Whale haven

Santiago del Teide, Tamaimo, Los Gigantes, Alcalá, San Juan beach

Santiago del Teide
Bathed by the humid winds that flow through the Island's inland areas is Santiago del Teide. At the heart of its historic quarter stands the 17th century San Fernando Rey church and its adjacent buildings which, together with the Casa El Patio, constitute the most prominent buildings. Not far from here, you can access the TF-436 road which leads to the picturesque hamlet of Masca, whose views are highly recommended. A little further out of the town, you will come to the TF-375 road to Arguayo, where a fascinating craft museum has inherited the pottery work of the Guanche people, and where the countryside has been shaped by the most recent volcanic eruption to shake the Island in 1909.

Our journey continues along the TF-454 towards the coast, where you will reach the town of Tamaimo, which is the financial heart of this municipality and affords impressive views from the Tamaimo lookout point, just before you come to the town. The route from Tamaimo to Puerto Santiago crosses vast farmlands, before the forest of farms and greenhouses gives way to giant volcanic rock walls.

Los Gigantes
Geology blessed this part of the Island with huge cliff faces made of dark volcanic rock that rise over 600 m (1970 ft) high. The Guanche people called this the "Wall of Hell".

For lovers of the sea, this is a great place for whale and dolphin watching, where there are hundreds of bottlenose dolphins and short-finned pilot whales, as well as 19 other species of cetaceans. They can be found some three miles off the coast and can be sighted pretty much every day of the year. All you have to do is sign up for one of the organised boat trips that set off from Los Gigantes (or from Puerto de Colón and Los Cristianos).

La Arena, Alcalá and San Juan Beach
Before you leave Santiago del Teide, on the coast near the La Arena beach, one of the Island's most stunning beaches will suddenly materialise before your very eyes. This is a small beach made of bright black sand. For the local residents, this is their own piece of paradise.

The route continues amidst crops of tomatoes and bananas growing in the fertile volcanic soils of the malpaís (badlands). Moving on to the neighbouring municipality of Guía de Isora, you will come to Alcalá and the San Juan beach, inviting you to stop and take in their seaside atmosphere.