What is the Barranco del Infierno walk officially?
The Barranco del Infierno walk is a hiking trail within a nature reserve in Adeje, Tenerife South. Beginning at 350m above sea level, the trek follows an old pastoral trail, passing by bee hives, an old mill and a riverbed before reaching an outstanding waterfall that plunges down 200m. There’s a varied spectrum of plants, trees, insects and birds to see along the route, from wild jasmine and dragon trees to millipedes and eagles.
This Tenerife hiking trail covers 6.5km and takes approximately 3.5 hours to complete. It’s rated as a low-medium difficulty and because of this, no children under the age of 5 are allowed to do it. Drinking water, closed shoes, trekking clothing, snacks and a camera are recommended.
Things have changed a bit in the last few years. There are now several health and safety and preservation protocols in place to protect walkers and the environment. Because the walk takes place within a protected zone, only 300 people are allowed in each day. To be able to complete the trail, you need to reserve online in advance through the official website. Reservations are available every day at 30-minute intervals.
What is the Barranco del Infierno walk really?
Well I didn’t see any bee hives or an old mill and whoever wrote, “an outstanding waterfall that plunges down 200m” must have done this walk during monsoon season. Don’t get me wrong, hiking in Tenerife South can be rather barren as far as scenery goes. And this waterfall clearly makes for a great photo. But Niagara it ain’t. It’s more of a trickle than a plunge.
A great feature of this walk is that the start and finish points are the same. But sadly, it’s not a circular walk. You just retrace your footsteps. But the scenery is a bit different because you’re facing the other direction.
Alas, we didn’t see any millipedes and the eagles must have all had somewhere better to be that day. Luckily, they were replaced by lots of horny frogs and some funny looking chicken things. The low-medium difficulty rating is spot on and if you don’t stop every 5 minutes, you could easily knock an hour off the suggested time.
Just keep your wits about you. There are signs and arrows that show the direction of possible rock falls. Great idea. Just don’t walk off the edge and plummet into the barranco while looking out for them.
Ian’s Barranco del Infierno walk review
Anybody who, like myself, did this walk a decade ago before the “refurb” will be initially surprised. Long gone are the days when you turned up at the starting hut, showed a half-drunk carton of Um Bongo as “enough suitable fluids for the journey” and have the staff shake their heads at you in dismay as you marched off down the path in your flip flops with your 75 year old mother whose trying to break in her new hip.
Now they take things a little more seriously. You have to reserve, sign a disclaimer and be briefed on the dos and don’ts (and she does go on a bit). The biggest change of all is the compulsory wearing of crash helmets. What a waste of hair gel! Who would have thought walking in Tenerife could be so perilous?
The walk itself hasn’t really changed. There are a few more signs here and there. But it’s basically the same and that’s a good thing. The trail is long enough to feel a sense of achievement and if you like all that flowery stuff, you’re laughing.
I would really recommend this as I think everybody would get something out of it. Personally, I discovered my knees are not as strong as they once were and that blackbirds are quite fond of salt and vinegar Pringles. (I’m proud to say feeding the wildlife is the only rule I broke!)
Overall rating: 4/5
Nicky’s Barranco del Infierno walk review
We do a fair bit of walking in Tenerife. And while there are some gorgeous walking routes in the north that take you through dense forests filled with all kinds of trees and plants, hiking in Tenerife South doesn’t quite do it for me. Instead of thick tree canopies that keep the sun out and make me feel like I’m somewhere else entirely, the hiking trails in the south are dry and dusty with not much to look at.
I was expecting the Barranco del Infierno walk to be much the same. But thankfully I was wrong. Parts of it were like walking along a dirt track, but others were much more magical and interesting. There were big rocks to jump over to cross flowing streams, bushy trees to duck under and gorgeous valley views for almost the whole way. Definitely not what I was envisioning walking through a barranco would be like!
For me, the only downside to this walk is that when you reach the waterfall, you literally have to just turn around and retrace your footsteps. So the return journey is more of a “let’s get this over with” than gazing in awe at the views. But that’s not enough to put me off recommending the Barranco del Infierno walk.
If you want to see a part of Tenerife away from the resorts and beaches (without heading up north or into the mountains) I’d definitely recommend you give this walk a try. It’s not difficult at all, so it’s perfect if you’re a total beginner who’s never walked further than to the shops and back. And it only took us 2.5 hours to complete, including stopping for a picnic and videoing some birds, so it won’t take up your whole day. Just don’t have your heart set on a majestic waterfall finale.
Overall rating: 4/5
Insider tips for the Barranco del Infierno walk
Take advantage of the residents’ discount
If you’re a Tenerife resident, you get a discount on the Barranco del Infierno walk. Prices are reduced to €4.50 for adults and €2.25 for children. If you live in Adeje, you get an even bigger discount. Tickets are just €2.50 for adults and €1.25 for children. Make sure you take proof of residency (i.e. your “empadronamiento”) if you’re entitled to a discount, to avoid unwanted hassle when you show up.
Wear proper shoes
The trail is mostly fairly loose underfoot and there are a few sections where you have to step on rocks amidst running water. Because of this, it’s important you wear proper shoes to do the Barranco del Infierno walk. You can wear hiking boots, but they’re a bit of an overkill. Trainers work just fine.
The only requirement the staff have is that you must have closed shoes. If you don’t have any appropriate footwear, you can hire shoes onsite for €4 + a €10 refundable deposit. They also have walking poles available to hire for the same price and deposit.
Visit in the morning or on a cloudy day
Although there’s a little bit of natural shade provided by trees, most of the Barranco del Infierno walk is completely open. This means if you do it on a clear, sunny day, you’re going to have the sun beaming down on you for 2-3 hours. Don’t forget the sun cream! Because of this, it’s a good idea to plan to do the walk early morning (Barranco del Infierno opens at 8am/8.30am depending on the season) or on a cloudy day.
Visit during spring
We did the Barranco del Infierno walk in late May and got to see the most adorable family of wild Barbary Partridges. There was a mother and her 5-6 fluffy chicks who let us get extremely close to them while they were hunting for food. If you visit at this time of year, you never know what baby wildlife you might get to see.
Have lunch at Restaurante Otelo
The start and finish of the Barranco del Infierno walk is right next to Restaurante Otelo – the famous Adeje chicken place. The restaurant is open 11am-11pm, prices are extremely cheap and (going by the reviews) the food is great!
Important info about the Barranco del Infierno walk
Official name: Barranco del Infierno
Official website: www.barrancodelinfierno.es
Contact details: +34 922 780 078 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: June 1st to September 15th – 8am-4pm ¦ September 16th to May 31st – 8.30am-5pm
Suggested time: 3 hours
Canarian residents: €4.5 for adults (aged 12+), €2.25 for children
Non-residents: €8.5 for adults (aged 12+), €4.25 for children