Masca is nothing less than one of the most special places in Tenerife, Canary Islands. This mysterious spot set on the north-east side of the island is the epitome of the natural beauty of the Canary Islands. Masca is located around an hour from one of the main tourist spots in the island, Los Cristianos, which hosts the majority of visitors. The good thing about it is that the bus trip that takes you to the village allows you to enjoy some breathtaking scenery, among which its spectacular old town perched on top of the mountain. The truth is, you can feel some vertigo as you go through the village, balancing right on the edge of the ravine, while admiring the stunning geography of the area that creates a sharp contrast with the sky, and even the sea further away.
What characterizes Masca best is its long trekking that allows the numerous and frequent visitors to discover it from the inside, plunging them into a fascinating world of harmony and disconcerting discoveries. From the very first moment you arrive to the village of Masca, you can admire those old houses, still standing despite the passing of time; the place is also known for being, let’s say, the entrance gate to a natural paradise. The truth is, you feel very different when getting out of the bus in such a charming village, nestled within a truly natural environment. I personally started my journey with this incredible feeling I was being part of such place.
Masca is also popular for its famous Barranco, one of the most visited spots among tourists and also local residents, attracted by its great slopes and impressive rock formations. The wonderful landscapes and high levels of biodiversity convert Masca Barranco into one of the most important ravines in Tenerife. It boasts vegetal formations of great interest, such as the “saucedas“, as well as some species that are endemic to the area, and in danger of extinction.
Walking through the Barranco is far from being a risk-free adventure, and you have to be very cautious when hiking. It will be necessary to maintain a strict control over access to the path, for the own safety of people, the conservation of the territory, and also the good use of it. The walk up the barranco takes around three hours, covering some of the toughest terrains of the island, where you are likely to experience vertigo, challenging pathways, or rock-fall hazards. As long as the access to the barranco is not being controlled according to the general regulation, you are taking that trekking on your own responsibility.
The whole trekking is made of soil and rocks created by centuries of erosion. Although you can strictly focus on your pace, do not forget to appreciate, at any moment, the astonishing beauty of the mountains and the personality that make them unique on the island, but also the palm trees you can stumble upon, the weeds growing wild wherever you look, the small streams flowing down the rocks or even the birds flying around all along the way. This place joins together different elements, such as the fauna, the flora and the human being. It is actually quite common to bump into goats and its offspring on the way, which makes your journey even more natural and kinder. But as surprising as it may seem, this is all what Masca is about.
Depending on your walking pace, the trip can be around 3-hour long; it is quite smooth if you are an experienced hiker, but you should you be equipped with comfortable shoes and sun cream to protect you and keep you active throughout the day, as you will be jumping from one rock to another and falling into puddles while the sun shines. Also, don’t forget to pack some water, fruits and food along with you on your hike so to keep your energy levels high and prevent you from starving; the path length also requires you to take some breaks, so to prevent any injuries. Those small pauses are perfect not only to eat and recharge the batteries but also to admire the perfect peacefulness of the surrounding landscapes.
After an hour of hiking, Masca Barranco leads to a large coast with a nice beach, in such a genuine encounter with nature; and while you are thinking about going back the same way, the taxi-boats around there allows you to take you from Masca Bay to the coast of Los Gigantes.
This option is truly awesome; after a sea bath in such a beautiful landscape, surrounded by massive cliffs, you have the opportunity to discover the area from a boat. As you move away from the coast, you can see how the cliffs are getting blurrier to leave place to the infinity of sky and sea, from the boat you are sailing. This excursion is definitely a must-do in Tenerife; it is perfect for hikers and visitors willing to discover the most exotic spots of the island, as well as people that do not mind walking a couple of hours to reach them. In the end, getting to know Masca area implies high levels of physical activity.