What is geocaching officially?
Geocaching is the world's largest treasure hunt. It began in early 2000 with just 75 hidden geocaches. Today there are 3 million geocaches scattered across almost 200 countries worldwide, with millions of geocachers hunting for them.
Tenerife is never the first to jump on a trend, so you won't find thousands of geocaching opportunities on the island. But right now, there are 100 or so caches in Tenerife waiting for you to discover them. To join the hunt, just download the free Geocaching app on your mobile or GPS device. Then use the co-ordinates provided to discover hidden boxes filled with "personal treasures" left by everyone who found it before you.
What is geocaching really?
Geocaching is an amazing way to discover new places in Tenerife you had absolutely no idea existed. Although you may find some close to you, in most cases you'll need a car just to get yourself underway.
The app gives you a good description with GPS locations of all possible starting points. After all, there's no point in getting you lost before you even begin. So away you go with your GPS map which shows you roughly where the treasure is. The route you take to get there is totally your own decision.
Once you're close enough, proximity mode kicks in which means your prize is within your grasp. Since the close proximity radius is about 20m, you're not going to just stumble across the geocache. There have been occasions when we've spent over an hour on the last stage, cursing our predecessors for making it so difficult to find.
Keep at it and you'll prevail. Just think to yourself: "Where would I hide a cache?" and you'll be a step closer. Sadly, there's never, ever an X to mark the spot. If all else fails, the app has hint photos that will steer you in the right direction.
Ian's geocaching in Tenerife review
I'll be honest: geocaching in Tenerife did sound a bit pants at first. I'm not a big fan of trekking about. What's the point when you can get there so much quicker by car? So when 'er indoors suggested geocaching to get my 10,000 steps a day badge on the Fitbit, I figured at least there'd be something to gain from all this exertion. Namely treasure.
The app is really clever, as it tells you when the treasure was last found and who found it. This reassures you that there's something still out there to find. The hunt itself is like orienteering for dummies. With her in charge, she would have marched us off a cliff. But with me at the helm, I had little difficulty navigating to the treasure zones. But then again, for a man it does come naturally, I suppose.
The treasure has been a little disappointing so far. Had the geocaching app not been free, I may well have considered contacting Trading Standards. I can't say what the treasure is, because it's down to previous treasure hunters to place it - something I always forget to do.
Give it a go for either of these 2 reasons: 1 it's fun, 2 it's free.
Overall rating: ⅘ (I can't give 5 because it's knackering!)
Nicky's geocaching in Tenerife review
I. Love. Geocaching. And I don't care how nerdy it makes me sound! We gave it a go one Saturday afternoon when the weather was a bit iffy and I had a great time. Although we were only looking for 3 and they were all pretty close to where we live, it took us a good few hours to find them. But because we were having so much fun, the time flew by in the blink of an eye. Until the sun got out, we had an hour's walk home and I hadn't brought any water. Then time dragged a fair bit.
Not only do you get a sense of accomplishment when you find the cache, but you really do get to discover fantastic new places you've never seen before. That one afternoon we spent geocaching in Tenerife opened up an entire new place to me I had no idea existed in my entire 17 years of living in Tenerife. And it was just a short walk from where I live!
If you want to get a bit of fresh air and fancy the idea of stumbling upon somewhere beautiful you've never seen before, I 100% recommend you give geocaching in Tenerife a go.
Overall rating: 5/5
Insider tips for geocaching in Tenerife
Take a power bank
It's a great idea to have a power bank handy, as GPS mapping munches through your battery power. If you don't have a power bank, consider using the battery saver mode on your phone, so only the map is on. It may come in handy, as some hunts can be in remote locations and you don't want to lose your GPS map (and your way home) because of a flat battery.
Look for piles of rocks
When we've been geocaching in Tenerife, most of the caches we've found have been hidden under piles of rocks. Some of them looked out of place and some not so much. You've really got to be on the ball! If you see a big pile of rocks, don't be afraid to tear them down to find the cache hidden underneath.
Take a pen with you
Some of the caches contain little books filled with notes from the people who've previously found them. But strangely enough, few actually contain anything to write with. If you really want to leave your mark, make sure you take a pen or pencil and let everybody know you were there and you found it.
Take something to swap
Some caches are also used as mini swap shops. While we've never seen anything worth swapping yet (unless you're really into collecting business cards!) it can be fun to take a little trinket and swap it with a stranger from around the world who's found the same cache as you.
Important info about geocaching in Tenerife
Official website: www.geocaching.com
Address: All over Tenerife