Hello, Des! How are you? I’m still looking for the special places that don’t appear in any travel guide, aren’t on everyone’s lips and whose visit is a real treat. In this context I must confess one of my weaknesses: the Natural Pools in Tenerife (here we call them “Charcos”). The good thing is that we have quite a number of them and they are also excellent. Let’s take a look together at some of the pools that I think are among the best on the island.
Then you can tell me what you think about it. Although I should mention in advance that all my friends that I took to these natural pools in Tenerife were enthusiastic about them.
1. Charco de Los Chochos (Los Silos)
In Spanish, the name of this natural pool can have different meanings. But regardless of what is going on in each individual’s imagination, I would refer here purely to its natural aspects. Do you agree? We are here in the municipality of Los Silos, in the north of Tenerife, and from here we are heading towards the sea, where on the left there is a swimming pool and restaurant. If you take a look from this point, you will see the skeleton of a whale. You have read correctly, it really is that conspicuous. It is used for decoration and at its foot a dirt road leads to several natural pools.
I stay with the first one, Los Chochos. This pool has always been very comfortable for me due to its size and quiet location. The view invites you to switch off (but mostly sunglasses are necessary). If you want to visit one of the other nature pools, you can reach them within walking distance. I prefer to walk, but I have also seen people who have used a car or motorbike to get from one to the other.
2. Charco del Rayo (Buenavista del Norte)
On the route described above from Charco de Los Chochos we reach our next station (after approx. 2.5 kilometres from the start). Additionally, there is also the possibility to drive from the centre of Buenavista del Norte: just ask for “el Rayo” (the lightning). And once you have arrived there, you will see that several aspects of this landscape have their charm. From a lighthouse of remarkable dimensions to a huge hole in the ground with a direct connection to the sea and a small bridge. And this is called – surprise – “el Rayo”, the lightning.
Joking aside, there is a reason why this basin exists and it is said that it was created by this meteorological phenomenon. The enormous dimensions have to be emphasized, because in fact this crater seems as if a meteorite had hit it. Fortunately there is a natural swimming pool right in front of the crater. However, you should be careful when entering this natural pool, because it is not as easily accessible as the previous one.
But for me, this is what makes its charm so special that it cannot be compared to any other natural pools in Tenerife. So it is worth a visit.
3. Charco de La Laja (San Juan de la Rambla)
While searching for Charcos in the north of Tenerife I’d like to make another suggestion: One of my favorites, which is located in San Juan de la Rambla. As soon as you reach this place and cross the main road, you will see a sign stating “La Laja”, which will send you to the right. Find a parking space (there is no real parking space in the street leading to the pool) and descend some carefully designed stairs.
At their end you can refresh yourself in a natural pool with crystal clear water, which is a real pleasure. My advice is that you make this trip during the week, when the pleasure is greatest due to less activity.
4. Charco del Viento (La Guancha)
I mentioned at the beginning that there is a large selection of natural pools in Los Silos. In the municipality of La Guancha there are even three pools in a very small area. Their names are: Verde (green), La Arena (the sand) and El Viento (the wind). The last one I like the most. The fact that it is the most easily accessible of the three probably contributes to this (a signposted road leads to it; it is sometimes narrow, but asphalted). When it comes down to the other two, you can’t drive to your destination by car.
Thus, one has to walk more in order to find at the end a pool that is not much nicer than the Charco del Viento. The latter counts as Charco, although it is not closed in itself; it has a small direct access to the sea.
But let’s put all these comparisons and definitions aside and concentrate on the essentials: the natural pool is a perfect place to relax in the midst of a beautiful volcanic landscape.
A swim here in the afternoon can dispel all evil (and only imagine how you get out of the pool when you were already well before). A natural medicine called natural pools in Tenerife.
5. Charco del Tancón (Santiago del Teide)
Let’s continue, so that in the end you don’t think that the offer of this contribution is not extensive or varied. We now go to Puerto Santiago on the coast of Santiago del Teide (that means, we start with the natural pools in Tenerife South). Right between the hotel Barceló Puerto Santiago and the sea, a small path between the rocks leads down to a hidden jewel called el Tancón (for me, a children’s playground serves as orientation for the descent). As also in the case of the Charco del Viento, there is often a discussion whether it is a natural pool at all, as some would rather call it a cave.
But the much more important thing is the beauty of this place with a water whose colour ranges from blue to turquoise. For me, it belongs to the most spectacular natural pools of Tenerife, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Especially if the sea is restless, so please be extremely careful here. If you take this into account, you will be surprised when you arrive and you will be able to boast about the personal experience of having seen this place live, as well as a great photo or video.
6. Charco de La Jaquita (Guía de Isora)
The neighbouring municipality of Guía de Isora has carried out an intervention on the coast which, in my opinion, deserves a lot of praise because the local facilities have been modernised and extended.
We stop in Alcalá, in the car park next to the Hotel Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora and in front of us there is a large area for walks, sports and fun by the sea. There are several kilometres of different beaches and bathing areas scattered here. From here we visit La Jaquita and open the category of urban nature pools. It is one of my most pleasant discoveries of recent times, although it has a less natural context than other examples of natural pools. You can feel that it has been created with love and in an integrated and respectful way. And if you walk further along this route, you will reach an undisturbed area where those who find refuge in surfing spend their time.
7. Charco de La Virgen (Arico)
In the heart of La Jaca (Arico) there is a small version of a natural pool, but it is fantastic. To get there, you have to go to the small beach with the wall and from there you can see what some locals call “La Viuda” (the widow). Even more common is the name “La Virgen” (the virgin). I usually call it a kind of natural whirlpool, because the pool is as tempting as it sounds (the hydromassage here is at the expense of nature). Because of its proximity to the sea, it is necessary for a bath that there is not much swell, because otherwise the pool is often quickly completely covered by the sea.
My visit was very amusing, as when I arrived there one morning during the week, already two ladies were bathing there and thus the whole thing turned into a kind of coffee party. At night, the way here is also worthwhile, as one can take some great photos at the nature pool. I especially remember one of the pictures where the ladder is reflected in the dark blue water.
8. Charco del Puertito de Güímar (Güímar)
And on the way back to the urban area we stop in Puertito de Güímar, a local resort and popular residence for many people, which are attracted by its proximity to the capital. There are several bathing areas here, but I suggest today that we take the left side of the centre and go to the coastal road that runs under the Malpaís.
A privileged environment where you can discover smaller and larger natural pools, all with the feeling of chosen solitude and the enjoyment of volcanic nature.
You can choose your own programme here, because you can take it easy and just walk a few steps to the first natural pools or get active and combine relaxation with a longer hike. There is even a route that goes as far as Montaña Grande (you can see it from the southern motorway), runs around it and takes you back to Puertito. As with the pizzas, I show you possible extras and you decide for yourself.
I had a great time with the nature pools in Tenerife, both alone and in good company, so I wanted to share them with you. Have you already known one of them or are they all new to you? Leave me a comment and your impressions, because it is always nice to know and can be useful for others. See you soon!
*Translation: Denise Wildenhayn