Barranco de Los Cernícalos – The Ravine of the Kestrels.
I’ve not done many walks but this one is by far my favourite and the one that was recommended to me more than the others. What makes this walk unique is throughout the year the path follows a stream at the bottom of a ravine which in parts forms small waterfalls.
The walk is just short of 3 kilometres to the end but then you double back on yourself to return so almost 6 kilometres in total and for a slow walker with plenty of stops it’ll take around 5 hours. It’s classed as easy though I wouldn’t want to see me granny trying to climb out of some of those ravines, its fine for kids and I took two dogs with me when I went who loved every minute of it. The lowest point is 422 meters above sea level and the highest is 749 meters.
In total there are five waterfalls, each one stronger, higher and more impressive than the previous one and if you make it to the fifth there’s a nice pool there for a swim if it’s a hot day.
At the beginning of the route there’s an area for parking and from there a short walk along the road into the ravine. You’ll see a viaduct and a large abandoned well which mark the beginning of the walk and also the source of the water. From there it’s a simple case of following the flow of water for the next two or three hours.
Thanks to the protection of the ravine and constant flow of water this area is home to many rare and spectacular plants; olive trees, willows, laurel silver of course, pine, tabaibas, cacti, verodes balos, tajinastes, orobales, white broom, bicacareras, houseleeks, ivy vine, watercress, taracontilla, coriander….. many more endemic species (Euphorbia obtusifolia, Teline microphylla, Chamaecitisus proliferus, Pinus sp). As well as being home to kestrels of course there are owls, doves, canaries, hawks, lizards, frogs and many insects such as dragon flies. The ravine’s quite wide in parts and there are parts where you’ll climb out to rest and be surrounded by green meadows, willow and laurel silver forest.