Photo: In Tenerife.
Updated 25 September: The Cabildo has put out to tender the last stage of its works in the protected natural area of Masca, that of the renovations to the little jetty at Masca beach. The Cabildo says that it has now finished its improvements to the bed of the barranco itself, and so this work will complete a route that is one of the most popular with hikers and active tourism companies, and when these works are completed it will be possible to return by sea after descending the ravine. The works have a budget of over €1.5m and should take around six months to complete after the contractor is selected. Tenders can be submitted to 4 October.
Updated 20 March: The Cabildo has released this video of the renovated Masca barranco route, safer, with more visitor information; as they say “better conditions to enjoy this incomparable space”.
⛰️🎒 Este es el renovado camino del Barranco de #MASCA. Más seguro, con más información para el visitante, en mejores condiciones para disfrutar de un espacio inigualable.— Medio Natural Cabildo de Tenerife (@MedioNaturalTF) March 20, 2021
👨🏻💻 Visitable a partir del 27 de marzo, previa solicitud de acceso en la web.
ℹ️ https://t.co/2d5nj1MlNB pic.twitter.com/NtnWFFuif3
Updated 17 March: The Cabildo has issued further details about the reopening of Masca barranco. The walk will be available from Saturday 27 March, on foot only as explained yesterday, with the starting and end point being the visitor centre in the hamlet itself. To start with, to ensure that things are operating as desired, numbers will be limited to 25, and walks will only be permitted at weekends and on public holidays, between 8am and 6pm in summer and 8am and 5pm in winter. Outside these hours, when the access control system won’t be in operation, the path will be closed for security reasons. Reservations can be made on the official website www.caminobarrancodemasca.com. At the moment it’s free but it seems that a charge will be imposed after this pilot phase has been completed and the Cabildo has approved the price, with differentiated rates for residents and non-residents. Please note that given the scarcity of parking spaces in Masca, the Cabildo says that walkers must use public transport to get to Masca from Santiago del Teide or Buenavista.
Updated 16 March 2021: Tenerife President Pedro Martín has announced that Masca barranco will reopen to the public from 26 March. Martín says that the barranco will reopen with greater security for all including tourists to enjoy the beauty of the area. At present, the jetty is still not operational and the Cabildo is also currently working on another small jetty in Teno, but for the time being, we can walk in the barranco with prior reservation and by being suitably equipped for a descent as well as a return uphill, on foot, and not by boat.
Updated 23 October 2019: The Tenerife Cabildo said yesterday that works are progressing well and that it is planned to reopen the barranco next sumer. Insular environment councillor Isabel García said that one always had to bear unforeseen developments in mind given the terrain and multiple competencies – the little jetty, for example, is under Costas jurisdiction, and this must be fully operational before any of the walk can be returned to the public domain. When access is restored, it is likely that there will be a procedure for advance reservations for walkers, a measure approved by the Cabildo on 8 October just past, and García said that there will be a central facility to allow reservations to be made to permit orderly transit through the protected zone.
Updated 22 February 2019: I’ve had increasing enquiries over the past month or so about Masca barranco, and whether the works are now finished and the paths reopened, and today the Cabildo has announced the latest situation. This is that its environment department has recently visited the works, which are under its jurisdiction, for the adaptation, signalling and improvements for walkers’ security and the environment of Masca barranco generally. The budget for the works is €1m and includes the refurbishment of the visitor centre and a regulatory procedure for visits. Environment councillor José Antonio Valbuena said that the measures were intended “to guarantee the maximum possible security and avoid incidents in the area caused by the type of terrain. Valbuena explained that works were coming on well, and so far consisted of the consolidation of the main track, control points, and increased security measures. No confirmed date has been provided for the barranco to be reopened to walkers.
Updated 7 May 2018: In February, eight youths had a night to remember on their holiday after they had to stay in the gorge because the jetty was broken and they were unable to climb back up as night fell. The Guardia Civil had also said that access was impracticable and that a rescue on foot would be dangerous for rescuers. At the time, Buenavista del Norte Ayuntamiento closed the barranco, and subsequently, after further rescues in the area and yet another death, the Cabildo announced wide-ranging security measures and structural improvements in the general area for safety reasons involving an investment amounting to some €3m.
Now, today, the Cabildo has announced that works to repair the 30-year-old jetty started today, and are expected to take a month. The Cabildo says that the works are required after the central pillar of the gangway collapsed, making the jetty unusable for safety reasons.
The Cabildo stresses that although the works are planned to be completed by mid-June, it is impossible to give a firm date because sea conditions might make work impossible on some currently planned days. Even when it is finished, however, it does not automatically mean the reopening of the barranco, which remains closed until further notice.
Original post 26 February: 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.