Santa Cruz - Tahodio- Cruz del Carmen

Tahodio- Cruz del Carmen

Leaving from the Alegría quarter in Santa de Tenerife, capital of the island, at the height of the sea, we propose to climb, in four hours walk, the more than twelve kilometers and almost a thousand meters of unevenness that separate that point from the so-called Cruz del Carmen, famous and visited peak of the Anaga massif.

The route is made through tiny roads and stone paths along the Valley or ravine of Tahodio, then passing to the so-called Valley of Luis, to later reach the Jardina area, in the heights of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, and from there go up through the rainforests of Anaga to the viewpoint that crowns the “Cruz del Carmen” mountain.

In addition to the proximity to the capital, the beauty of this route is to have the opportunity to enjoy the change of vegetation levels and ecosystems as we go up and gaining height, from the basal, xerophilous, vegetation levels of the coast, full of magnificent formations of cardones and tabaibas perched on the predominantly red and brown rock, until the first deep green of the heather and faya bushes areas that we find at about 750m of altitude and then enter the lush dense of the rainforest of the upper heights.

It is about accessing the summit through the southern slope of the Anaga mountains and like any southern slope on the island of Tenerife, it is the slope most exposed to the sun, the slope of the cacti, of the plants accustomed to living with water rigors, absence of water. A slope that only turns green at the top of the hills. And also, exceptionally, in the depths of the ravines.  Always in small reserves protected from the vapors and salts of the sea.

We leave the Alegría quarter behind and follow the road towards the Tahodio dam, entering the narrow valley that gives it its name and where we still observe the existence of small avocado and citrus farms, and all kinds of channels and pipelines to transport the water that irrigates them, to a small aqueduct with several arches of red stone and pipes of centuries-old rust.

After a path of sun-dried cardones, we come to see the imposing wall of the dam that, designed in 1914, was not finished until 1926, in what constitutes a singularity in Tenerife, since there are very few examples of this type of civil constructions on the island.

The dam gives rise to an ecosystem in itself, not only due to the profusion of ducks and other webbed ones, but also due to the fact that the surroundings of the dam are greener, the cardones, prickly pears and piteras greener and loaded with water, more exuberant. There is more humidity.

Trails and small roads follow one another in this stony environment, with enormous vertical walls and cavities in the rocks, where from time to time small gardens torn from the stone appear, small houses and caves inhabited since ancient times by troglodytes, now converted into urbanites that keep their caves for sporadic visits or to have some goats and other animals.

These ravines, gorges and stony recesses of Anaga, on the eastern tip of the island of Tenerife, are a true delight for the senses, a symphony of shapes and colors, endless surprises that take us to the next milestone on the road, the old quarries of the Valley of Luis. Abandoned quarries, excavated in the rock, reminiscent of Eduardo Chillida's sculptural voids, monuments from another era in which houses were built in stone, with a sense of beauty and harmony.

After navigating the last meters of the road dug into the red rock, we arrive at Jardina, in the heights of La Laguna, from where we can see a magnificent panoramic view of the Vega Lagunera, the city of the “adelantados” and the extraordinary silhouette of Teide crowning the “Cordillera Dorsal” that separates the north and south slopes of the island of Tenerife.


It is still a pity that the irresponsibility and idleness of the political class and the lack of sensitivity of many islanders, have dotted this natural setting of extraordinary beauty, with houses of disproportionate volume and extreme ugliness, all a display of "urban terrorism", an eternal scar on the most beautiful midlands of this Atlantic paradise.

We continue our way until we reach the Jardina viewpoint and from there, after taking a new look at paradise, we take the main road towards Cruz del Carmen, entering a few meters further up in the laurel forest through the so-called “walk of the senses” until we crowned the misty summit, eight degrees Celsius less than we had in Santa Cruz where an implacable sun shone.