The evergreen Barranco de Guayadeque stands out as one of the most magnificent valleys of the island. Cacti, agaves, poppies, palms, Canary Island pines and almond trees, as well as more than 80 endemic species, grow in abundance on steep slopes. The neighbouring towns, Ingenio and Agüimes, get their water from a stream running through this ravine.
This valley, which in pre-historic times was the most populated on the island, provides the setting for one of the most important pre-historic burial grounds, where the dead were buried in inaccessible caves. The Guanches – the original inhabitants of the Canaries - later used these caves to dwell in, to store food and as sites for fertility rituals. In the 19th century, after locals started plundering the graves and selling much of their archaeological finds to the Museo Canario in Las Palmas, this area became a designated nature reserve to protect it from further devastation.
Also home to the biggest lizard species in the world, the Lagarto Canarión, this area is a paradise for serious walkers, where there is a lot to explore – in organised groups or alone. As the surfaced road continues past the Museo de Guayadeque (Centro de Interpretación Arqueológica), you can enjoy the magnificent sceneries of this valley even without much physical effort. This route passes through two cave villages – where modern-day people settled to follow the footpaths of the Guanches – with tiny chapels, a bar and a basic restaurant, and ends at the Tagoror, the famous cave restaurant, where both local wine and traditional folk music accompany your meal.