Have you explored the Anaga Nature Park in the North East of Tenerife? Some of the most magical hikes are in this park which says a lot because there are beautiful hikes all across this small island! Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada is one of those in Anaga that you simply have to hike and experience for yourself. The views throughout the hike are incredible and are like nothing you’ll see anywhere else on the island!

Pin for Pinterest of Cruz del Carmen Tenerife.

The Anaga Nature Park is tucked away in the very north-eastern corner. You wouldn’t even know a place this beautiful exists on the island because it comes out of nowhere.

Driving in through the neighbourhoods of San Cristobal de La Laguna it looks like your typical beautiful Tenerife landscape. Then as you start to get out of the city and towards the nature park you start to see the rolling hills get bigger and greener and the beginning of the Anaga Nature Park starts.

Let’s dive right into these beautiful hiking trails and show you exactly what we’re talking about. 

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Everything you need to know about hiking from Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada

Up in the mountains and far away from the ocean is where you’ll find this beautiful hike between Cruz del Carmen and Chinamada. It was one of our favourite areas in Tenerife to hike. We can only imagine this is what Peru would look like with these big green mountains all around.

It’s crazy to think you can drive one direction and feel like you’re hiking on Mars with all this volcanic rock and then drive another direction to the Anaga Nature Park and be surrounded by totally different types of landscape. 

For this hike, you’ll travel to the northeastern part of Tenerife deep in the Anaga where you’ll find Cruz del Carmen. Once you get there, you will find the visitor center, a bathroom, a restaurant, and parking. This is the starting point for the adventure that awaits. The starting point is super convenient because there’s a bus stop and parking spots right in front of it.

From there the beautiful views await. It’s quite magical because you really don’t know what to expect from the hike. It starts in quite a standard forest with no views in sight and then all of a sudden everything will open up and you’ll be blown away!

Terrace fields near Chinamada, Tenerife.

Practical information about Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada

Distance: 12 km return / 7.45 miles return
Elevation: 1102 m / 3610 ft. elevation gain
Type: Lollipop trail
Length:  5 – 6 hours (taking your time and taking pictures)
Difficulty: Moderate (nice trail just long)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Click here to see a map of the beginning of the Cruz Del Carmen to Chinamada hike

Jo exploring the Anaga Forest near Tenerife, Spain.

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Hiking up the mountains in the Anaga National Forest.

Route Directions

Step #1: Start at the Cruz Del Carmen Restaurant

The starting point couldn’t be more convenient. Right where the busses drop off and the cars park you can find Cruz Del Carmen Restaurant. Ask. the staff if you can use the bathroom inside before you head on the hike or else you have to wait till you get to Chinamada! 

Once you are ready to go you’ll walk past the restaurant on the right side. You’ll see signage and a map to make sure you’re going the right way! 

You’ll start right away with a nice trail in some thick Tenerife Forest with some up and down hills to get the hike started. Thankfully, the trail was nice on the day we went but apparently when it rains the beginning of this hike can get quite muddy and slippery so take that into account when planning this hike. 

Jo hiking from the Cruz del Carmen in Tenerife
Dom hiking down to Chinamada, Tenerife.

You’ll continue through the forest for a few kilometres! There aren’t many viewpoints throughout this part but the peace and quiet and fresh air was just so nice that even this section of the hike was fun.

There are a few points where the path may split but just stay on what looks like the main trail and you’ll be fine. There are even some signs that will say “Chinamada” to confirm you’re on the right track.

You’ll walk through some fields with little houses around. At some point it may even feel like you’re walking on someone’s property, don’t worry, you’re on the right track! 

Then you will come to a road where you will take a left and get your first glimpse of Roque de Taborno. 

Click here to see this step in MapyCZ.

A view of Roque de Taborno in Anaga Forest.

Step #2: Take a left at the fork in the road 

Enjoy the awesome views of Roque de Taborno. You’ll be seeing a bunch of it on this section of the hike as well. Welcome to the loop trail part of the hike. You can go either way and end up at Chinamada but we recommend doing this section of the hike clockwise. This time we actually did research and made sure we hiked the right way unlike when we hiked up Mt Guajara near Mt Teide and did it the opposite way. Didn’t make the same mistake this time. 

This section of the hike is where the trail really starts to open up and you get to see the real beauty of the Anage National Forest. The viewpoints along this stretch of the hike are absolutely breathtaking. That’s why we almost recommend an extra hour for the hike because we’re sure you’ll be stopping to take pictures multiple times!  

Gorgeous view of Roque de Taborno in Tenerife.

One of our favourite parts of the hike is all the terrace fields that have been carved into the mountains. Plus the fact that they look so lush and green just makes for amazing scenery. It felt like some of the freshest air in the world. Words truly don’t do this stretch from Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada justice. 

If you’re lucky you may even pass by a bunch of goats blocking your path and then a potato garden nearby as well. It’s all part of the experience hiking in the Anaga Mountains.

Then out of nowhere the famous mountain village of Chinamada appears behind a group of mountains. There’s a reason this hike is famous and it’s because of this little town. The history and the architecture is incredible. 

Click here to see this step in MapyCZ.

Famous cave houses in Chinamada Spain.

Step #3: Explore Chinamada and the amazing viewpoints 

The fact that farmers built houses into the mountain and still live there is fascinating. It’s like if you mixed Hobbiton and Fred Flintstone’s cave together you would get one of these houses. So unique and impressive at the same time. There’s a good chance you may even run into a local or two who are still living in these houses built into the rocks of the mountain.

There are a few main things you can do in the village along with admiring the crazy houses. You can stop by Restaurante La Cueva. It’s actually built into a mountain and has a cave-like feel. We, unfortunately, didn’t have a great experience there (service wasn’t great and they charged for everything including ketchup) but most of the other people seemed to be enjoying their food. We’re not saying “don’t go there” but we do want to be honest with our experience. 

Cave Restaurant in Chinamada, Tenerife.

We do recommend checking out la Iglesia de San Ramon! A cute little church for the locals up in the mountains. It’s next to this pretty square. It’s so cool that there’s actually a community of people that live in this remote area of the island. 

Lastly, and maybe even the best part of Chinamada is only a few-minute hike from the Iglesia de San Ramon. It’s this beautiful viewpoint that overlooks the northern coast of Tenerife. You can even see the city of Punta del Hidalgo far in the distance. Of course, you have to roam around Chinamada and see the houses but this viewpoint you cannot miss!

Click here to see this step in MapyCz.

Mirador near Chinamada with amazing views.

Step #4: Head back towards Las Carboneras 

Enjoyed Chinamada? Las Carboneras is just as pretty and unique as Chinamada. To get to Las Carboneras you will continue the loop trail clockwise and actually walk on the road for a little part of it. There will be signs for Las Carboneras but if you miss them just make sure you’re walking on Calle el Montito and it will bring you back towards this beautiful colorful town. 

You may see a few cars on the road but you’re more likely to get passed by some cyclists. The roads up here in the Anaga National Forest are famous for cycling because of the views and elevation. Next time we’re definitely coming back with bikes. 

Beautiful colourful town of Las Carboneras in Anaga, Spain.

So as you continue to the next checkpoint of Las Carboneras you will get to a point where a path goes up into the mountain in the direction of the town. It’s about a 5-minute detour but offers better views than just walking on the road. We recommend hiking up for the birds-eye view of all the terrace fields and the aerial view of all the colourful houses of Las Carboneras. 

The trail is quite short and will quickly bring you back down to the main road you were just walking on moments ago. In a few seconds, you will make it to the last town and checkpoint on this hike before hiking back to Mirador Cruz del Carmen.

Click here to see this step in MapyCz.

Dom and Jo hiking near Las Carboneras, Tenerife.
Jo taking in the views of the terrace fields near Las Carboneras.

Step #5: Explore the colourful town of Las Carboneras 

Carboneras is a small but beautiful little town tucked away in the mountains. A little restaurant and a cute little church are the two things we recommend checking out. If you want to try some local Spanish food that’s common in this part of Tenerife then Restaurante Tesegre will have it.

We walked around the streets, said hi to the locals, and walked to the cute little church in town. We didn’t go inside but the area where the church is located is absolutely stunning. You’re surrounded by mountains, colorful houses, and terrace fields. Mix in the fresh air and peace and quiet and you could call it paradise. 

There aren’t any houses built like caves into the mountains like Chinamada but Las Carboneras has its own glow to it. Especially with all the vibrant colours.

Click here to see this step in MapyCz.

Colourful yellow church in Las Carboneras.

Step #6: Back to Mirador Cruz del Carmen

Once you’ve explored Las Carboneras you will continue on the road out of the village until you find a staircase back into the forest. Take that path up the stairs and after some time you will come back to the junction where you started the loop section of the hike. 

Enjoy the last few views of the gorgeous mountains and Roque de Taborno before heading back towards the forest where the views disappear but the smell and sound of nature stay near. 

You’ll have your last few kilometers hiking back up to the Mirador Cruz del Carmen where the hike began. 

One last recommendation we don’t want to forget about is at Cruz del Carmen the beginning/end of the hike there is a very cool viewpoint that overlooks the city of San Cristobal de la Laguna and Mt Teide. So don’t forget to check it out before or after your hike. 

We totally forgot about it but saw some pictures and the view looks amazing! 

Click here to see this step in MapyCz.

Dom enjoying the views from Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada.

How to get to the start of the hike to Chinamada

If you want to take your car then we recommend parking at the Mirador the Cruz del Carmen car park. It’s basically the starting point for the hike. Here is the exact point on Google Maps for the information center.

You can also take the bus from almost anywhere on the island. You may have to transfer and the buses may not go that often but you CAN get there by bus. The bus also stops directly at Cruz del Carmen so it’s easy to get to the beginning of the hike.

You can check out Rome2Rio (and change the starting city if you aren’t coming from La Laguna) and you’ll be able to see the bus schedule from where you are. You will have to get to San Cristobal de la Laguna and from there take a bus to Cruz del Carmen. Car or public transport, it’s easy to get to!

Beautiful mountain town of Los Carboneras.

Where to stay when exploring the Anaga National Forest

Thankfully Tenerife is quite a small island and it actually isn’t too far of a drive no matter where you explore on any given day. You can get to most parts of the island in under two hours by car and a little longer by bus. 

We’ve taken both and really don’t have a preference. We like having the car for the convenience but public transport in Tenerife is just as good.

We took a bus to the Mirador Cruz del Carmen because it was actually quite easy to get to from Puerto de la Cruz. We only had to make one change in San Cristobal each way and that was it.

We could recommend a few places to stay depending on what you’re looking for. Puerto de la Cruz in the North has much more nature and greenery and a chill vibe. El Médano in the South is very much a surf, holiday, party town. Regardless of where you stay though you can get anywhere on the island fairly easily so don’t worry about that. Just pick a place where you think you’d have the best time!

There are tons of other places to stay on the island that are absolutely worth it but the two we mentioned above are places we’ve actually stayed and can recommend.

Colourful church in Chinamada.

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Before you go hike to Chinamada

We first recommend checking the weather to make sure it’s not too windy or rainy. You’re going to hike on quite a muddy trail if it rains and it’s not very pleasant. It’s a lot nicer and especially with all the views to go on a sunny day. You can see the weather in Las Mercedes (a town next to the beginning of the hike) here.

The busses run quite often so you don’t need to worry about that. Also, the parking lot is quite safe if you take your car. It’s a busy area with the restaurant and the viewpoint so there’s always people around.

Mountain terrace fields in the Anaga Mountains.

What to bring on the trail

We hiked to Chinamada on a sunny day that turned rainy. Apparently this is quite normal in this part of the island so come prepared for that. It never hurts to be a little over prepared than under! 

You’re not exposed to the sun for the whole hike but when you are the sun gets really warm so sunscreen and water are definite musts.

So bring:

  • Water! You don’t want to wait until the end of the hike to buy some.
  • Sunscreen is a must when you go anywhere hiking anywhere in Tenerife! Even if you go early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • A camelbak (backpack full of water) is never a bad option.
  • Bring some food so you can enjoy along the trail
  • Relax, and enjoy the views with a nice PB&J, trail mix, or whatever you like to snack on while hiking!
  • Also, this is a great list of hiking gear that always has some inspiration!
Dom and Jo taking in the views of the Anaga Mountains.

We hope you enjoy this lovely hike that takes you to a few fascinating villages up in the Anaga Mountains. There are so many amazing hiking trails in Tenerife, especially in the Anaga Forest. We hope you enjoy this beautiful island and do a ton of hiking! For more Tenerife inspo, click here.

Enjoy hiking and exploring new places in Tenerife! It’s fun getting away from the touristy crowds in the city to quiet trails outdoors with amazing views. 

Have fun!

Dom & Jo
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