When Is the Best Time
I was amazed by the beauty of the Barranco de las Vacas. The canyon cannot compete with the Antelope in Arizona, but it is easily accessible and free. The Barranco de las Vacas is a popular sight well know from social media nowadays.
The best time to enjoy this magnificent photo spot is early morning before 10 am. Also, the sunlight into the narrow gorge is perfect for catching these magical, colourful walls.
The narrow gorge gets pretty busy during the day. Definitely avoid weekends when the Canarios visit this spectacular place as well.
This is the steep part; then turn right through the tunnel
Limited parking is the other reason for early arrival. If you arrive too late, you have to line up in the canyon and wait because everybody wants to get the perfect Instagram shot. Honestly, this spoils the entire trip to this stunning gorge!
Scrambling over huge rocks
We arrived early and enjoyed this outstanding place alone; when we left the canyon and walked back to the car, a bunch of people asked for directions.
Park your car here and you can already see the tunnel to the left.
Coming from Agüimes, there are two spaces shortly before the canyon on the right. Google Maps Location If you continue driving a few hundred meters further up there is another small parking for roughly four small cars.
Best Visiting Time
Midweek and before 10 am secures a parking place. Enjoy the shimmering orange colours in the morning and the tranquillity of the canyon before the crowds arrive.
Weather Gran Canaria
Sunset at Guayedra Beach - sunsets like this one occurs the entire year.
Gran Canary is called the island of the eternal spring. It is the cooling Atlantic Ocean that causes these pleasant temperatures; otherwise, it would be hot and desertlike. The north of the island experiences more rain and a little colder temps than the south. The further you get to the south and south-west, the drier and hotter it is. The temperatures at Maspalomas Dunes are always roughly two to three degrees warmer than in the east or north.
The winter, also spring, and autumn is a great time for hiking on Gran Canary.
The winter is the windiest time; famous for kite surfer at Playa de las Vargas and Playa de las Cruces
Spring (March-May) and Autumn (Oct-Nov)
Spring and autumn are the shoulder season. It is warm, but not too hot. Temps can reach 25°C in the south and roughly 22°C in the north. Night temps are slightly below 20°C in autumn and around 16°C in spring. The sea temperature is warmer in autumn after the summer. The spring is drier than autumn; however, it more a quick shower during these seasons.
Summer is the peak season, hot, almost always sunny, and crowded. However, it is not too hot in the Barranco de las Vacas in the morning. Summer is definitely hot. If you plan your visit in July and August, expect crowded beaches and high accommodation prices. The summer is excellent for swimming and sunbathing though bear in mind the strong power of the sun. The sea temperatures are the warmest in August and September, reaching 24-25°C. Summer day temperatures top 30°C, especially in the canyons. Hiking temps in higher elevations around Pico de las Nieves are bearable.
The winter is the peak season and my favourite time of the year. Never too hot, swimming is possible, and hiking temperatures are excellent. However, many Europeans escape the winter for a while on the Canary Islands. Snow can occur in high elevations around 2000 m. Although the average day temps are stated to be slightly below 20°C in the winter, the reality is different. It is pleasant at the coast, warm enough to go swimming in 19-20°C warm water. There is more rain in the north than in the south. Showers occur, and brilliant landscape pictures can be taken.
Best Months to Visit
Location and Tips
The famous gorge is located 5 km north of Agüimes. The marked location on Google Maps is the beginning of the Barranco de las Vacas which is not as spectacular. Follow this link to find the correct entrance Google Maps Link
Directions to the Canyon
The view from the tunnel into the canyon
We parked our car on the right at the first parking. Walk on the left for roughly 100 m. Look for a footpath leading down to this tunnel. The road is leading above. This short part of the hike is steep and slippery. Wear appropriate shoes. When you reach the bottom, you walk to the right through the short tunnel to enter the canyon.
The beginning of the famous canyon
Another 100 m and the gorge narrows. Shortly after you reach the main part of the Barranco de las Vacas. This canyon has a dead end and waterfall during heavy rainfall.
The canyon after the left curve.
When we visited the canyon, a puddle was left at the end of the canyon. There is a waterfall during and after heavy rainfall. You have to walk the same way back. It took us less than 10 minutes from the parking to the popular part.
For sure you will visit the Maspalomas Dunes. They can be pretty crowded now and then. If you like to know the best time for your visit read my full Maspalomas Dunes Guide.