The Caldera of Bandama is the largest volcanic caldera on the island of Gran Canaria. An impressive monument that you can enjoy hiking. Next to the caldera is the peak of Bandama and both make up the Bandama Natural Monument. If you are a nature lover, this visit cannot be missing from your list of places to visit in Gran Canaria. Below we are going to give you more information about this natural monument, the trail that borders it, places to eat and taste the wines grown on volcanic soil. Here we go!
The Caldera of Bandama, Gran Canaria island
La Caldera is located between the municipalities of Santa Brígida, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Telde, in the northeast of the island. This Protected Natural Area has a volcanic depression about 200 meters deep, about 1,000 meters in diameter and about 3 kilometers in perimeter. It is one of the most perfect calderas in the Canary Islands, almost resembling a crater. It is also believed that this is where the most recent volcanic activity took place on the island of Gran Canaria (about 2,000 years ago). Both the Caldera and the ancient Pico de Bandama volcano were formed five thousand years ago.
As a curious fact, you should know that the word Bandama derives from the name of the Flemish merchant Daniel Van Damme. Daniel Van Damme was one of the first Europeans to explore the caldera and cultivate vineyards within it. However, it is believed that the Canarian aborigines already cultivated here. If you would like to visit this natural monument, you have the option of driving to the Pico de Bandama viewpoint. You can also hike along the trail that borders the caldera or the one that reaches its base. We give you all the details in the next lines.
Bandama peak, one of the most spectacular viewpoints
Whether you are going to walk the path along the edge of the caldera, or not, we recommend you go up to the Pico de Bandama viewpoint with your car. The Pico de Bandama or Bandama peak, another of the resources that forms the Natural Monument of Bandama, is 569 meters high. From here you will have the best panoramic view of La Caldera. In addition, you will also be able to see the Atlantic Ocean, the golf course of the Real Club de Golf de Bandama, the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the municipalities of Santa Brígida and Telde.
You should know that the caldera was part of a volcano, but it is not a volcano itself, nor is it a crater. In other words, it is the collapse of the volcanic cone and its crater during an eruption that occurred about 2,000 years ago. This eruption formed the huge hole that you can see today from the Pico de Bandama viewpoint or from the path that runs along the Caldera de Bandama (we will talk about it below). If you would like to visit this place with an expert guide, there is a tour from the capital to visit the Caldera, Teror and Roque Nublo with very good reviews from other travelers. You have all the details here.
How to get to the Caldera of Bandama
If you are going to visit the Caldera de Bandama on your own, from the capital it is approximately 20 minutes by car and from Playa del Inglés let’s say about 45 minutes. Once here, you should know that there are hardly any parking spaces. On the road that takes you to Pico de Bandama, there is a curve where you can leave your car and then walk a few meters down the road to the trailhead. It is the place that we show you below, right in front of a restaurant called La Caldera. Regarding the viewpoint, to visit it you can easily stop on the side of the road and enjoy the views.
Circular hike Caldera de Bandama
As we told you before, the perimeter that borders La Caldera is approximately 3 kilometers long and there is a path that runs through it. If you park where we have mentioned, you must go down the road until you see an exit to the left of it. There is no loss, since it is circular and ends at the Bandama golf course. Here is a brief description of the trail.
|Estimated duration on foot||1 hour and a half|
|Total ascent||252 m|
Keep in mind that, given its volcanic origin, part of the path is made of volcanic gravel (little black stones) and it is slippery.
Therefore, even if the route is short, we recommend good footwear and, in the winter months, a good coat. As we see it, it is a hiking route that you can do with children in Gran Canaria. If you want, you can download the track of the route in GPX format below. If you don’t know how to follow the map with your navigator or mobile with the Guru maps app, here we explain it to you. If you are downloading the map from an Android device and are having problems with the file, here is the solution.
Wine tasting Gan Canaria
The agricultural area that surrounds the Bandama Natural Monument is known as Monte Lentiscal. Today, Monte Lentiscal preserves the tradition of growing grapes on volcanic soil to produce one of the best wines in the Canary Islands. So, on the way to the caldera, take a look at the vineyards that form part of the landscape in the area. If you want to visit a local winery, have a look at our post about wine tasting in Gran Canaria.
In the same way, here are two restaurants where you will be able to taste good D.O. Gran Canaria wines (formerly D.O. Monte Lentiscal), accompanied by the rich Canarian food and Spanish gastronomy in general.
Places to eat around Bandama
To eat in the area we like the Casa Miranda Grill Restaurant where, as we told you, they have good Gran Canaria wines, as well as delicious food and excellent service. They are specialized in grilled and stone-grilled meats and their desserts are incredible. You can’t leave here without trying a good steak and French toast.
Well, if you’re a vegetarian, they usually have yummy salads. The restaurant is less than 10 minutes drive from La Caldera and has its own parking. If your intention is to go on the weekend, try to book or arrive before 1:30 p.m. You will tell us how it is!
If you just want to try the local wine and have an aperitif among the vineyards, we recommend you visit the Bodegón de Vandama (Carretera de Bandama, 116, Santa Brígida). This option will only be possible if you have a car, since you have to cross a gravel road between vineyards to get there. The setting is spectacular and its local cheeses and wines too. Here we recommend that you try the house wine made with the Listán Negro grape variety. A little known and practically exclusive delicacy of the Canary Islands. It’s also worth eating here, although it’s not cheap.
Video Caldera of Bandama: hiking with lunch
Then we leave you with a video of the route so you have a clearer idea of what you are going to find on this path, as well as the restaurant that we propose. Remember that you can activate the English subtitles and subscribe to our YouTube channel for watching more videos like this! Please consider that there is a mistake in the video, Bandama is in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria municipality!
Guides to Gran Canaria
Finally, we invite you to take a look at other articles about places that you can combine in your visit to this area of the island.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to be looking for information everywhere and you want to know more places like this, you have at your disposal our Guides to Gran Canaria with plans to discover the most authentic side of the island and places to eat. In this way, in addition to saving time looking for information here and there, you will be able to know places where we locals go.