Igueste → El Semáforo


A challenging hike full of spectacular views with a mysterious destination.

It´s a beautiful sunny day and we are heading to the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife to look for a bus that could take us to a village called Igueste. This place is located on the very northeastern tip of Tenerife and the road that leads there is quite similar to the one that leads to Punta de Teno on the northwestern tip of the island. If you haven't visited Teno yet, the road there is only accessible by bus for safety reasons, as there is a risk of stones falling from the rocks and the road is quite narrow .. lined on one side by a rock and on the other by a deep slope into the ocean. Unlike Punta de Teno, the road to Igueste is freely accessible by car, but you should still be careful and, for example, honk before every sharp turn. 

We arrived to Igueste and got off at La Cruz bus stop to walk through this lovely village a bit before hiking the mountain, which rises right next to it. We started our journey along a dry canal, which divides the village in half. From Igueste and especially from the already mentioned bus stop, you can also go inland and explore the local gorge leading between the mountains (here the gorge is called barranco). But we continued around the canal, we were heading closer to the ocean and looking for the beginning of the trail. 

We walked around a magnificent well-kept church and were enjoying the view over the canal to the other side of the village. The houses here are built quite high one after the other in the hills. We continued up one random staircase and were admiring the differently colored houses along and we also met a few locals.

Before the ascent, we went down to the ocean side for a while, as we were attracted by a few houses built extremely near to a pebble beach, where quite big waves constantly hit the coast. Since we are running out of drinking water and the hike is not exactly the shortest, we are looking for a place to get it. I remembered that we had found a public water tap next to the church, but also down here by the ocean. Fortunately, we met a local fisherman who confirmed that this water is really drinkable. Now we are finally ready to begin the journey and conquer this mountain on which is located an old and abandoned traffic light (El Semáforo), which was previously used to signal shipping. I was very interested in this place when I found out about it, so I needed to explore it. 

So we walked higher from the pebble beach until we came across a wooden arrow with the sign of El Semáforo! The road is quite steep and dusty-rocky. At first, the sun was shining, almost burning from the sky and the way was longer and heavier, but once the sun hid behind the clouds, it was better. From above, magnificent views began to emerge, on Igueste and on the entire North-East coast with Santa Cruz, and in the inland, the green Barranco de Igueste. 

We climbed to the top, but our goal was still nowhere. There was only a wide blue ocean around us with giant cruise ships swinging in the waves and wild nature. Suddenly we got to a path, which we started to descend and after a while we saw the outline of the traffic light building in the distance. We were driven by curiosity so we almost ran down to explore it and we also lost a lot of time by taking pictures on the way up. 

We're finally getting to the place ... no one anywhere, and we haven't even met anyone along the way. All around the views, nature, the ocean, complete peace and El Semáforo, which adds a mysterious touch. First we explored the surroundings and then we went through an open gate around the building behind the fence. The building is abandoned, partially collapsed, and in front of it rises a high ladder, formerly used to signal ships arriving on the island's coast. The windows and doors of the building are broken, graffiti on the walls and the ceiling supported by rods so that the building does not collapse completely. 

We just peeked into the interior and then noticed a hole in the fence next to the building, which we went through. We walked along the bushes and hit the end of a rock, where we refreshed ourselves with a breathtaking view of a pristine rocky shore and ocean. 

It's almost sunset time and the cloudy sky afar in front of us was starting to turn into warm colors. When we were returning and going down the mountain we observed the colored sky and the last pictures were added to our galleries. The village of Igueste in front of us is already lighting up and falling into darkness.

Tips for you

• When descending, be careful and avoid accumulated sand on which you could slip. 

• Have enough of food and drinks with you on the trip.

• If you forget a drink, there are two places on the map with an outdoor tap with drinking water. 

• The hike lasted us about 3 hours (with a break at the traffic light up the hill and photgraph along the way). 

• Bus number 945 goes from Intercambiador Santa Cruz to Igueste - about every 2 hours. 

• On the bus to Igueste, I recommend sitting on the right side in the direction of travel, for a better view.