How to hike the Barranco de Guiniguada part 1

Around this time last year, I met up with Gran Canaria hiking guru, Rambling Roger, in the Barranco de Guayadeque which separates Agüimes from Ingenio. In one of my even earlier posts, I'd identified some of the best hiking destinations on the island. Now, I'm going to share details of a walk which begins almost on my Las Palmas de Gran Canaria doorstep.

The Barranco de Guiniguada, take two

Barranco de Guiniguada path

The path which wends its way through the Barranco de Guiniguada is known as the PR GC-02. It's 16km long and will take the average hiker around four and a half hours to complete. Global advise you starting in Santa Brígida, although I suggest you do the opposite and, indeed, break the hike into two parts.

This simple division makes even more sense in summer months, especially as the path is more exposed to the elements than sheltered from them. So I headed up from the Ermita de San Nicolás and the smell of cow dung on Calle Álamo suggested I was leaving the city behind for the country. Except when I made my way down to the path past a livestock farm, I could still see the highrises of San Nicolás to my right.

Barranco de Guiniguada's cash crops

Barranco de Guiniguada banana plantation

Something else was standing tall in the El Pambaso and those were the area's banana trees, growing in the last of the city's surviving plantations. You can see that they're remain very much a cash crop. Especially in that some of them are protected by walls topped with jagged glass whilst most have at least a pair of dogs guarding them.

As I continued to my planned destination of Lomo del Maipez, I noticed a farm which didn't have any banana trees. The barking of two dogs prevented me from more closely investigating what grew there. Although I discovered what, on my return, as two workers loaded a parked truck with bags of parsley and spinach.

Barranco de Guiniguada, divide and conquer

Barranco de Guiniguada treehouse

Historians have suggested that this ravine could well have marked the line which divided the two main canarii guanartematos (kingdoms) of Agáldar and Telde. What they're even more certain about is that the barranco was turned into a warzone when the Spanish arrived, with Juan Rejon's men's decisive victory in the Batalla de Guiniguada earning them control of the north east of the island. The canarii legacy lives on in the area's cave houses, however.

The properties towards the Las Palmas end of the PR GC-02 are shabbier than the des res nature of those you encounter as you approach the Lomo del Maipez. Indeed, many have been abandoned. Including the one pictured, which offers an interesting take on the treehouse.

Barranco de Guiniguada, welcome to the jungle

Barranco de Guayadeque

If San Nicolás, at times, feels like an urban jungle, the deeper you go into the Barranco de Guiniguada, the more tropical it becomes. I didn't see many fellow hikers on my walk, save for a group of teenage boys who I made way for. Carrying freshly-picked sugar canes, they used them to push back the overgrowth and make their passage easier.

I hope you've enjoyed the first part of my guide to hiking the Barranco de Guiniguada, with Part 1 a relatively straightforward affair save for the path's surface being more rocky than smooth on occasions. Stand by for Part 2. To be continued....