On the island of Gran Canaria it isn’t always easy to define the geological era in which certain events have developed and rise the places as we know today… but in the case of the Crater de Los Marteles we know that it’s quite recent, less than a million years, and that was originated from a volcanic explosion that interacted with a large aquifer, thus giving rise to a very fertile ground that can still be visited today.
The elliptical shape of the crater has an average diameter of 550 meters and a depth of 80 meters; despite the shallow depth, getting to the center of the crater involves a very complicated walk for those who’s suffering from knees: the path is entirely covered with pebbles that help a lot to see the ground from the lowest point of view. So, watch out for falls! 😉
Despite this, there is another path much more comfortable that we indicate below (thanks as always to Google Maps and Google Street View for providing the equipment to show you the trails live!):
From the other see-sight point, however, you will have the best view and also you can try and buy some local food specialties from the mobile kiosk that opens next to the parking lot, depending on the arrival or not of the tourist buses. From here you can follow another path, shorter but more difficult, here is the link:
The Caldera de Los Marteles is considered today one of the great treasures of the island of Gran Canaria and it has been declared a Nature Reserve, along with the surrounding woods. It’s always better to consult the weather forecasts before coming to this point of the island, and nevertheless always wear a windbreaker: it is quite common in this area to see the clouds appear at eye level and suddenly disappear, even walking inside and tick off the other side. As is obvious, the island’s tropical climate and its particular volcanic origins are the main factors of these rapid changes during the day. In spring and summer, however, the temperatures are around 25 degrees on the hills, fortunately refreshed by the ocean breeze that comes up here.
If you’d like to walk, we described a good route to arrive to Caldera de Los Marteles in this article: The Green Path of Guayadeque, that explains you how to arrive here in 3-4 hours of walking starting from the Guayadeque Cave Houses point.
The Nature Reserve is limited on the north side by the cliffs of Tenteniguada, and on the south side by the ravine of Tirajana (that is also a very nice town!); on its east side there’s a higher slope that goes to the most famous ravine of Cernicalos.
In the Crater de Los Marteles, and in the whole area around it, there are a lot of important plant formations such as the hollyhocks and willow trees, and also endangered plant species such as the rare Gran Canarian Wild Tomato (Solanum lidii) located in Temisas. The crater area was a part of Guayadeque Ravine, before the violent explosion that gave rise to this caldera. The volcanic eruption interrupted its course and therefore poured its waters into the bottom of the caldera, providing materials that have transformed it into an excellent land for agriculture.
The oldest reference we have of the place is found in a property book with the date 9 August 1549, and it describes the entire outline of the area. The name “Marteles” come from the Martel family, one of the most important families of Valsequillo, the province where the volcano is located. Pedro Martel was the first mayor of the town, according to the Royal Order of 1802, and his entire family had a lot of properties all around.
Until the end of 19th Century, the Caldera de Los Marteles was officially called Caldera de la Montaña del Pleito because of the arguing (in Spanish: “pleito”) that kept the new City Council of Valsequillo with the old City of Ingenio for the demarcation of the borders in this place, which ends in 1890.
From this historical act, the neighbors began to call it Caldera de los Marteles, in memory of the three ‘Marteles’ members of the family that signed for Valsequillo.
Last tip if you’re bikers: this road is an impressive route that goes from the sea to the highest point of the island, Pico Las Nieves… don’t miss it! 😉
So here it is! Don’t forget to watch the video of the road on YouTube (just to have an idea of the conditions!): here’s the link. A little bit of history, some curiosity and… a new path to do! Enjoy every day of your holiday… with Gran Canaria Travel Tips and Moustache Van! 🙂