Glorious Guimar and those pyramids

I had several options for this weeks trip out but decided that the Pyramids of Guimar was well overdue for a visit so got the 111 Santa Cruz bus up to the stop just past the tunnel on the motorway. The walk down and under the road was a bit hairy with no path to speak of but after checking with a local as to how far the pyramids were, I waited for a 120 bus to Guimar town, and was glad I did, it would have been a long uphill walk.


I was surprised to find how big Guimar is, it has it’s own very smart bus station with a cafe/bar complete with it’s own little terrace. The town itself is wonderful, bright, clean and very obviously cared for, the main plaza spreads out around a fountain and park rather than a church, and the whole place has been given modern touches, without ruining the character. The contrast between old and new struck me on the bus. An old wizzened Canarian lady sat opposite wrapped in layers of traditional clothes, looking like she had stepped out from a history book. There was a sudden loud burst of “Hips Dont Lie” by Shakira, and she pulled out a state of the art mobile and flipped it into action – next revelation – did the Guanches have Blackberries?

Ra 2After a good prowl round I headed up to the Pyramids and paid my residents rate of 7.15 euros to get in, full price is 10 euros. The park was set up by Thor Heyerdahl, the Norweigain explorer and scientist, who made epic sailing voyages on the balsa raft Kon Tiki and later on reed boats like Ra, all to prove that ancient civilisations were able to travel between continents, a possible explanation for the similarity of pyamids in South America, Africa and here in Tenerife. Ra 2, is the only full size boat on display, the others are in a Oslo museum.


The pyramids here are much smaller and have a large plaza between them, and are certainly interesting, there’s a museum and an auditorium where a short film in a choice of languages fills in the history. But I was not that impressed, it all seems too commercial with large concrete walkways, and three large white plastic tents where models of Thor’s boats are displayed, are very intrusive on the skyline. There is a childrens playground just near the foot of one pyramid, and a souvenir shop and cafe. What really bugged me was the speakers around the main walks, that churn out gentle music mixed with bird song and trickling water. It’s like a heavy handed nudge to remind you that you are in the middle of nature, and with the backdrop of the Guimar valley, a Canarian garden full of colourful plants and flowers and birds soaring overhead, visitors will have worked that one out for themselves. There are some smaller pyramids unmolested in a field on the track between Playa San Marcos and Icod de Los Vinos, and the relative silence of nature adds to their eerie mystery.


Back down into town after 2 hours in the park, and thats about as long as you need, I had a nice fish meal at La Piramides bar to the right of the bus station. There was an interesting notice pinned behind the bar, someone was selling 2 caves on the coast at Punta Prieta, complete with legal papers for just 3,000 euros, I was tempted. Guimar looks a great place to live, just 20 minutes from Santa Cruz, 40 minutes from the southern resorts and plenty of shops, bars and restaurants.

Guimar spreads right down to the coast, so I got a bus down to El Puertito de Guimar. On the 10 minute trip I noticed a rural hotel just outside town, Hotel Salamanca, and a walk called Camino de Los Llanos, both worth looking at if you are into exploring. El Puertito is El Puertitotypical of many of the newer developments up that eastern coast, with lots of 4 or 5 storey blocks and all leading down to a central plaza at the seafront. El Puertitio has a nice mix of small rough sand and shingle coves and a longer break water, all popular points to swim off. It does get a bit windy on this coast and the waves can get a bit lively but the views of the Guimar valley from the seafront cafe/bars are always a joy. There is a third side to Guimar, the large industrial easte just along from El Puertito, this is where the big printers produces many of the newspapers for sale in Tenerife from Marca to The Mirror. I finished with a quick bus trip into Santa Cruz and a progress check on the Plaza de Espa̱a, the government are still upbeat about an April 30 opening, but there is a lot still to do. Guimar town was one of the nicer surprises of the day and definately one to return to Рif only to buy those caves.