Hiking Tips for Caldera de Bandama in Gran Canaria

Hiking Tips for Caldera de Bandama in Gran Canaria

Spain
Spain

When Is the Best Time

The Caldera de Bandama is a fantastic example to witness the enormous power of mother nature. The crater is between 200-250 m deep and 1000 m wide. At the bottom of the caldera are derelict farmhouses inhabited in former times. This walk is an exciting trip into the earth’s history. The flora along the trail and in the crater is beautiful. Pictures do not justice how fantastic this hike is. 

The lush green flora of Bandama
The first view into the crater at the beginning of the hike.

Bandama crater and peak which is 569 m high were developed during the last heavy eruptions 2000 years ago. It is recorded as the last volcanic activity on Gran Canaria. In the beginning all life, all nature was destroyed but due to the fertile soil new plants started growing. There is an endemic bush inside the caldera that doesn’t grow anywhere else; Dama de Bandama (parolinia grabiuscula).

Narrow cobbled path to the crater rim of Bandama
You follow this cobbled path after the entrance gate to get to the crater.

The crater is easy to reach, situated 20 minutes drive south of Las Palmas. It is one of the most interesting places in Gran Canaria, a Must-Visit sight where you may spend 2-3 hours. 

Opening Hours Bandama

Entrance Gate to Bandama Crater
The gate is closed in the evening.
  • Caldera de Bandama Crater Walk: 8 am – 5 pm secured by a gate.
  • Pico de Bandama is open 24 hours. It is a great spot to watch the sunrise.

Weather Caldera de Bandama

The inner crater and lush vegetation
The black basalt ash heats up the caldera.

The crater has its own microclimate. Due to the volcanic basalt ash, it is a few degrees warmer in the crater than on the crater rim. We visited the caldera in winter on a sunny day, and it was roughly 25°C inside. There is no wind nor shade inside the caldera. If you wish to know more about the weather in Gran Canaria, check out my additional article Gran Canaria - Best Time for this outstanding island.

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The best time for this unique hike regarding temperatures and parking is in the morning. If possible, choose a sunny and clear day for spectacular views.

The gravel trail leads into the caldera.
Already the beginning of this walk looks spectacular.

Keep in mind hiking trails, roads, and restaurants are always busier during weekends.

Parking Caldera de Bandama and Public Transport

Road Signs for Pico Bandama
We parked our car to the right of the Bandama signs.
  • There are small parking lots only. It may be challenging to find a space if you arrive during midday. We parked our car here next to the Bandama signs (Google Maps location)
  • The parking on the peak “Pico de Bandama” (Google Maps location) is much bigger, and you can start from here, too.
  • Next to the crater is a golf course, but parking for members only.
  • You can also get here by bus from Las Palmas number 311.
The view and area on Pico Bandama
You can park your car along this road on top of Pico de Bandama.

Best Months to Visit

Jan
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Location and Tips

Canary Islands, Gran Canaria
Spain
Spain

Caldera de Bandama is protected as a National Monument, and the evidence for the last eruptions by active volcanoes already 2000 years ago. It is located between the municipalities Telde, Santa Brigida, and Las Palmas.

Hiking Trail Descriptions

Information Board about the volcanic eruptions and how Bandama was developed.
How Bandama emerged after immense eruptions. Picture in high resolution

First of all, it is hot inside the canyon, even in the winter! Carry a water bottle and a snack, at least an apple or fruits for this incredible walk. 

The lush vegetation; the caldera is full of plants and flowers

  • Trail Length: 4 km
  • Elevation Gain: 370 m
  • Walking Duration: Maximum 2 hours, half an hour down, half an hour inside the canyon and roughly 45 minutes to get out and back to the crater rim. 
  • Hiking Map Picture and Hiking Map Link by Locus Pro
A kestrel sitting on a branch
We spotted several kestrels around and in the crater.

It is an easy circular hike down into the crater and a bit strenuous to get back to the caldera rim. In the beginning, it is a well-maintained cobbled pathway, but it soon disappears and continues on a gravel dusty volcanic track that is a bit slippery.

The old white painted farmhouses at the bottom of the crater.
The old farmhouses and a grape press to the right.

Proper shoes are recommended for this hiking trail. The path is winding with spectacular views into the caldera. Although we made this trail in winter, it was warm inside the crater with no wind or shade. 

A bigger cave in former times inhabited in the Caldera de Bandama
One of the caves at the bottom of the crater.

After 15-20 minutes, you reach a viewing platform. You get an excellent view into the entire inner crater and the ramshackle farmhouses. When you reach the bottom of Caldera de Bandama, turn left and hike clockwise direction farmhouses. Signposts lead you to the attractions inside the caldera.

Palm trees inside the caldera

My favourite view is the palm trees inside with the towering crater in the back, which looks so surreal. We followed different paths and explored numerous caves which looked like they were inhabited in former times. You get back out of the crater on the same route.

The caldera rim hike around Caldera de Bandama

An alternative hike is an easy trail on gravel terrain around the Caldera de Bandama.

  • Trail Length: 3.5 km
  • Elevation Gain: roughly 280 m
  • Hike Duration: 1-1.5 hours
  • Hiking Map Locus Pro

Pico de Bandama

The information and Café on the peak Pico de Bandama
The information and cafe were closed during our visit.

The peak is situated 569 m above sea level, offering a spectacular 360° degrees view of the Caldera de Bandama and the surroundings. If you are not able to hike into or around the crater, enjoy at least the breathtaking view from this viewpoint. Parking is available around the entire lookout.

The Characteristics of the Volcanic Landscape

The view from Pico de Bandama into the crater.
The view from Pico de Bandama to the caldera and the volcanoes which formed this landscape.

The crater has its own microclimate for two reasons. The caldera heats up from small black porous pebbles, which is basalt ash that stores the heat of the sun but also the humidity from the cooling night. These small pebbles are well-known for viticulture, a practice that is common in the Canary Islands and Pico, Azores. These typical pebbles are called “picon” by the Canarians binding the humidity, which is essential for the roots of the wine and other plants often endemic to this specific type of soil. 

The Bodega next to the gate to caldera Bandama
Unfortunately closed in the morning and Monday-Wednesday.

You can try such caldera wine in the “Bodega Hoyos de Bandama” next to the entrance of the volcanic crater. Opening hours only from 12-3 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

I took all these pictures. If you wish to use one get in contact with me. 

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Created by
Micha Herber-Bleich
Micha Herber-Bleich
I am always open, curious about new…