The Guayadeque Ravine (in Spanish Barranco de Guayadeque) is probably the most important valley where the paths start to go to the interior of the island. It’s located in the Ingenio and Aguimes municipalities of Gran Canaria. It’s one of the largest ravines on the archipelago, rich of archaeological remains and a lot of species of flora and fauna, including one of the largest lizard species. Also, it’s very well known for the large amount of cave houses, including a hermitage and various restaurants.
You can easily arrive to Guayadeque following this map, from everywhere on the island. If you’ve already been here then you know the movements are very quick (north to south of the island: 45 mins); instead if this is you first time on Gran Canaria, well… that’s the surprise! 😀 Everything here is very close to the rest. So Guayadeque Ravine, for example: if you follow the highway GC1 from Las Palmas, just take the exit 18 to Carrizal/Ingenio/Agüimes and cross the town of Ingenio to arrive. Instead, if you come from the south, for ex. Arguineguin or Maspalomas, then take the exit 25 to Cruce Sardina/Arinaga/Agüimes.
By the way, Ingenio and Aguimes are very nice towns to visit, and discover some places in the huge Natural Protected Area (Reserve Los Marteles, Natural Monument Roque Aguayro, Morro del Cuervo…). Then when you’re on the GC103 don’t forget to visit the Museum of Guayadeque here (Link to Museum Guayadeque) instead of going directly to the cave restaurants! 😉 Also, there’s this other interesting point: the Hermitage Guayadeque, a small church dug into the rock as in the oldest Canarian tradition that still attracts here anthropologists and archeologists (Link to Hermitage of Guayadeque).
As you can imagine, Guayadeque Routes are something that can take you 3-4 hours of paths as well as the whole day going around and exploring the entire valley. One suggestion is to start the visit in the morning and from the sea side: the road GC103 follows the bottom of the valley and the course of Guayadeque, ending at Montaña de las Tierras (where the cave restaurants and houses). As you can see from the map, a good route can include also the Four Doors Cave (click on the name for the article!) and the Crocodile Park, especially if you’re traveling with kids! Then the Picnic Area is an excellent choice for a meal in the middle of the the nature, and also there’s a long path (but not available with cars!) that connects GC103 with GC130 and it arrives to the Crater Los Marteles (where there’s this view point!).
Thanks to the Google Street View technology, we’re able to show you the actual route that goes from the Cave Houses of Guayadeque to the Crater Los Marteles, crosses Bermeja Cave and following the entire mountain ridge. It’s an impressive walk, that also can take more time than expect: there are some sloping points on which it is easy to slip, especially because of the pebbles that form the ground of the route. But the view is amazing, and the smells of the nature too! The ravine of Guayadeque is a place where time seems to have stopped a hundred years ago, when there was no noise around if not the buzz of insects and countryside. And all the figures around during the walk will have that taste: very high secular trees, conifers near cactus, and giant aloe that nobody knows how they decided to live together; there are some small properties where entry is forbidden (penalty the meeting with the master’s mastiff guard dog!) but it is still a really enjoyable environment and suggested for more than a walk!
The route we purpose is the one that you see here: search “Caldera Los Marteles Viewpoint” on Google, then release the yellow Pegman where the blue points that you have on the same map! 😉 Time: 3-4 hours, difference of levels: 866 mt.
At the middle of this same path, you’ll see various signs… that will be the subject for another article! Yes, because from there you can also decide to go to Pico Las Nieves, the highest point on the island! Just consider that if you chose a route in the morning it will be difficult to change the plan after: from that cross (and it’s at the middle of this path!) you’ll have other 7 km to walk just to arrive to Pico Las Nieves… and it’s always better to consider the return too, unless you’re bringing a tent! 😀
So enjoy this first path for the moment, and remember that the weather here is very changeable so the perfect dress for the walking will be the “onion style”: a t-shirt, a sweatshirt and a windbreaker… and you’ll arrive everywhere! Enjoy the walk!