Last updated on November 23rd, 2023
Everything I knew about Guimar in Tenerife was its collection of six-step pyramids located in the area, in other words, the Pyramids of Guimar that (some say) were constructed by the Guanche people, the aboriginal Berber inhabitants of the Canary Islands.
I never wanted to go check them out as they are more of a tourist attraction rather than a significant archaeological site (there’s still a lot of debate among researchers and historians regarding their origins and purpose), even though I live only a short drive away from them.
But then eventually, having a somewhat cold (cold for Tenerife, haha) weather and wanting to experience something new, Mark and I decided to go for a couple of hours to Guimar to see those pyramids and just explore the area. But eventually, we got deeply absorbed by the place with its surroundings and experiences.
And I am not talking about the pyramids that captivated us (in fact they didn’t, even though there was some interesting information there). I mean the Guimar municipality as a whole with some hidden beaches, rustic hotels, hiking trails with some nice Tenerife views, and a couple of impressive volcanic paths along the coast.
Actually, one of the volcanic hiking paths reminded me of hiking in Teide National Park with the only difference that in Teide it’s just all the rocks and mountains, but in Guimar, we hiked along the coast among volcanic rocks seeing the waves crashing against the shore, and then ending a hike by the sea in a lovely rustic seafood cafe serving also Canarian food.
But let me start from the beginning so you understand where we went and things we did in Guimar (or Güímar), so you can follow the same route and have the same experiences for a meaningful visit to Guimar town and Guimar Valley.
I also want to mention the following – for this visit, you’d need to have a car to fit in more in a day and be able to cover all the places I mention here where many of them are barely reachable by bus.
How Much Time to Spend in Guimar?
In this post, I talk not just about Guimar town (which is very small) but about Guimar municipality where the number of things to do is not big. But those attractions that exist can keep you busy for a solid 2 days (or longer if you spend hours on one of its beaches).
We have been to Guimar on numerous occasions because we were taking it really slowly and because of a couple of different hikes in the area. But if I evenly spread out all the activities throughout the day for someone who is on vacation (with some beach time) then it turns out that 1 (full)-2 days will be enough.
So you can easily plan to spend there from a few hours to two full days, depending on what you choose to do on a visit. I share below all our favorite things to do in Guimar so you can see and understand what to expect.
You can also add Guimar as a stop to your big Tenerife road trip and even stay overnight in Puertito de Guimar as there are some nice airbnbs for rent in close proximity to the beach and a couple of rural hotels (that I talk about below too).
Best Guimar Things to Do
Here is a list of my favorite Guimar things to do and some information about its pyramids.
Go Hiking in Malpais de Guimar
Malpais de Guimar is a very special Nature Reserve in Tenerife whose landscapes resemble scenes from a science fiction movie.
The almost barren surface of the land blends with the dark hues of volcanic rock, adorned with splashes of reddish sand. It’s like stepping onto another planet, a realm of striking contrasts.
Particularly intriguing are the spots where you can witness frozen lava flows, once oozing through the crevices of the Montaña Grande volcano. Go on a hike here and explore the otherworldly terrain that goes through the preserve connecting Puertito de Guimar and a cute village El Socoro. The path tells Earth’s ancient story and meets a futuristic landscape.
On the trail, you can also discover plant life typical of this part of the island and see milkweed and its variations bravely peek out from the crevices in the solidified lava.
In my opinion, it is one of the best places where to go hiking in Tenerife to see volcanic landscapes outside Teide. In Teide National Park, you’ll find many trails like this one but they are very rocky and in Malpais de Guimar besides rocks there are plants and the ocean is right there under your feet.
Spend Time on Puertito de Guimar Beaches
You will surely love the atmosphere of Puertito de Güímar beach. This pebble and black sand beach, located in the very center of the town, is one of the main highlights here.
It is pretty wide and has a smooth entrance into the water which makes it a perfect beach for a family outing, especially with children, as the sea here is very calm. The beach is also equipped with facilities for disabled access.
But I personally love more not the sandy beach but the concrete platforms nearby that are equipped with ladders that go into the sea which has azure colors here. When the tide is high and when skies are clear, it is so enjoyable to swim here as the sea in this part of the town shimmers in different shades of blue.
And right by the beach and these platforms, there are a few restaurants specializing in seafood dishes and local Canarian cuisine.
If you stay late, you’ll see that in the evening there will be many people on the beach promenade strolling and enjoying the sea breeze.
Visit the Aloe Vera Farm
This is undeniably one of the unique and rather unusual things to do in Tenerife which you shouldn’t miss when visiting Guimar.
I’d even say to plan a separate trip around this farm as it has limited working hours when it is open to the public. Combining it with hiking in Maplais nature reserve can be difficult as hiking takes a lot of time (unless you go to the farm in the morning before the hike or beach).
The aloe farm I am talking about is Finca Canarias Aloe Vera Farm which you can find at this address. It is a place where to gain insights into the growth, cultivation, and properties of aloe vera and find out what its medicinal and cosmetic uses are. The farm produces aloe to make its own products that contain a high percentage of aloe vera (some items have 95% of it in their ingredients).
There is a free tour every visitor can get and the lady who offers it speaks many languages, so you can have a tour in English, German, of course Spanish, and Finnish.
We loved the tour, even my husband who is not a big fan of farms of this type was so fascinated and was asking dozens of questions about the aloe and farming practices. In the end, I purchased a few small items for my skincare but they even have aloe vera products for dogs (ha!).
When you go, try the juice the tour guide offers at the end of the tour. The taste of aloe is so weird but at least you’ll know what it’s like (most types of aloe are not eatable but here you’ll try one which is safe and beneficial to digest).
Stop for a Meal in a Rustic-Style Restaurant at Hotel Rural
If you go to Aloe Vera Farm in the late morning/early afternoon, after it I suggest you stop by the Hotel Rural Finca Salamanca for a hearty meal in a rustic setting in a restaurant that looks a bit medieval. It reminds a dining hall of an old castle where in the past royalties liked to feast.
If you go for a meal in the afternoon (what we did), then you’ll be most likely alone in the entire hall which will feel like you are really imbued with historical mystique.
The restaurant is located almost next door to Finca Aloe Farm along the same road and you need only a couple of minutes from a farm to drive there. The exact location is here. And if you intend to spend a night in Guimar, Hotel Rural Finca Salamanca can be a good choice. Check rates and photos of this hotel here.
Besides a regular menu, you’ll also find on offer ‘Menu del Dia’ (menu of the day that consists of 3 courses and a drink) which is great. It is more expensive than what you’d pay in a local cafeteria but you pay more for the atmosphere and sophistication of the dishes, obviously.
We ordered 1 ‘menu del dia’ for two to share and surprisingly it was enough, even though we were pretty hungry. Everything was just right about this restaurant and it was such a wonderful addition to our afternoon. Try this pace too!
Other Hotels I Love In/Near the Guimar Area:
- Las Casa del Camino Real (for an authentic Canarian stay)
- Hotel Rural Finca La Raya (since 1866, green countryside hotel with a pool)
- La Casona Santo Domingo (from the 17th century, one of the central historical buildings of Guimar. You can also visit here just for the restaurant)
Go Hiking to Las Ventanas de Guimar
Before I jump to details about this trek, you need to know one thing – it is one of the most dangerous hikes in the Canary Islands but also one of the most unique ones with gorgeous scenery. Not only is it not suitable for families with children or beginner hikers, but it won’t suit anyone who suffers from height vertigo or is simply afraid of heights and being close to cliffs.
I consider myself a good hiker who can endure various terrains and conditions while hiking. I hiked high peaks in the Alps, Tatra Mountains, to Bobotov Kuk hike in the Balkans, but when I went along the Las Ventanas route, it made me so uncomfortable that I changed my mind right away and went to the beach instead.
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The hike is very difficult (even though on instagram photo it looks the opposite) but if you are used to challenging hikes, you can do this one which will guide you through a canal of 10 tunnels a few of which have natural “windows” (ventanas) opening up breathtaking views through these rocky apertures.
These “windows”, as the canal in general, are not really a path or a route as such. It is more of an engineering work whose sole purpose was the transit of water through the canal. Nowadays, it doesn’t serve its purposes but the route is open under the responsibility of each person who goes there.
Almost the entire path runs alongside a steep drop of the gorge with some areas being exposed, so it is easy to fall down. You need to have steady footwear and a fearless attitude towards heights throughout.
The trail begins at the end of a small asphalt road called Pista de Anocheza, which branches off from TF-28 in Ladera Güímar. If you have an off-road vehicle, you can drive a bit further along this road.
A Few Ideas for You for What Else Unique to Do in Tenerife
Take a Scenic TF-523 Road to Teide National Park
If you have a car, you can reach Teide by TF-523 twisty road from Guimar. It winds up through a pine forest and offers a few nice vista points from where you get to see Guimar from above and a big part of the southern Tenerife coast.
Also, there are a few wineries along the way and the most famous one is Bodega Comarcal Valle where you can do some tasting along with purchasing local wines. The exact location (and reviews) of the winery are here.
When we drove this road, it happened to be after the many weeks of bad fires that were raging in Tenerife. So the scenery looked like foliage (that was the reason we went, originally thinking there was fall in the mountains).
When you drive, colors will be green again but still no less spectacular. I recommend you not just drive through but make stops in the forest to enjoy the smell of coniferous forest and listen to the silence that reigns around.
More Things to Do in Guimar
Other things to do in Guimar are related to the town itself as you can go on a quick walk around old streets and sightsee a bit.
Check the main point of interest a church Iglesia De San Pedro, the City Hall which is a former monastery but became a governmental building in 1649, Casa del Bueno Retiro located in the central part of the Chacaica district, is an example of a traditional local carpentry and joinery.
A short drive away from Guimar towards El Carreton will bring you to Cueva de Chinguaro, a symbol of the pre-Hispanic culture of Guimar. This natural cave was the wintering site of the early tribal peoples of Guimar and where a place of veneration was created for the icon of the Virgin Mary found on the Chimisay beach.
There are also some events that are interesting to attend in Guimar if you happen to be visiting Tenerife on a specific date. “The Apparition and Pilgrimage of the Virgin Mary” holiday takes place annually on September 7th and 8th and an annual ‘gofio’ festival on May 29. Both are bright celebrations that involve food markets, processions and performances.
Should You Visit Guimar Pyramids?
Most people who know about Guimar mainly heard about its pyramids which for some reason get a mention in almost every guidebook. But are they really worth a visit? In my opinion – no but I don’t want to make an anti-advertisement here discouraging someone from an excursion.
The only thing that impressed me was the stories and exhibits of Thor Heyerdahl’s expedition and botanic garden with poisonous plants (and stories about poisonous plants around the world). Other than that the expo site is rather small and entrance fee is rather high considering how limited historical or archaeological information is.
Just think this – until now there has been a debate among researchers about the authenticity and origin of the Guimar pyramids. Some say they were constructed by the Guanche people while others argue they were more likely agricultural terraces or formations created naturally.
So many people will not enjoy the visit for this exact reason. However to others, it can be interesting to go through the ‘Export Route’ and ‘Volcanic Route’.
The first one vividly presents the goods that were exported from the archipelago to the continent, offering insights into the islands’ historical trade. And second route narrates the formation of the Canary Island archipelago, its geology, and its impact on the flora, fauna, and people allowing to explore a mineral collection gathered from the islands.
But no matter what you decide, do not go to Guimar just for the Pyramids alone. As you can see from my post, the area is really full of natural spots that are worth a trip!
More Tenerife Inspiration
Check out my other posts about Tenerife, I am living on the island and now sharing all my favorite spots!
- Introduction to Northern Tenerife – everything you need to know about this part of the island
- Most Beautiful Towns in Tenerife – to visit on any trip
- North or South Tenerife – how to decide which one is better for you
Other Unique Places in Gran Canaria
- Las Palmas to Guia Drive – best stops in the most scenic part of the island