Excursion to the mountain of Tindaya, the place you should know if you visit Fuerteventura
The Tindaya Mountain is one of the most magical places on the island of Fuerteventura. This place has great power due not only to the beauty of its colours but, especially, to the history evident in the engravings of the ancient aborigines who inhabited it. Therefore, if you visit Fuerteventura, you cannot miss an excursion to the Tindaya Mountain!
Tindaya Sacred Mountain Natural Monument
To the northwest of Fuerteventura a solitary mountain emerges in Llano de Esquinzo (municipality of La Oliva), known as Montaña de Tindaya. With its 400 meters high and its conical shape it enhances the arid and flat landscape that surrounds it. Due to its location this mountain is visible from various points in the north of the island and is easily recognizable because of its colour and peculiar shape.
This place has a great archaeological value since it shows the sacred value it had for the ancient aborigines who inhabited the island and who attributed magical properties to the mountain. In its stones 300 rock carvings are preserved, footprints oriented towards Mount Teide in Tenerife, which on cloudless days can be seen from the top.
Tindaya Mountain was declared a Site of Cultural Interest for its archaeological wealth but also as a Natural Monument and Point of Geological Interest and it’s also Unesco’s Biosphere Reserve from May 2009 as many other protected landscapes of Fuerteventura.
The flora of the Tindaya mountain stands out for its endemic value characteristic of the Canary Islands. The concentration of humidity due to the trade winds favours the development of species such as the Canary Island daisy or the Apteranthes burchardii a cactus-like plant, among others. As for fauna, it is possible to observe birds such as the great bustard, the Saharan corridor, the trumpeter bullfinch… Some species of birds are classified as rare or in regression in the Archipelago. Among the mammals, the shrew stands out and among the reptiles, the Atlantic lizard, the Chalcides simonyi is a species of skink and Tenerife wall gecko.
Near the mountain visitor will find Cueva del Bailadero de Las Brujas, where tradition tells that men and women came there to perform rituals. It’s a natural cave that is part of a volcanic tube where legends take a leading role.
How to get to the Tindaya Mountain?
To get to the Tindaya Mountain, from any point on the island, you have to go to the municipality of La Oliva. Even if you are in Lanzarote and you want to try this experience, you will find that ferries leave daily for Playa Blanca in Lanzarote to the Port of Corralejo in Fuerteventura.
To access the mountain, you must request a permit from the Environment Ministry of Fuerteventura’s Cabildo, this procedure can be carried out at the offices of Puerto de Rosario and Corralejo (Office of the Mayor).
In Tindaya’s town, on the south side of the mountain you will find plenty of shops where to gather provisions for your excursion. Bear in mind it’s very important to stock up on water since the heat is intense and there aren’t many places for shelter.
Hiking to the top can take a couple of hours, so it’s important to plan your excursion and have in mind that it’s not an easy one due to the steep slope. Anyways you will be able to see many interesting things on the way. The trail to climb begins on the southwest ridge of Tindaya, where there’s a sign with information about the Natural Monument.
It’s mandatory to follow the path marked at all times to preserve the Heritage intact. The trip is approximately 2 km long and for those who venture this monument on hike there is pleasant reward since when reaching the top they will be able to contemplate – on a cloudless day – the silhouettes of both Tenerife’s Teide and Gran Canaria’s Pico de Las Nieve.
In addition, at the top you can see the rock carvings, called podomorphs for their foot shape. In this sacred place for Majos, the Gods were prayed or justice was imparted.
At the foot of the mountain you’ll find Bailadero de las Brujas cave which, as we have mentioned, is a place full of legends where, according to those who know them, initiation rituals and witchcraft practices were performed.
Reaching Tindaya’s coast
There is a path that was formerly used to communicate the towns on the coast with those in the interior. This trail has a medium difficulty but connects the town of Tindaya with the coastal towns, reaching El Cotillo. If you fancy taking this 15.2 km route, we recommended you to bring plenty of water and leave very early in the morning as the sun is very strong and there are just a few shelters for shade.
This path crosses Llano de Esquinzo following a ravine’s bed, where you along the journey you will be able to see stone kilns used to obtain lime as well as reservoirs, gavias (Canary cultivation system), Canary palm trees…, finally you will reach Esquinzo beach.
The north coast is dramatic, the sea hits with full force onto the cliffs that are interspersed with ravines that open up into the Atlantic creating wild beaches. To get to El Cotillo, just follow the easily accessible path heading north. To take this tour it takes an average time of four and a half hours.
History and culture are present in this enchanted place on the island of Fuerteventura. Learn about its magical stories and discover how life was like in ancient times. The Tindaya Mountain in Fuerteventura is an unforgettable experience in a wonderful place that you should not miss out.