Masca barranco closed to everyone after antics of holidaymakers who ignored weather warnings

Masca barranco closed to everyone after antics of holidaymakers who ignored weather warnings

In the wake of the forced rescue of eight young holidaymakers who intended to spend the day at Masca beach and then walk back up the barranco in the teeth of an orange alert for stormy weather, Buenavista del Norte Ayuntamiento has closed the gorge to walkers until further notice. The council says that this is an open-ended measure taken because the weather system that is currently with us has damaged a pilly of the jetty leaving it inoperative. Bomberos and the mountain rescue unit of the Guardia Civil have also advised the council that access to the barranco is impracticable. Clearly the actions of some irresponsible youngsters will now have an impact on anyone who hoped to see the barranco sensibly. The council says it will advise when Masca barranco is again to be opened to the public. To be clear: Masca barranco is closed to walkers and the council has banned the jetty from being used by boats.


  1. My wife and I have been holidaying in Tenerife for several years, and never once have we been advised not to venture out as there might be bad weather expected, nothing by the hotel staff, or anyone else, including news media, and no notices posted. We have gone out on a perfectly fine day , and been caught up in strong winds, or calimos as you call them, and only found out when we got back to UK, that we should have been advised to stay indoors.

  2. Author

    There are always warnings reported on all media (physical, online, TV, radio, etc), and social media (especially Facebook and twitter). In fact I’d say there’s blanket coverage when there are weather alerts. You might not have seen them but it cannot be because they weren’t there.

    Calimas aren’t strong winds but sandstorms, often carried by high winds but it is the air quality and low humidity that are the issue, not the winds.

  3. Maybe you guys should understood we are in the middle of the Atlantic and this is the small island not continent, if you hike you have to follow the alerts – there are storm fronts one after another on this month as never before. If there is heavy rain, you can`t hike even in areas which stay dry!

  4. The trouble is that too many Brits have become so used to being told how and when to blow their noses by the nanny state that they’re losing the ability to think for themselves and exercise the art of common sense.

  5. Author

    Ken what on earth does this have to do with Brits?!

  6. I hope this is a temporary measure as the loss of this wonderful walk will be sorely missed, by the tourist trade as well. In every part of life their are people who do not use common sense or are just reckless. We can’t stop every activity or no one would be allowed to drive a car!

  7. They were stupid and got stuck. It happens. Now charge them the FULL costs of the rescue before letting them leave. And send the story of the fine to all the papers here, in Germany, and any other country which will print it.

  8. The article actually says that the closure is nothing to do with the youngsters. They may have been foolish but that is a completely different issue. Even then, some people do make mistakes or have accidents on holiday so let’s not dive into condemnation. Surely we want to help people. People coming to Tenerife have a perception of all year round good weather and can be astonished to find that the weather turns against them. That can happen anywhere but particularly to people on holiday and especially in a branded all year round destination. Folk on holiday sometimes make poor decisions for various well documented reasons.

    The real issues are improving safety in the gorge and its ability to manage the numbers who use it and separately trying to find a way to educate visitors to enjoy Tenerife responsibly. The latter is really quite difficult. Tenerife will not want to undermine its holiday offering and the numbers and channels tourists come through are so numerous. With Masca, the key beyond infrastructure and signage would seem to be through those who support Masca trips.

    With the numbers of tourists coming to Tenerife and the outdoor experiences available, it is necessary that Tenerife has the resources to rescue tourists if they get into difficulty and it does.

    Everyone is a tourist when they go somewhere else away from home. Some folk avoid risk outside of their own territory even including limiting where they go. Others unfortunately exacerbate risk through foolishness or mistakes but often inadvertently. Tourists generally are perceived as an at risk category but Tenerife’s job is to look after them and it does a great job.

    My experience of the Masca gorge is that good tour companies do try to control risk responsibly but not everyone goes through one of these companies. This matters for people’s safety and the economic dependence on the Masca trips.

    The comments do not seem to focus on how we work together to solve the problem and minimise harm and risk and this is the authorities’ aim as per the other article. Surely we want to support them in this. My list for that is:

    Infrastructure: – access control points, information, signage and general resilience.
    Working with travel companies: regulation and co-operation
    Communication to and education of users: how to get the message across to different market sectors – tourists and others to achieve greater levels of responsibility.

  9. Well said Will. Not everyone knows about the hazards or has access to Janet’s very informative page. Let’s not be too quick to judge.

  10. Methinks Ken needs to go and lie down ……….. and perhaps stop reading the Daily Mail …

  11. I see the eight people have now been charged for the rescue. €2114, not sure if this is the total or the cost for each of them.

  12. That’s the best way to stop such foolhardy behaviour. These people presumably are walkerswho enjoy the outdoors, therefore did they not notice the weather, or think to get local advice before embarking on such a trip? Where did they find out about this walk? If they were undertaking it without official guides,then they must have done some research which would educate them that a baranca is in simple terms a water channel thus indicating that in bad weather it would be wet, slippery and to be avoided. Beggars belief!

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