Stage 1 – Santa Cruz to San Cristóbal de La Laguna

Hiking the Camino de Santiago de Tenerife

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Distance: 16km | Ascent: 730m

Stage 1 of the Camino de Santiago de Tenerife begins at the mouth of the river Barranco de Santos, in the centre of the bustling port city of Santa Cruz.

The official start point of the trail is at the Church of Our Lady of the Conception, a modest looking building tucked up next to the banks of the river.

Church of Our Lady of the Conception, Santa Cruz

The location of the church is no accident. The site was chosen as it was close to the beach where the Spaniards landed in the 1400s and held first mass. The church is a place of beginnings, it would seem!

The trail begins by briefly following the river inland for a few hundred metres up to one of the oldest bridges in the city.

The trail follows the Island’s tram line up through the centre of the city.

From there It then cuts weaving path through the commercial district and then straight up hill following the city tram line.

Eventually the path cuts right and past the hospital before a steep and winding climb through a maze of densely packed houses that make up the suburbs.

Finally the trail reaches the outskirts of the city and the impressive Cueva Roja (Red Cave)

The Cueva Roja (Red Cave) marks the beginning of the La Lecheras trail begins

The route then follows the historic ‘Lecheras Trail’ that milkmaids took when bringing milk down from high plateau of La Laguna to port of Santa Cruz below.

The trail skirts along the hillside following the narrow and at some points hazardous path, until it crests the hill and reaches the small village of Valle Tabares.

The La Lecheras trail cuts a narrow path along the steep hillside.

After a short section on the main road it then follows a quiet road up a steep valley for another 5km or so until it reaches the head of the valley.

Looking back down the valley towards Santa Cruz

The trail then turns into a small path for the final steep climb through the rural villages, over the hill and finally down into San Cristóbal de La Laguna itself.

Route Map

GPX File


There are plenty of hostels in San Cristóbal de La Laguna starting from 20 euros a night. If you are flying into TFN it worth just booking 2 nights at the same place in San Cristóbal and walking back to your accommodation

The beautiful university town of La Laguna is full great bars and restaurants.

Food & Water

There are plenty of supermarkets and cafes in both Santa Cruz and San Christóbal. There is also a small cafe about half way along the route at Valle Tabares. This is also the only place to refill water on this fairly short stage.


  • If you looking to camp for some of the route then Tenerife Outdoor in San Cristobal have gas canisters, both screw top and the pierce top versions at a reasonable price. You can order reserve them online to avoid disappointment!
  • If you are short on time it’s easy enough to combined day 1 & day 2 into one long stage and finish in La Esperanza


Religious Sites

Church of Our Lady of the Conception

Erected on the site of the first chapel built by the Spanish conquistadors in the early 1500s. The inside of the church features the image of St James, patron saint of Santa Cruz.