The natural pools in Tenerife are obscure but brilliant blue hidden jewels in the crown of the island’s charming and varied landscape.
Carved out of an already-dramatic coastline are alcoves where sea water seeps in, forming incredible natural rock pools and swimming spots known as ‘charcos’ in Spanish.
These pools combine the best of all worlds; unspoiled nature, privacy, and crystal clear waters, making them a real treat for those seeking a different kind of dip.
As a beach alternative, the natural pools in Tenerife are the perfect addition to a Tenerife itinerary and an idyllic option for a wild yet serene swim.
Read on to find out my top recommendations for the best natural pools in Tenerife that you should not miss, plus some packing tips for your Tenerife trip and where to stay in Tenerife to be closer to these natural gems.
There’s never a bad time to make your way to the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, with pristine weather all year long, stimulating hikes, volcanic beaches (even some nudist ones), and of course, natural pools, all awaiting exploration!
And not to mention, the microclimate diversity in Tenerife is simply spellbinding: find yourself among volcanic plains before wandering along mossy cliffs fringed with palm trees.
Speaking of getting around, you’ll be happy to know that the island has an excellent network of roads which are also in great condition, meaning that renting and driving a car in Tenerife is easier than you may think! They don’t shy away from the local highlights either, taking you deep into Teide National Park and along spectacular coastlines.
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- 20 best villas in Tenerife you need to rent on your next holiday
- 9 Best Hikes in Tenerife
- The Best Nudist Beaches in Tenerife
Why visit natural pools in Tenerife
At first glance, a natural pool doesn’t look too dissimilar to a mountain pond, surrounded by greenery, rocks, and maybe even a pleasant waterfall. But travelers will quickly realize there is much more than meets the eye to a natural pool in Tenerife.
Ignore for a moment your classic swimming pool laced with chlorine! Tenerife natural pools were created centuries ago by volcanic eruptions that quickly transformed the island’s landscape, carving such intricate natural spots along the way.
Clear of artificial chemicals, they provide a pristine environment to explore, with refreshing water creating a thoroughly holistic and unique experience.
Therefore, while on your Tenerife trip, I recommend you forget about mundane resort pools – swimming in a natural pool can be complemented by exciting surges of sea spray and snorkeling beneath the surface!
What to bring with you to natural pools in Tenerife?
Many of the staples accessories you bring to the beach or a public swimming pool will come in handy here, from towels and sunscreen to swimming goggles and even chairs – if there is appropriate space. But swimming in a natural environment provides several other things to keep in mind. Let’s dig further.
Some of the most popular natural pools in Tenerife will come with rocky outcrops and bottoms. So, it’s important to wear adequate footwear, such as aqua shoes, to maintain grip and keep your feet safe from scraps and cuts.
Furthermore, thanks to the stunning scenery, you may want to bring along a waterproof GoPro or even a drone to capture the beauty of Tenerife’s landscape in its entirety.
Below, I overview some recommendations on what to bring with you to natural pools in Tenerife:
Sun Hat – For when you’re soaking up the sweltering sun, a trusty sun hat won’t let you down. This wide-brim straw hat boasts a UPF50+, meaning that it’s exceptionally protective against UV radiation.
Go Pro – A Go Pro is a great waterproof camera option for taking high-quality underwater pictures. I use the GoPro Black 7, which can be submerged up to 10 meters. However, I’m keeping my eye on the newest GoPro on the market, GoPro 11 Black.
Drone – Although an investment, drones capture unique angles, elevating your travel photography! I love them for high-quality photos and videos, plus they’re light and compact. As you’ll see below, Tenerife’s rugged coastline makes for incredible drone footage!
Best natural pools in Tenerife North
Garachico Natural Pools
The Garachico Natural Pools take their worthy spot as the first mention in our guide to the top natural pools in Tenerife.
Garachico provides a series of eye-catching natural pools along the northwestern coast, where crystalline water glistens and the hardened lava flow from the early 18th century shimmers in the sun’s rays.
A number of pools provide swimmers with an abundance of options, some deep and some shallow. This makes the Garachico Natural Pools a popular destination for the whole family, with pools even calm enough for toddlers due to the rising rocks protecting swimmers from the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Best Garachico Tours:
Garachico: City, Icod de los Vinos Tour with Wine Tasting – Explore the historic center of Garachico and Icod de los Vinos with a local guide, plus sample fine wine and cheese in the Museo de Malvasia!
From Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Masca & Garachico Private Trip – See the Garachico Natural Pools and the spectacular ravines of Masca on this private tour!
Tenerife: Teide National Park Full-Day Scenic Tour – Combine a sightseeing tour of Garachico with other iconic Tenerife villages and spots like Masca and El Teide.
Charco del Viento
Next up is Charco del Viento, just a moment’s drive from the charming town of La Guancha. Travelers will first need to drive a narrow road shrouded by banana plantations where a small car park awaits.
Unlike Garachico, the environment here feels wild. There are four natural pools, all surrounded by tall volcanic rocks.
From your relatively safe spot in the pool, you can watch the deep blues of the Atlantic rise and fall. Waves crash against the rock formations with an almighty thump, creating ocean spray and waterfalls on the other side.
As the afternoon transitions to evening, stick around for a mesmerizing sunset.
Charco de La Laja
Not far from Charco del Viento is another popular natural swimming pool in Tenerife: Charco de La Laja. When the tides are calm, de La Laja is a fantastic place to swim!
Charco de La Laja, Tenerife
Hugging the northwest coast, the swimming pool feels tucked away from civilization, where all you can see is bright blue and volcanic rock.
It’s a single, spacious pool with epic views of the Atlantic. De La Laja is deep enough for a lounging swim, and if you have a waterproof camera, you’ll have a hard time putting it down.
Best natural pools in Tenerife South
Los Gigantes Natural Pool
Strong winds can often miss this southern section of the island’s coast, and after a few (man-made) steps down to the pool, you’ll be met with memorable views and the booming sounds of the crashing waves.
The lava creates a natural barrier to the open ocean below, offering a seat to marvel at the infinite horizon and watch waves break. From the same spot, you can witness a breathtaking sunset that falls behind the nearby hills, creating silhouettes in many directions.
Best Los Gigantes Tours:
Los Gigantes: Whales and Dolphin Watching Cruise with Lunch – Witness whales and dolphins in their natural habitat and savor a lunch onboard.
Tenerife: Los Gigantes Whale Watching Cruise by Sail Boat – Aboard a beautiful sailing boat, spot whales, and see the cliffs of Los Gigantes from the sea!
From Adeje: Cliffs of Los Gigantes Guided Cycling Tour – Discover the Cliffs of Los Gigantes via a guided biking tour.
Los Abrigos Natural Pools
Travelers seeking a local spot should add the Los Abrigos Natural Pools to their ever-expanding Tenerife itinerary.
Jutting out along Tenerife’s barren southern coast and just steps from the small town itself is a spacious pool where the baby blue contrasts with the harsh but impressive rockscape.
When the tide is high, the pool can reach depths of 10 to 13 feet (3-4 meters), allowing for a dive in, but be sure to test the depths before doing so.
The scenery is impressive, but it won’t take long to realize the power of the ocean as strong waves crash in and rush out, so be aware but have a blast.
Go beyond the Los Abrigos Natural Pools and embark on a snorkeling adventure in the volcanic bay of Los Abrigos!
Playa del Puertito (Adeje)
Last on our list is a different kind of natural swimming pool in Tenerife.
Playa del Puertito is a beach just north of the charming town of La Caleta. It offers a series of smaller rock pools that are captivating to explore, with numerous colorful fish and crustaceans.
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The shape of the beach allows for plenty of protection from the elements, so no more keeping one eye on the next wave.
Del Puertito instead comes with a relaxed local vibe, even between July and September, where Loggerhead Turtles make themselves at home in the pools and along the bay.
Best Adeje Tours:
From Adeje: Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise with Lunch – Explore Tenerife’s west coast on a guided cruise from Adeje.
Adeje: Paratrike Flying Tour with Hotel Pickup and Photos – Discover the thrill of flying over Tenerife on a tandem paratrike tour!
Tenerife: Costa Adeje and Farm Tuk-Tuk Tour – Admire the sights of Costa Adeje and the beaches, villages, and typical Canarian farms in the south of the island.
Whale and dolphin watching along Costa Adeje in Tenerife
Where to stay for natural pools in Tenerife?
I believe the best complement to a Tenerife itinerary is a stay in a villa. This way, you’ll be immersed in the pristine nature and authenticity of the region and have greater access to the wide range of natural pools in Tenerife.
Make note that it is recommended to rent a car if staying in a Tenerife villa: not only will it be easier to get around, but you’ll have more flexibility in your Tenerife itinerary.
I cover a range of villas in the north and south of Tenerife in my blog post on the 20 best villas in Tenerife. However, I’ve narrowed it down below to where to stay for natural pools in Tenerife.
Hacienda El Socorro – I fell in love with this cliffside villa during my 5 days in Tenerife, where a sweeping seascape and swathes of banana trees are the norm.
Although the main draw to Hacienda El Socorro is that getting to the natural pools in Tenerife North requires only a short drive. Charco de la Laja, the closest, is about a 10-minute drive, and the furthest is the Garachico Natural Pools, which are only 20 minutes away.
Villa El Risco, Hacienda Cuatro Ventanas by Be Tenerife – An alternative option to Hacienda El Socorro, this villa shares an ideal place on the north coast, encircled by local fauna.
Villa El Risco, however, finds itself just a tinge closer to the natural pools in the north of Tenerife. After a day of wild swimming, end your evening at Villa El Risco with a spectacular sunset!
Hacienda El Cardon – Hugging the coastline of the Barranco Ruiz natural reserve, where an ecological banana plantation stretches to the cliff’s edge, Hacienda El Cardon fuses untouched nature, traditional Canarian architecture, and uninterrupted ocean views.
The best part? It’s a six-minute drive to Charco de la Laja!
Villa8 – In Puerto de Santiago, this villa stands within easy reach of Los Gigantes Natural Pool, only 16 minutes on foot! When you’re not chasing natural pools in Tenerife, head to the quaint garden area at Villa8 to soak up some sun.
Casas Bioclimaticas Iter – Unplug amidst a rugged Tenerife landscape with an eco-stay at Casas Bioclimaticas, surrounded by a wind farm. The villa is closest to Los Abrigos Natural Pools, under a 20-minute drive.
Villa Paraíso – Located in Santa Úrsula, the natural beauty of Playa del Puertito is a stone’s throw away – 6 minutes by car, to be specific. Here, bask in an intimate oasis with a laguna-style pool, direct ocean vistas, and a manicured garden as perks!
Read my thorough guide on the 20 best villas in Tenerife for more tips and information on accommodations in Tenerife.
Are you ready to take the plunge into the natural swimming pools in Tenerife? Hopefully – thanks to this travel guide – you have a better idea of where to base yourself in Tenerife and which incredible pools you’d like to add to your Tenerife itinerary.
Have you got any other Tenerife natural pools recommendations? Any additional tips for visiting natural pools in Tenerife? Feel free to comment below!
Looking for more Spain travel tips? Check out these guides!
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