Fully paved street with a lot of turnout and parking lots
Hard to overtake
Scheduled bus traffic on the route
TF-436, which is connecting Buenavista del Norte with Santiago del Teide, is one of the most popular touristic routes on the island of Tenerife. As it was also the shortest route from the hotel we stayed in, Melia Hacienda del Conde, to the South and the interior of the island, we drove it multiple times. On one trip we also took the detour to Teno Alto. Here is my road trip report.
As said above, TF-436 is the mountain connection road between Buenavista del Norte on the Northwestern shore of Tenerife and Santiago del Teide. The route is some 22 kilometers long. Google maps gives a travel time of 46 minutes. Even if you don’t take a stop, it can easily double just due to traffic (for example, we had to revert as a (full-size) bus was using the road. Parts of the road is just a slightly wider one-lane road with frequent pull-over spots. Including some stops to enjoy nature, but without exploring Masca, which is likely the most popular spot on the route, I would suggest to plan for 2:30 hours for that trip.
Road Trip on TF-436
This report is reflecting the trip from North to South, i.e. starting at Buenavista. The first kilometer after Buenavist is quite fine, before the road gets into more serpentines and quite hilly. The first village you reach is the quite picturesque settlement of El Palmar.
After a detour to Teno Alto (see below), we headed on on the TF-436. There are two more villages, Las Lagunetas and Las Portelas, before you really reach the mountains and the road becomes more narrow here and there. The first stop you just have to do is the Mirador Altos de Baracan, which gives a lovely view of the unique Tenerife landscape in that region.
A break at Hilda
One of our favorite places in Tenerife is definitely the snack bar at Mirador de Cruz de Hilda, which is having a terrace overlooking the whole valley. The prices are absolutely reasonable – and if you like, you can also buy some of the typical local produce as a souvenir.
You now take the road downhill towards Masca, which is quite a touristic place. Unfortunately, this also means: whenever we passed Mascae on our travels through Tenerife, we did not find a parking lot. Thus, I cannot offer you pictures of the village. The road now becomes significantly more narrow. If you are really unlucky, you might even run into a full size scheduled bus service or a major tourist coach.
Right after Masca, the road becomes steep uphill – this is the most critical area to run into major vehicles. On the other hand, it offers some breathtaking views of the Masca Valley. The last stop you might take is the Mirador De Cherfe, which is roughly 1,000 meters above sea level. Somebody is driving a street food van there in case you fancy a burger.
From that final mirador, you just head downhill to Santiago del Teide, where the road joins TF-82. You can already enjoy the view of the breathtaking Teide volcano while you approach the village.
Detour: Teno Alto
South of El Palmar, I planned to head right / Westbound towards Los Pedregales and then back to TF-436. The only road I found there was definitely not passable, so we went up the Teno mountain to the village of Teno Alto, a cute place with a lovely view over the mountains. The road there is partially quite narrow, but most of the time very reasonable to drive.
The views on the road are really amazing. If you dare more, you can also try to access Paisaje Lunar En Teno Alto, a viewpoint (which should be quite fine to access). If you are adventurous, especially if you have an mountain ready motorbike with you, there is an amazing place behind Teno Altom the cheese factory Queseria Flores De Teno. However, all reports I read about this do not recommend to go there by rental car. Thus, behind Teno Alto, we turned back down the mountain – you are at around 800 meters above sea level when you leave the village.
TF 436 – My View
The TF-436 is my favorite road trip on Tenerife. Enjoying the nature from Hilda or just from any of the other miradors and many spots where you can have a short break is just lovely. The nature is so diverse in that area. I also recommend to do the Teno Alto detour as it just adds some different impressions of the island. You should definitely not be under any kind of time pressure, though – a single car can easily cost you 20 minutes delay on the route.