Punta de Teno is a small, rocky headland that forms the northwestern tip of Tenerife. The cape of volcanic origen is one of the oldest parts of the island. It came into existence some 10 million years ago, when streams of lava flowed into the sea and eventually turned into stone.
This nature reserve is part of the Teno Rural Park (Parque Rural de Teno) and its beauty is simply stunning, which is why it belongs to our favourite places on Tenerife. In Punta de Teno you get good weather with a lot of sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the year – in theory this part of the region already belongs to the south of the island.
This cinematic spot with impressive rock formations, crystal clear water and a seemingly eternal view over the Atlantic Ocean, reaching La Gomera und La Palma, will overwhelm you.
Where is Punta de Teno in Tenerife
Punta de Teno is situated about 9 km west of Buenavista del Norte, within the Teno Rural Park. This million-year-old volcanic massif extends over 8,063 hectares and 1,300 meters in altitude and is mostly surrounded by the sea. The entire Teno Rural Park is a protected area which has preserved its special ecological, scenic and cultural treasures. It is one of the most beautiful natural spaces in Tenerife with spectacular massifs, cliffs, deep gorges and large laurel forests.
How to get to Punta de Teno
Driving to Punta de Teno
You have to take the coastal road TF-445 from Buenavista del Norte to Punta de Teno. Certainly one of the most impressive roads all over Tenerife and in some places not entirely harmless. Warning signs remind you of the permanent risk of falling rocks due to erosion, so you should always drive slowly and extremely carefully. We want to point out that on rainy and windy days we generally advise not to do this excursion.
The narrow serpentine road runs along impressive steep cliffs. The sharp, volcanic cliffs of the Teno massif rise up steeply on one side and the deep-blue sea fronts far beneath you.
If you want to go by personal or rental car, you must do so before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (October 1 to June 30), since the last section of the TF-445 road from Buenavista to Punta de Teno is closed to traffic to avoid crowds. In the summer months (July 1 to September 30) the road is closed from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. This schedule applies from Monday to Thursday, while on weekends from Friday 10:00 a.m. (summer: 9:00 a.m.) to Monday 7:00 p.m. (summer: 8:00 p.m.) the road remains completely closed to private cars. Only access is restricted whereas the return by car from Punta de Teno to Buenavista is permitted at any time. Nevertheless, access is still permitted for bicycles, taxis, public buses and emergency vehicles. There is a small parking lot at Punta de Teno, some 300 meters from the lighthouse.
Taking the bus to Punta de Teno
If you are planning on visiting Punta de Teno between the restricted times, the easiest way to get there is by public bus (“guagua”). TITSA-bus 369 leaves daily from Buenavista del Norte at every full hour and 25 minutes later back from Punta de Teno. Since there is a different timetable for the summer and winter months, please check here the travel times beforehand.
There are several stops of line 369 in Buenavista del Norte. The bus trip to Punta de Teno takes about 20 minutes and can be paid for in cash, by credit card or with the electronic transport card TEN+. For more information please visit the TITSA webiste.
Our personal tip: take a seat on the right side in the bus to enjoy breathtaking views.
Cycling to Punta de Teno
The ride to Punta de Teno is awesome along the precipitous road TF-445 from Buenavista del Norte. On the bends you catch sight of the massive stone banking that supports the road and in places, you are riding beneath vertical cliffs that jut out overhead. After a few kilometres of climbing, it is a fast descent down to the lighthouse. On the way you will pass the viewpoint Mirador Punta del Fraile, which offers wonderful views of the impressive cliffs of the Teno massif. Beneath you see the wild El Fraile beach and the flattened coast of Buenavista del Norte with numerous banana plantations and individual farmsteads.
Just remember to bring along a helmet and lights for the tunnels! The cycling trip to Punta de Teno is difficult and partially dangerous. Only do this ride if you are experienced and confident riding major mountains. The road is also infamous for fallen rocks on the road: watch out. If you did not bring your own bike or if the ride is too exhausting for you by road bike, you can also rent an e-bike. A local provider has set up his sales point at the road barrier to Punta de Teno and, in addition to bike rental, also offers guided tours with pick-up at Tabaiba Guesthouse.
Hiking to Punta de Teno
First of all, we strongly advise against walking on the main road TF-445 from Buenavista del Norte. There is a risk of falling rocks and the rock tunnels have no lighting. We rather recommend you to use the official hiking trails and to combine your visit of Punta de Teno with a beautiful hiking tour through the Teno Rural Park. Path PR TF-58 Camino del Risco, for example, starts right in Buenavista del Norte. It is a steep and thrilling trail along the rugged cliffs of the Teno Mountains to the remote hamlet of Teno Alto. Until the 1970s, the cliff path was the only link between Buenavista del Norte and Punta de Teno.
Just at the road barrier to Punta de Teno and between three big water reservoirs on the left side of the road, you will find the trailhead to Teno Alto. Look for the “Camino del Risco” trail sign. There is a tiny parking lot in front and you should either start early in the morning or approach from Buenavista del Norte walking or by bus. The demanding Risco Alpine Path through the Bujamé gorge overcomes 600 meters of altitude over 3.5 km. Once at the top, you can take a well-deserved rest on an old stone circle. This tagoro was an ancient meeting place of the Guanches (Canarian indigenous people), where they came together to debate questions about law and religion. The trail continues then uphill over the Teno plateau, through green meadows and fields, to the remote hamlet of Teno Alto (Los Bailaderos).
From Teno Alto downhill to Punta de Teno
After a relaxed lunch or coffee in Los Bailaderos hamlet you will descend along the trail PR TF-51 to Punta de Teno. You will initially walk down Pista las Cuevas road, heading west. After about 620 meters, the PR TF-51 hiking trail branches off to the right through las Cuevas gorge. You will follow a stony trail with an impressive panoramic view all the way down. When you reach the paved road, follow it to the left for 2 km to the lighthouse. To get back to the starting point of your hike, simply take bus line 369 to Buenavista del Norte.
If you prefer the company of a qualified hiking guide, please contact us. The co-owner of Tabaiba Guesthouse, Sergio, knows his way around and is happy to organize a private hiking tour tailored to your needs and with many interesting facts about flora, fauna, history and local culture.
What to see in Punta de Teno
The lighthouse with the most spectacular surroundings in Tenerife
At the tip of the Punta de Teno península you will see the red and white colored lighthouse Faro de Teno. It is one of the seven lighthouses around the coast of Tenerife and has been built in 1897 with stones from La Gomera island. Due to its remote situation and the difficult access to Punta de Teno, it was easier to bring the building materials here by sea from the neighboring island. In the past, two lighthouse keepers and their families lived in Faro de Teno. They worked on shifts to light the beacon and carry out minor maintenance work.
Today the lighthouse is monitored automatically and is one of the most beautiful in the whole Canary Islands. The Punta de Teno lighthouse is closed to visitors. But you can explore the rocky-volcanic headland leading up to the lighthouse. However, sturdy shoes make sense because of the volcanic ground.
Panoramic views of Los Gigantes und the neighboring islands
Before the ascent to the lighthouse, a romantic wooden walkway branches off to the left that leads you to the shore of the ocean blue Atlantic. There is a boat dock with a small ladder in the rock, from which the brave even jump into the open sea (watch out for the waves and currents!). From here you can take the most beautiful pictures of the nearby neighboring islands. La Gomera, the second smallest island of the archipelago, is only 40 km away and directly opposite Punta de Teno. When the visibility is clear, you can even see the island of La Palma, which is a little further away and arises as a silhouette of two hills on the horizon.
Punta de Teno delivers stunning views of the Los Gigantes cliffs (Acantilados de Los Gigantes). These colossal volcanic rock masses rise more than 600 meters from the Ocean and are one of the most popular photo motifs in Tenerife.
The beautiful bay of Punta de Teno houses the small Playa La Ballenita beach with a fishing port and colorful boats. Furthermore, this part of the island has the longest daylight hours and you can experience amazing sunsets here. The Los Gigantes cliffs light up spectacularly in the dusk.
What to do at Punta de Teno
In the nature reserve of Punta de Teno you can enjoy a refreshing bath with fantastic views all year round. In the shallow and calm waters of the sheltered cove you can swim and snorkel without currents. You will see countless colorful fishs in the crystal clear water. Many locals come here for fishing. Diving fans and underwater photographers can also live an unforgettable experience here.
For the more adventurous, we recommend a boat trip, stand-up paddle (SUP) or a kayak tour along the cliffs of Los Gigantes and to the famous Masca beach. If you are lucky, you will see dolphins jumping out of the water next to your boat. On the way you have the opportunity to swim or snorkel in the open water. A local provider organizes these tours and has a sales point next to the fishing port of Punta de Teno.
Things to know before visiting Punta de Teno
Where to eat
Punta de Teno is a nature reserve, which means that there are no stores, coffee shops or public toilets. You should therefore take enough to drink and eat with you. Buenavista del Norte has a big supermarket and several small grocery stores with reasonable prices. For our guests at Tabaiba Guesthouse, we are happy to prepare a lunch packet. We also lend you free umbrella and snorkeling equipment for a perfect beach day at Punta de Teno.
On your way back from Punta de Teno, we highly recommend you to visit one of the restaurants in Buenavista del Norte which offer delicious Canarian cuisine, including small dishes (tapas) and fresh fish.
Where to stay
At Tabaiba Guesthouse we offer you bed and breakfast accommodation in the center of Buenavista del Norte, only 200 meters from the bus stop 369. If you are looking for an ideal base camp for your trip to Punta de Teno and to other nice places in the north of Tenerife, just have a look at our rooms and book directly with us.
If you fancy a hiking tour through the Teno Mountains but do not want to worry about the organization, contact Sergio Walking Tours for a private hike. Just enjoy your hiking day while Sergio arranges everything for you.
Do you have any questions? Please feel free to contact us.
We hope to welcome you soon, ¡Hasta pronto!
Karin and Sergio