Los Cristianos mini mountain peaks my interest

Looking up from Las Vistas beach in Los Cristianos, many people wonder just what that big hill is that looks down on them. The answer is Montaña Chayofita, a volcanic mound complete with crater, that rises to 116 metres above sea level. It’s just one of many mountains and hills in Tenerife, beyond it you will see the much larger Roque del Conde with its distinct table top.

Montaña Chayofita

Two years ago Arona council did a series of free guided walks up the local mountains and I greatly enjoyed trying them all out, now seems a good time to re-visit some of them, starting with this small but interesting local peak. Arona council have recently done some work on the mountain to improve the paths to the top, and to shore up a few areas where the crater was subsiding.

The best way to approach Chayofita is down the slip road alongside the Avenida de Chayofita (the dual carriageway) as it heads from Los Cristianos to Playa de las Americas.  There’s a partly built road that leads up the coast side of the mountain to the abandoned shell of a restaurant that was never completed. It’s amazing how the project ever got so far on this protected site, it now remains fenced and chained and an eyesore that needs demolishing. Anyway there are 2 main tracks up the mountain, one just as you leave the road, by the name board and the other further along the abandoned road, between 2 large whitewashed stones.

Montaña Chayofita

I picked a bright early morning for my walk and there were quite a few others taking to the high ground. The textures and colours of the rocks were really inspiring and made me wish I had a talent for painting. As I follwed the path, marked by large rocks either side of the trail, it started to curl and climb into the centre of the old crater. Working up the side of the mountain, Arona and Adeje spread out behind me in the distance, with future walking challenges already forming in my mind. At the top of the peak, I could see the full extent of the sprawl of Los Cristianos punctuated with swimming pools at various hotels and the open green space of Golf Las Americas.

Montaña Chayofita

Las Vistas beach was slowly filling up but most of the sunbeds were empty, set out in their regimented patterns as the sea lapped at the shore and the bays further around the coast. La Gomera was slightly hazy in the distance but moving along the ridge and higher up, the port came into full view with the Fred Olsen ferry ready to head out to the other islands. At the highest point, there are clear views to all sides and out to Guaza mountain and beyond to Palm Mar and the Rasca lighthouse.

Looking down at the crater, the contrast of the layers of rock is a start reminder o0f the volcanic nature of Tenerife and the clumps of cactus and small ferns show that even in such challenging landscapes, there is plenty of life. Leaning over the edge, I could see the courtyard of the part finished restaurant below, quite a lot of ornate stone work had already been completed but apart from the odd squatter passing through, it was all wasted.

Montañya Chayofita

Taking the path back to ground level, there seemed no end to the stream of explorers, some armed with state of the art walking poles. The whole trip took just over an hour and the climb is not too challenging with sturdy trainers, it’s a great way to get a different view of how the modern resort of Los Cristianos has grown in the shade of the volcanic hills and mountains of south Tenerife.