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Naturist Opportunities on Tenerife

 Diego Hernández beach 

Diego Hernández is a good naturist beach nearest to the largest on Tenerife resort area, Playa de las Américas.
 
Diego Hernández [pronounced in Spanish: Deeyeh-gaw Ehrnahn-dehs] is a small beach, of about 200 m in length, composed of an almost white volcanic sand and located under steep slopes and rocky cliffs. It is separated into two sections with a small rocky projection, the southern part seeming cozier and more convenient for bathing. A relatively narrow stripe of sand will be almost totally flooded at high tide, so the beach goers have to move then onto a couple of higher sand spots or onto rock shelves. The beach is located in a small bay of the same name in a natural reserve in the South-West of the island to the North of the village La Caleta [pronounced Lah-Cahleh-tah] at the Northern end of the Playa de las Américas area.
[Diego Hernandez: general view]
General view of Diego Hernández
at low tide
[Diego Hernandez closer]
Closer view of Diego Hernández
at a higher tide
The beach can be accessed only by foot: along the ocean coast: from the South – from road and from the end stop of bus at La Caleta village, from the North – from the road coming down to a small leisure boat harbour, El Puertito [pronounced Ehl-Pooehrtee-taw], or downhill from a golf course right atop of Diego Hernández. In all the cases, the walk takes no more than 20–25 minutes, but the path is rather rough; not that it were a real mountain climbing, still one should be advised to have a suitable footwear: at least sneakers or something of the kind, and certainly not high heels or beach slippers. The way from El Puertito is the easiest of all.
During my few visits to Diego Hernández the number of sunbathers there never was more than 2–3 dozen at a time, more than half of them locals, but foreign holiday makers of different nations as well. Part of the beach visitors were staying in their bathing suits on.
Many younger people, both locals and foreign tourists, choose this natural reserve area for camping: they live in tents, makeshift huts, or even in rock caves, sometimes together with little children. There was a couple of scores of such camper groups both in Diego Hernández bay and in a more suited for camping Los Morteros [Laws-Morteh-raws] bay next to the South. The campers make up at least a half of the normal beach populace. The Los Morteros bay has no sand beach, but people are sunbathing there on the rock slates and find an access to water over the rock too; part of the sunbathers of the both sexes do it naked at Los Morteros as well.
A vendor from a kiosk at El Puertito passes the Diego Hernández beach on foot several times a day to offer cold drinks; sometimes she even goes further on to Los Morteros.
[Ocean and La Gomera]
View of the ocean and La Gomera island
from a hill slope above Diego Hernández
Getting there

Via La Caleta:
From the bus end stop at La Caleta, go further straight ahead past new residential complexes in the village farther end, and whence take an uphill path, heading for the posts at the hilltop ahead which mark the border of a natural reserve. When at the top, walk over a short flat stretch of the path and descend to Playa de los Morteros bay (passing a few campers’ huts there). From los Morteros, ascend the next hill over a well-trodden path; you will see Playa Diego Hernández bay ahead of you from the top. Follow the downhill path to some point above the beach to find a suitable place to come down to the ocean shore. The whole walk from La Caleta takes 20 to 30 minutes, mainly depending on the tempo of your climbing up the two slopes on your way. One can circumvent the second uphill stretch by going along the ocean coast around the cape separating the Las Morteros and Diego Hernández bays. It will save your breath, but you'll have to be accurate at walking over narrow slanting rock shelves at a couple of places; besides, such a roundabout will take some 10 minutes more. In any case, one will be well advised to have a good tracking footwear, and to have one's hands free.
If you are driving a car, you can come to La Caleta either by internal roads of the Playa de las Américas area, or by a road descending from the continuation of the Southern Highway ("Autopista del Sur", in Spanish) TF-1 somewhere opposite the forking to Adeje town.
One also can reach La Caleta on route bus No 441 going from Los Christianos and passing through the whole Playa de las Américas area, where one can take it at any stop. Go up to the end stop at La Caleta, and not to the previous one at "Jardín Caleta" hotel where many passengers are getting off. The full travelling time from Los Christianos to La Caleta is just 35 minutes, but the interval is big: between 1 and 2 hours.
If you missed your bus, don't be very upset. One can make a pleasant half an hour's walk to La Caleta by foot along the coastal promenade from Playa Fañabé area, e.g., from the terminus of the buses coming to Playa de las Américas from the East and South (Santa Cruz, El Médano, Las Galletas, etc.): by "Isla Bonita" hotel at the crossing of Avenida Bruselas and Avenida Paris.


Via El Puertito:
If you are driving a car, going to El Puertito instead of La Caleta may make sense. The distance and the walking time from El Puertito to Diego Hernández are about the same as from La Caleta, but the path is easier: you won't have to climb steep slopes. Take any of the paths or tracks coming up the hill ridge to the left of El Puertito which separates this harbour from Diego Hernández bay. You will see Diego Hernández ahead of you soon after you have reached the top point.
To get to El Puertito by road, drive the Southern Highway TF-1 till its northern end, hence turn onto road TF-47 heading for Acantilado de los Gigantes, pass the town Armeñime and turn to the left down onto a road descending towards El Puertito.
One also can get by foot to El Puertito from lying further to the North small resorts Playa Paraíso [Plah-yah Pahrahee-saw] and Callao Salvaje [Kahlyah-aw Sahlvah-kheh] and some other nearby townhouse complexes.
[Las Americas Map]
Click on the map
to open it full size
Via golf course:
There is a golf club right above the hill slopes coming down to Diego Hernández bay. One can drive to it over the road descending to La Caleta from the continuation of the Southern Highway TF-1. If you leave your car there and walk along the golf course edge marked with palm trees to the farthest end, you will see the Diego Hernández beach beneath. It is pretty easy to come down there over relatively good paths. However, climbing uphill on your way back may be quite a job for one not accustomed to mountain tracking.


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samar@tenerife.yoll.net
Andrei Samartsev, St. Petersburg, Russia  —  May 2002