Visit scenic volcanic gorge in Gran Canaria: The Barranco de Barafonso (Barranco de las Vacas)
Gran Canaria is known for its beaches and most people come here for the sun and sea. But there is more to it, a destination with a lot of variety and interesting places to visit, from lava beaches, sand dunes, to the wilderness of the vast mountains.
I spent most of my time exploring the breath-taking diversity and one of my favourite spot on the island is the hidden gorge The Barranco de Barafonso.
The Barranco de Barafonso, commonly known as Barranco de las Vacas, is a short, narrow slot gorge formed from tuff and carved by water. What is makes it special are the ochre and red colours and smooth curves in the tuff walls.
How to get to The Barranco de Barafonso
Coordinate to the gorge: 27.915205, -15.475988 and GPS: 27°54’54.7″ N and 15°28’33.6″ W.
On the map the spot is marked as Tobas de Colores del Barranco de las Vacas.
The Barranco de Barafonso is located between the towns of Agüimes and Temisas at the southeast of the island.
Drive first to Agüimes and continue along toward Temisas on highway GC-550 and get to kilometre 14 of the road.
There is space to park (see the map bellow) about 150 metres before the bridge and you will likely see a few cars already parked there. There is a space for 5 or 6 cars. You can also find small layby just 20 meters before the stone bridge that fits two cars. From here walk up the road towards the bridge until you rich a small path on the seaside of the road.
By Public Transport
To get there by public transport, take a bus to Agüimes. From Agüimes walk along the old Camino Real pathway to Temisas. The walk takes about an hour but the path to the canyon is not signposted.
50 metres before the stone bridge walk down into the river bed and walk towards and under the bridge. Follow this path until you reach the gorge. From here is a 5 minute walk up the valley until you reach the slot gorge.
- Go there in the morning. If you want to take good photos it’s best to get there in the morning or late in the evening when the sun is not shining right into the gorge (or on a cloudy day). There are also less people in the morning.
- Wear appropriate shoes. Even dough the path is very easy and short, it’s better to avoid wearing flip flops since you can injure yourself with stones or slip.
We were there last year on a cloudy day and I took my time to admire and take photos of the colourful curved walls. At that time there were no other people there with us. But due to the perfect photo opportunities its popularity has recently increased, so it is unlikely you will have this gorge all for yourself. Nevertheless, if you are visiting the Gran Canaria it should definitely be on your bucket list.