Tamaimo tunnel blocked by bar operator

Bar operator “sells” tunnel tickets illegally

Below Tamaimo is a tunnel that leads into the Barranco Seco. I described it, for example, in the tour Pure Adventure – Dark Tunnels and Breathtaking Cliffs.

Helmets with headlamps borrowed from the bar operator

Some time ago, several readers told me that a small bar with refreshments had opened directly on the Camino Real from Los Gigantes to Santiago del Teide. That didn’t sound bad at first.

Newly built bar on the Camino Real - building in the centre of the picture

But then I gradually learned from more and more people that this small refreshment bar offered more than just drinks. At first, a man who sold fruit and refreshments in the bar approached all the people who wanted to go through the tunnel and passed by there. Some were supposed to pay €10 to pass through the tunnel. He told others that helmets were compulsory in the tunnel. These helmets could be borrowed from him with a headlamp for a fee. In some cases, identity cards should also be deposited as security.

Tunnel now locked with a small lock by the bar operator

Bar operators attach lock to tunnel

Around this small bar there are 2 men who speak Spanish, English and German. Since they apparently could not relieve enough people of their money in this way, they have now probably attached a lock to the grille in front of the tunnel. It is unlikely that the municipality acted here – as claimed by the men. There is no official sign and the tunnel is only locked from one side. In any case, the two men have the keys. One man is constantly at the tunnel entrance to let people who have paid or those who are coming back in and out. The other man is in the bar and “sells” tickets and rents helmets in addition to refreshments.

Tunnel entrance and a man who lets hikers into the tunnel with the key

When hikers come through the tunnel from the other direction (from the Barranco), they are supposed to pay before the man unlocks and lets them out. Yesterday someone who didn’t want to pay told me that they wouldn’t let him out of the tunnel. He had to go back through the tunnel and find another way to Tamaimo. This is not possible for everyone because of the condition. Therefore, it is not only fraud that is taking place in front of the tunnel.

Lock on tunnel inside

The charges have been filed – but what will happen to the lock on the tunnel?

Today someone filed a complaint with the police. Allegedly, the construction of the entire house is illegal because there is no building area directly on the Camino Real. But it may take time before a possible demolition order is implemented. The local Spanish police believe that as long as people pay voluntarily, they cannot do anything.

IMPORTANT Therefore, do not under any circumstances pay these people for tunnel crossings, tunnel tickets, equipment such as helmets and headlamps, and the like. And under no circumstances give them your identity cards. IMPORTANT

Bar operator not only sells refreshments

But what happens to the tunnel blocked by the lock and the tunnel walks? The police will certainly not remove the lock so quickly. To be informed about the current state of affairs, please read the numerous comments on this information. If you have any new information, please be sure to share it with the other walkers here.

26 Replies to “Tamaimo tunnel blocked by bar operator”

  1. Got taken by this scam yesterday. It all looked a little bit fishy, but I was on the trail a bit late, so I had no time to argue or climb over the mountain.

    I also saw several people on trail from Los Gigantes before the tunnel, wearing sneakers, asking how do we get to the beach in the next barranco. No walking poles, no guidebook, no map, no proper shoes, and they were in the middle of Los Gigantes trail at 14:30 on Dec 11th, so only 3,5h until sunset left.

    I also hiked to top of Mt Guama, and met a couple there. They said they were on their way to the beach, but had taken the wrong turn and ended up on the top by accident. Also no map. This is at 17:00 on a day with a 18:10 sunset. How exactly did they think they would have walked to the beach there.

    All of them accidents waiting to happen.

    My bet is all these trails are #1 candidates for closure.

  2. Which tunnel exactly is closed? On the map I see three tunnels under Tamaimo. I only used the one closest to Tamaimo. The one in the picture doesn’t look like the one I used in the past. Or are the other tunnels closed as well?

    1. The one in the middle is closed by the bar operator

  3. Dagmar, I found out about this today. Just placed several complaints. I’m an American/canarian citizen and I’m sick and tired of this corruption. If we don’t do anything, they will lock down the whole island

    1. Thank you, where did you complain?

    2. Nevertheless, are aware that Americans are the first ones to sue anyone because of any accidents and missing signs or locks. 😜 (I am not saying you would.) It is tricky, and the trails are definitely challenging. I think for the municipality it is easier to let someone take care of this issue, even if indirectly through a cafe, instead of regularly updating the locks themself. Therefore I guess not much will happen here. It is a difficult issue and there is really no middle ground. If anything happens, people will definitely declare the municipality responsible. We should just be aware of this, both sides have their points but neither is wrong. Of course the doings of that cafe operator are of a different kind – thus, maybe just someone has a hacksaw, sledge hammer or bolt cutter and can take care of the gate. 😇

  4. Town hall. Just got word. It is indeed ilegal, they are aware and are working on a solution so they say.

    1. Thank you, sounds great, as more people work on it, better

  5. Iain Schrøder says: Reply

    die Mühle der Gemeinde malt langsam!

  6. Quién hizo el túnel? Por qué? Para que? Es propiedad privada? Esto primero antes de bla bla bla girissss!!!

    1. Los túneles se construyeron como galerías para recoger agua. La propiedad de los mismos es diferente en cada caso. A menudo hay empresas detrás de ellos. Pero los habitantes del Túnel de Tamaimo no son los propietarios, sino que han construido una estructura ilegal y se han limitado a colocar una cerradura en un túnel que mantiene abierto el municipio. Simples sinvergüenzas que roban dinero todos los días.

  7. Koenraad De Decker says: Reply

    Did the trip today (7/1/22) and checked tunnels:
    First one (coastal side): open but coastal path was in very bad condition. Going up probably not a problem but we were with four people experienced hikers and we didn’t find a way down we found safe. We turned back to go over the mountains.
    Middle tunnel (ending at the bar): indeed there was a gate on one side but it was unlocked when we checked (wirhout money scam). Maybe they only lock it when they are selling their tours.
    Last tunnel (northern one): open.
    Hope this helps. In the end we climbed the mountain and it was not bad but if you want to take the tunnel it’s also an experience.

    1. Thanks for sharing the information

    2. I hiked the way down about a month ago, and I agree this is tricky. There is a part with tiny stones all over a very steep bit, which is IMO a bit dangerous. But this is only one part right after the tunnel, everything else is completely fine.

  8. iain schrøder says: Reply

    Interesting information!

  9. We did the tunnel hike yesterday 19 januari 2022, from tainamo to Los gigantes. Beautiful and challenging. The scammers were there to ask 10e for the tunnel, they were very persistent (almost as persistent as the donkey that walked with us :)). However we took the Eastern tunnel instead, it was open and Noone at the entrance. Had to climb a bit to find it, but surprisingly there is a water gutter that showed the way in :). The way out we didn’t follow the gutter but we took a left turn down and followed our way to the western tunnel to Los gigantes. The door is installed but wide open. Exiting that tunnel follow the dots a little bit towards the ocean to land on the “path”. After 20 minutes of walking we took a wrong (but credible) turn somewhere and stranded at a dangerous part. We decided to go back to the tunnel but a few turns back we saw that we did not follow the dots, so we continued our way to Los gigantes. Enjoy hiking!

    1. thank you for sharing your recent experiences here

  10. iain schrøder says: Reply

    Happy to heare that the dors to the lower tunnel is open! I’m coming to Los Gigantes 1. of february.

    1. looking forward

  11. Hello,
    Any recent update if the gate is open?

    1. People reported since two days, that the gate to the tunnel was open.

  12. Yesterday it was closed. The guy let us out when my girlfriend insisted that she was feeling unwell and we were poor students etc. There were some people on the outside who could not come in. We called police. Ps. The guy seemed a bit crazy, maybe someone is using him.

  13. Spanish people are the worst. 😜

    Luckily all other tunnel around are still open, so enjoy them and skip this tourist trap. 👍

  14. Guys, leave a bad review for this place on Google Maps, hopefully this will prevent such behaviour in the future. 😇

  15. I hiked and passed the tunnel on Sunday 27 Feb 2022 and found that the gate has now been removed (it had been cut away and looks like it will stay that way) and so there is now free access to the entrance. The former operator still has helmets and lights for rent for those that want but you no longer have to pay to access the tunnel.

    1. Yes Simon, I also saw it last week and some other readers – that you can read in their comments.

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