchado, also known as Finger of God, which is not missing on any travel guide. And while you are circling the small mountain massif, you will have fantastic views of the Teide, the Pico Viejo and all the mountains surrounding the Caldera. The wide plain of the Llano de Ucanca will be at your feet.

Tajinastes in the Cañadas

Hiking May/June – Tajinasts at the Roques de García

This hike is particularly beautiful from the beginning to mid-May or in the first half of June. And that is also the reason why I publish this little article now in May. Because then the up to three meters high red Tajinasten put true splashes of colour into the landscape. The Tajinaste (Echium wildpretii) is also called Teide Natternkopf in the German language. It was discovered by the Swiss botanist Hermann Wildpret (1834-1908), who worked from 1860 in the Botanical Garden in Puerto de la Cruz as a head gardener.

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Tenerife Tajinaste T-Shirt
And here’s the matching T-shirt

The plant, known in Spanish as Tajinaste Rojo, is a robust plant that can withstand the extreme temperatures prevailing in the Teide National Park in summer and winter without any problems. There, the plants have to survive water shortages, temperature fluctuations of up to 20 degrees a day, strong UV radiation and around 100 nights of frost per year. For this reason, they have developed small hairs and protective wax.

Tajinaste close to Roques de García

Tajinasts – Orgullo de Tenerife

No calendar page and no travel guide about Tenerife on which a red Tajinaste is not depicted in one form or another. This flower is something like a symbol of the island Tenerife and is also called “Orgullo de Tenerife”, “the pride of Tenerife”. The Tajinaste Rojo is an endemic plant and can therefore only be admired on Tenerife and La Palma. Or is it now found in San Francisco or other places in the world?

Roques de García - Tajinaste

In the first half of the last century there were far fewer Tajinasts in the Teide region. At that time the farmers let their goat herds graze in the Cañadas in the summer and the rosettes of the Tajinasts were eaten by the goats gladly as fodder. Later, after the area was declared a national park in 1954, more and more attention was paid to nature conservation. Since the 90s more and more gamekeepers are on the way and herds of goats are forbidden in the Cañadas. So the Tajinaste is today again widespread. Tajinasts belong to the family of the predatory leaf family and are botanically seen bushes. They occur at altitudes of 1600 to 2000 metres between crevices and on stony ground.

Tajinaste

After this small excursion into the botany now back to the hiking tour.

Track around the Roques de García with Parador

General information about the circular hike Roques de García

Starting point and approach:

Hiking trail No. 23 to Pico Viejo

Starting point is the small parking lot at the Mirador de la Ruleta (2151 metres above sea level) or also the big parking lot on the other side of the road in front of the Parador Nacional de las Cañadas. Coordinates: 2.822.415.263 -1.662.715.342

Arrival by car:

You can drive on the access roads from all sides of the island to Teide National Park. The Parador Nacional and the Mirador de la Ruleta as well as the Roques de García are signposted. The parking spaces are located at the TF-21. Coordinates: 2.822.415.263, -1.662.715.342

Arrival by bus:

The Titsa bus lines number 342 and 348 stop at the Parador. You can find the exact timetables on the Titsa homepage.

Time:

I don’t like to give general time information for hiking tours, because the times are very individual. For this round you should need between 1 and 2 hours.

elevation profile Roques de García

Difference in altitude and distance: 

The difference in altitude is about 200 meters. The walking distance is approx. 3.5 kilometers long.

Rocks, Cañadas and the Teide

Requirement:

An easy hike – almost a long walk.

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Refreshment:

Restaurant in the Parador Nacional de las Cañadas.

Variants:

This little round tour around the Roques de García can be well combined with different other hiking and round walks in the Teide National Park. From the round tour itself, you can turn off with the path number 23 in the direction of Pico Viejo. Furthermore, shortly before the rock Catedral, you can follow the hiking path number 26 in direction Mirador Llano de Ucanca. This path extends the circuit and finally allows you to return to the Mirador de la Ruleta on a footpath parallel to the TF-21.

Junction to Pico Viejo

As this is a very small circuit, you could also do another small circuit from the same starting point. The circular hike through the Caldera, for example, is a good way to do this. This also starts at the Parador Nacional de las Cañadas.

Meeting circle of the Guanches modelled on

Hike around the Roques de García

Section Mirador de la Ruleta below the Roques de García

You can’t miss the starting point of the circular path at the Parador Nacional de las Cañadas or at the Mirador de la Ruleta. Because here really every tourist bus stops. There is hardly a tourist on Tenerife who does not want to have a view from the nicely arranged observation deck to the rock massif of the Roques de García and the Ucanca plain. Some also climb the paths to the rocks. But not only the secured 50 metres high to the rock massif are worth seeing. It is really worthwhile to walk the whole circular path. And if you want to see the Tajinasts up close, a small path is indispensable.

Hiking trail with the wellknown Roque Cinchado or also the finger of god

You walk on the hiking path number 3 below the Roques de García. Here, on the left side, you can see the famous rock massif of the Roque de Cinchado, also known as Finger of God. On the right side, a small detour to newly built stone circles is worthwhile. These are supposed to be based on the meeting circles of the guanches that spent the summers here with their herds. In the circles, the guanches once discussed all important things. Today they serve as a resting place and seat for tired tourists.

The rock massiv with Teide in the background

Section Roques de García to the Catedral

After about 20 minutes of walking below the Roques de García you reach the last rock of the massif, the Roque Blanco. On the right is a lava field. Here, at the end of the massif, you will come to a fork in the path where path number 23 to Pico Viejo branches off to the right. If you have more plans, you can also walk towards Pico Viejo. But on the small round tour, it continues around the rocks to the left. You come to a small viewing platform from which you have a good view to the Llano de Ucanca.

Panorama - hiking trail around Roques de García

The whole plain is at your feet at the edge of the Llano de Ucanca. From here you descend on a small stony path around some rocks. The path continues downhill in small serpentines towards the Ucanca plain. It passes many jagged and impressive rock formations. After the descent you reach a small plain and in front of you lies the impressive rock of the Catedral.

view on the Ucanca plain

Section Catedral to the Mirador de Ruleta

If you walk here at the right time in May/June, you will see the red shining Tajinasts around you. A really impressive sight. As you walk through the plain to the rocks of the Catedral, it’s worth taking a few turns left and right from time to time. Especially if you want to see the Tajinasts up close. The Catedral is over 100 metres high and is actually reminiscent of a cathedral. From time to time climbers can be seen there. Just before you reach the rock, the path forks. Here you can walk down to the right with the hiking trail 26 to the Mirador Llano de Ucanca. The way back then leads you parallel to the road back to the starting point Mirador de la Ruleta.

Hiking trail with Cathedral

But the shorter path goes past the Catedral and then a steep ascent in serpentines high back to the Mirador de la Ruleta. By the way, this is the only part of this little circular hike that is a little bit strenuous. Here, at the end, it really goes up. As a reward, you can enjoy the view from the Mirador over your entire hiking route.

Ascent to the Mirador de Ruleta with white rocks, Cathedral and Ucanca plain

And finally:

I hope that you enjoyed the little round tour around the Roques de García. If this tour is too short for you, there are really various possibilities to extend your hiking tour to alternative routes. Have fun hiking and hopefully you will discover many red Tajinasts,

Dagmar von Siebeninseln

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