The cottages in the hamlet of Masca are all lined up along the mountain ridges. They take up almost every inch of inhabitable space, balancing on the edge of the abyss created by the Island's deepest ravines. The Cherfe lookout point (on the road from Santiago del Teide) provides fantastic views over the hamlet.
This has always been a narrow and remote place, which was only very recently supplied with electricity, and where the roads were barely more than dusty tracks up until not long ago. In fact, for years the only means of communication with the rest of the world was the trail of Camino de los Guanches, linking Masca to Santiago del Teide. But that remoteness is precisely what has allowed it to keep its ancient charm.
Despite its small size, the area boasts a collection of valuable treasures such as the house of Los Avinculados in the hamlet of Piedra, and a tiny 18th century church. It even has a museum and a craft centre that have been set up inside one of the houses.
The hamlet is one of Teno Country Park's most charming attractions as it comprises all of the elements that make traditional Canarian architecture so unmistakable: masonry and wood, conceptual simplicity and full adaptation to surroundings.
Equally as popular as the hamlet is the ravine of Masca, one of the most stunning on the Island. It is perfect for hiking through its lush vegetation. The trail takes about four hours and journeys all the way from the mountain to the sea, where a boat takes hikers on a short trip before heading back to dry land. However, we recommend you avoid this trail as it is not approved and can be quite dangerous.
A rock formation that was once used as an aboriginal sanctuary not far from the hamlet revealed an archaeological site featuring cave art. Legend has it that as a remote and solitary place, this was a favourite hideout among the pirates who roamed the Island.
The hamlet of Masca is an Asset of Cultural Interest and is classed as a Historic Site. Your visit here can be extended to explore other hamlets in the area as well as Masca, such as El Palmar, Las Portelas and Teno Alto.