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Calle la Piedra, 38489 Masca, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

Hike the Canarian Machu Picchu

One of my most memorable experiences on Tenerife was a 3.5 hour hike, from a small mountain village, called Masca, down to the ocean.

It took me about 30mins from the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, where I stayed, to get to Los Gigantes, where parked my rental car and took a taxi to Masca, which cost about 25-30 Euros. If you don't find parking in Los Gigantes, just ask the taxi drivers, they'll direct you to some spots. The windy road up to the starting point of the hike was spectacular, and the drive at times heart stopping. The hills are steep, the drop-offs crazy, and, to make things really exciting, there's very little room for oncoming traffic.

The taxi drivers are organized, they take hikers up here all day long. They'll have tickets for the boats shuttling hikers back to Los Gigantes at the end of their hike. The drivers also take your name and book you on a specific boat, but I think that's mostly to make sure that all people are accounted for at the end of the day. The boat ride was as another Euro 10 or so.

Technicalities aside, let's get to the real goods. Masca Village alone is worth the trek. The views from the top are insane, and once you've taken it all in, the hike guides you downhill through the mountains, offering new spectacular views around every bend. There are a good number of hikers, so get there as early as you can. If you want to challenge yourself to a real serious work-out, you can climb it in reverse.

In addition to the stunning, ever-changing scenery, you'll likely run into goats, navigating the steep rock walls like nobody's business. There are birds to watch, too. Make your way over rocks, across some water, until you finally get to the beach to claim your reward: an ice cold drink (beer for this German!) from one of the vendors at the beach.

>>>Thank you Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife for being my base camp for 3 days while I discovered beautiful Tenerife, and a special shout-out to the incredible team that works the Rock Royalty desk. Your suggestions on what to see on island were priceless!!