Jungle to the waterfalls
An interesting day trip to the jungle that will take you to the waterfalls is the Barranco Azuje gorge, which you will find 30 minutes by bus from the capital of Gran Canaria Las Palmas. The bus takes you to the village of San Andrés, where there are beautiful surf waves. But we will take the opposite direction from the ocean, to the gorge facing inland. It doesn't seem like it at first, but goratex shoes don't find use here.
Beginning in San Andrés
We set off on a trek from Las Palmas, where we found a bus that took us to the village of San Andrés on the north coast of Gran Canaria in about 30 minutes. The village is small, poor and with only a few crumbling houses, but the square was nice. As Christmas approached, so did the decorations.
The biggest bustle and lively in this village was on the beach, respectively in the waves. The incoming round waves in regular internals offer surfers of different levels plenty of space for fun. We fell in love with the art of surfing for a while and set off in the opposite direction inland to the Barranco Azuje gorge.
Very soon from the county road we begin to find ourselves in a real tropical jungle. We are surrounded by wild vegetation of huge dimensions. We walk through bamboo tunnels and at the same time the road copies a small stream, which winds through the whole gorge and gives moisture to this green splendor around.
The valley of palm trees
The road led us to the valley, where we had a view of the surrounding hills. We still walked in the valley and followed the river, which slowly began to disappear under a layer of impenetrable vegetation. So we decided this impenetrable piece of the way both and began to climb to the top of the valley to the village of Casablanca.
We climb to the village of Casablanca
On the way up to the village of Casablanca and the whole valley we have it in the palm of our hand. The vegetation here grows every bit of land. Down in the valley, there are a few buildings that have fields next to them. We don't understand how the locals get here over steep slopes.
View from the village to the ocean
After climbing the edge of the gorge, where the village of Casablanca is located, we were rewarded by the view across this part of the valley to the ocean from which we left. Terraced fields are beautifully visible along the slopes of the valley.
Entrance to the next valley
After we climbed to the edge of the valley to the village, we had to go down a short distance down the road to join our original route. The narrow roads that cross the hilly interior of the island cross the valley with beautifully arched stone bridges. Behind one of them, which is at the end of the Barranco de la Virgen valley, we have returned to the river and the planned approaching waterfalls.
A nature reserve – Reserva Natural Especial de Azuje – starts right behind the stone bridge. The reserve is located in a valley between the villages of Firgas and Moya. Right from the edge of the reservation, you will come across the building of the already crumbling closed former spa.
Across the river on the footbridges
In the valley flows a river with several cascading waterfalls, which are a popular destination for refreshment. The river and surrounding vegetation offer a pleasant climate even in the summer months. From the region you will find several information signs about the area and even a picnic area with seating. As it climbs deeper into the valley, the journey becomes more adventurous. The footbridges cease to be solid or non-existent. Sometimes we scratched the rocky slippery terrain with the help of a prepared rope.
From the waterfall to the swamp
The main attractions of the route, the waterfalls are beautiful and the vest is quite accessible. Then this main better road leads to the right to the village of Moya. But we chose the second way, where people and guides went, because it is no longer as well marked and you can easily get lost in the wetland, just like us. Originally we wanted to walk the whole valley to the village of San Fernando, after a while wandering in the swamp, we had to return muddy with wet boots to find the right turn and finally to the nearest village Firgas from where the bus is back.
View of the impenetrable valley
Once we have found the right way to the village of Firgas. We got a view of the rest of the valley towards the originally planned destination station. The path through the dense vegetation in the valley is not visible at all. We were even more surprised by the houses, some completely new or under construction, just a few meters above the gorge, where we sank into the swamp.
Road to the village of Firgas
For the last few kilometers to the village of Firgas, the road rose from the valley. Here again we were pleased to see to what extent succulents and agaves are able to grow here when they have good conditions. The last bus left us from the village in 40 minutes, so there wasn't much time to look around and we added to the pace.
The village of Firgas is a truly picturesque mountain village with steep streets and beautiful decoration. Poinsettias line the water cascade falling along the promenade.
Firgas and street decorations
If you have a trip around, we recommend the village of Firgas just a short stop. It is really worth it, its decoration of the main promenade will also offer themed sitting on benches made of painted tiles. A little further on, they have models of all the Canary Islands with descriptions. We get on the last bus of the day and in less than an hour we are back in Las Palmas. Along the way, we still enjoy the views, because the bus twists with us through narrow serpentines.
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