Ajuy Caves

Unevenness
26 m.

Duration
1 hora

Distance
2 km.

Difficulty
Very easy

The cliffs of Ajuy were declared a Natural Monument in 1994, as part of the Betancuria Rural Park. The space stands out for its geological, paleontological and ethnographic interest, as well as for the beauty of its wild landscape.

Apparently we are on one more beach, in a small fishing village embedded between cliffs. What makes Ajuy different from other places? Basically its stones. Because these walls of strange shapes oriented to the Atlantic west are a true outdoor classroom for those interested in studying the birth of the Canary Islands.

We start the trail from the free conditioned car park next to the sea, well signposted since the town is reached, direction “Cuevas de Ajuy”. Beside you can see two restored lime kilns. From here we walk along the black sand beach towards the cliff, where the trail climbs.

In this right margin of the mouth of the ravine a stone wall rises vertically whose rock has a strong banded to light and dark stripes. They are ocean floor sediments formed at the time of the dinosaurs about 170 million years ago, the oldest materials in the Canary Islands. They are part of the basal complex on which the islands settle, visible in few places in the Archipelago.

A gate gives way to the ascending trail. Halfway down this ramp appears different white rock. They are fossil dunes of the Pliocene (Calcarenitas) formed by fossil remains of shells, shells and seaweeds. Solidified marine sand that, due to erosion, leads to very curious formations. Among them there are alluvial strata, rock fragments transported down the cliff by the effect of torrential rainwater in geological times. And later, above them, the sands of a beach raised more than 14 meters above the sea level, rich in fossils with an approximate age of 5 million years.

From there the trail, perfectly signposted, takes us to the lime kilns, to the jetty, to the Sienite stone quarry and to the great caves of Caleta la Negra.

On the way back, it is possible to go up the ravine to reach the mouth of a tunnel, never completed, which was intended to communicate the town with the caves to facilitate the transport of the material to the boats.

Recommendations and warnings

It is very dangerous to get too close to the edge of the cliff. You also have to pay close attention if you go down to the caves, as the stairs can be wet due to their proximity to the sea and cause danger of slipping.