Excursion to the small Canyon of the Canary Islands: the Barranco de las Vacas ravine

In this article, we’d like to introduce you to a popular geological treasure of the Canary Islands: the Barranco de las Vacas canyon. This unique rock formation is similar to the canyon in the USA. "Tobas de Colores Barranco de las Vacas", as the canyon is called in Spanish, is very popular among all visitors, whether tourists or Canarian residents, and offers a dreamlike photo motif with its coloured rocks (Tobas de Colores). The warm play of colours has been carved into the rock layers by water over many years. These impressive volcanic rock formations are not to be missed!


The Barranco de las Vacas is located in the valley of Agüimes-Temisas, in the south-east of Gran Canaria. A trip to this gorge is a great way to connect and visit the two municipalities of Santa Lucía and San Bartolomé.


Barranco de las Vacas is a great excursion in Gran Canaria where you can get to know the special play of colours and shapes of these unique rock formations. Ready to find out why the Barranco is so popular and why it attracts visitors every day?


How to get to Barranco Las Vacas

warm colors in the ravine barranco de las vacas in gran canaria

The valley is located between the picturesque villages of Agüimes and Temisas, in the direction of Santa Lucía, on the GC-551. By car, take the GC-550 to kilometre 14. You can park nearby in a small car park on the road. Afterwards, you can walk through the barranco for about 10 minutes. As there’s little parking, we recommend visiting the gorge in the late afternoon or morning. It’s also important to wear suitable footwear, as it’s a gorge/barranco with rocks and cliffs. 

By bus: The ravine is located on the GC-550, above Agüimes. We recommend taking a bus to Cruce de Arinaga, and changing there to bus number 34. There’s a bus stop at the junction of GC-551 and GC-550 (bus stop number 37002, Cruce Corralillos). This is about 3 km from the gorge, to which you have to hike.


Map of Barranco de las Vacas

Park here:


And access to the Barranco de las Vacas here:


Route to the Barranco de las Vacas in Agüimes

To get to the Barranco de las Vacas, follow the trail that leaves the road on the left. At the bottom of the barranco, follow the path under the subway of the road. Barranco las Vacas is not large in itself, so you can do the excursion in less than an hour. This excursion is also suitable for children! 


A small frame and small stairs carved into the rocks provide the perfect place for a souvenir picture and selfie at these natural rock formations. Welcome to the Canary Islands mini Grand Canyon! 


Light and shadow play in the Barranco de las Vacas

light and shadow play in the ravine barranco de las vacas in gran canaria

Such a beautiful and natural rock formation is hard to find. Below, we give you some tips and notes for your excursion:


When should you visit Barranco de las Vacas?

The least busy times are during the week and early in the morning, as there can be a lot of locals there at the weekend, or in the afternoon when the sun is setting. For photography, however, it's best at midday. At these times of the day you can enjoy Las Vacas in peace and photograph it.


How big is the Barranco de las Vacas?

The part with colourful volcanic layers is relatively small, so it's best not to get your hopes up. Nevertheless, you should definitely see the colourful tuff layers once.


More tips for visiting the Barranco de las Vacas on Gran Canaria

view on the inside of the tobas de colores ravine
  • Set off in good time to avoid crowds. The Barranco de Las Vacas has become a real social media phenomenon, especially on Instagram. There are now over 8000 posts under the hashtag #barrancodelasvacas.
  • Don't forget your trainers! Although Las Vacas is rather small, and cannot be compared to a kilometre-long hiking trail through the mountains of Gran Canaria, we recommend comfortable footwear and clothing to enjoy this magical place to the fullest and in comfort.
  • Make sure the directions on the map are correct. Download them to use them offline, just in case. 
  • Plan a full itinerary to fully enjoy the day, as Las Vacas takes no more than half an hour. The Barranco is more for a stopover. The island of Gran Canaria is diverse and offers a wide range of all kinds of places and dreamlike landscapes. Visit them all, from north to south!
  • Visit the picturesque coastal village of Arinaga, especially the beach of Arinaga and the fishing village itself.
  • Also of interest is the Cave of a Thousand Colours in Gran Canaria, in Telde. Check out our blog to find your perfect getaway! We have articles on Arinaga, the perfect village for water sports, hiking routes through stunning barrancos and much more!


Accommodation nearby

Are you looking for accommodation in Gran Canaria? We have two beautiful holiday homes in Arinaga for up to 4 people, perfect for a family holiday. Choose your villa, bungalow or holiday home from our catalogue: with private pool? Near the beach? In the city? Or do you prefer rural secrets? We at VillaGranCanaria have everything your heart desires.

Did you like this article? Share it!