Gran Canaria is home to many different vegetation zones and landscapes worth checking out on a day trip.
In this post, I’m gonna take you into the stunning slot canyon Barranco de las Vacas, which is definitely one of the coolest spots on the island – and best of all: it’s still very much off the beaten path.
Exploring Barranco De Las Vacas
How To Get To Barranco De Las Vacas By Car
I had heard about the alleged canyon from locals. When looking it up on the internet, I hadn’t been very successful back then. At least I found some GPS data where the canyon was supposed to be.
It is Thursday morning, and we’re driving to Agüimes in our rented Renault Clio. One last time I check the GPS data in Google Maps. The GPS point is a little off the meandering pass road GC – 550 – you’d have to be able to see it from the road, at least that’s what I think.
We follow the GC – 550 from Agüimes towards Santa Lucia. No canyon in sight. At some point, we realize that we’ll probably have to park somewhere and descend into the boondocks and trek through the dried river bed, which can be seen from the street.After several unsuccessful attempts to park somewhere on the side of the road, we finally leave the car at a makeshift gravel parking lot, which lies to the left of a bend still far in front of the actual Barranco de las Vacas.
How To Hike Barranco De Las Vacas
~ 3 km
From the gravel parking lot, we walk along the road, always looking out for cars that sometimes rush around the tight bends dangerously fast. After a straight stretch of road, we notice an opening in the guardrail on the left with a steeply descending path.
We follow the path into the dried-up river bed of Barranco de las Vacas. We continue trekking for about 15-20 minutes until we reach an old bridge dating back to the 18th century. We walk through the tunnel and keep hiking along the ever-narrowing riverbed. After about 500m, the cliffs on the right and left begin to get higher and intensely red.
Water, wind and erosion have created an impressive canyon that is very similar to the famous Antelope Canyon in the US. A true natural wonder!
The further you go, the narrower the ravine becomes.
Depending on the time of day, the sunlight falls in different angles into the canyon, so that the colors and stone formations are great photo opportunities – with and without a person in the photo.
Particularly popular is a large rock in the middle of the riverbed, amidst the curving canyon walls. This rock is now probably one of Gran Canaria’s most-photographed places and definitely an “instagrammable” spot.
Far back in the Barranco de las Vacas, you’ll find small “steps” and holes in the rock face, which are also great for a few unique photos. But beware – climbing at your own risk!
After extensive exploration of the canyon, you will return to the car via the same route.