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How to Find Arco de las Peñitas in Fuerteventura: All You Need to Know

How to Find Arco de las Peñitas in Fuerteventura: All You Need to Know

What to expect from hiking to the beautiful natural stone arch in Fuerteventura
Alexander & VictoriaHi! We're Alex & Victoria - a digital nomad couple from Copenhagen escaping 9-5 to chase adventures in our beautiful world. Learn more about us here.
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A natural arch worth trekking for

Arco de las Peñitas is a beautiful natural stone arch in Barranco de las Peñitas in the western/middle part of Fuerteventura.

It is not the easiest to find but when you do, it’s all worth it.

And the hike through the rocky, arid landscape is magnificent.

Read on in this travel guide to learn what to expect and how to reach Arco de las Peñitas.

Where to stay near Arco de las Peñitas in Fuerteventura:

Search for the best value accommodation near Betancuria here.

What to expect of Arco de las Peñitas

Barranco de las Peñitas is a ravine with rocky terrain and the landscape makes for a wonderful hike.

The highlight of this area is, in our opinion, Arco de las Peñitas which is hidden in the huge rock formations at the top of a hill.

The natural stone arch is a spectacular view point and you can take some beautiful photos from up there!

It’s definitely one of the best and most unique things to do in Fuerteventura.

However, there are no signs pointing you in the right direction and it’s not always obvious where to go. That’s why we made this travel guide.

And the trail to Arco de las Peñitas is very steep and uneven so remember to bring hiking shoes or sneakers you’re comfortable hiking in and be prepared to climb a few rocks.

Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
Reaching Arco de las Peñitas is worth climbing a few rocks for.
Victoria in Arco de las Penitas
We were pretty amazed by the natural stone arch.
Arco de las Penitas has several small holes in it
Look at all the incredible details in the arch.
Alex and Victoria in the Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
We flew our drone to see the arch from a bird’s-eye view. So cool!
Palm tree

Price

Visiting Arco de las Peñitas is free of charge!

Opening times

Arco de las Peñitas in Barranco de las Peñitas is open to everyone 24/7, but having said that, we advise you to go there in daylight as the terrain isn’t easy to tackle in the dark.

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Required fitness level

It’s fairly easy walking around Barranco de las Peñitas but you need to be in decent shape to get all the way up to the arch.

Not necessarily in ridiculously good shape but the terrain is steep and uneven and you may have to climb some rocks.

Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
It’s not a walk in the park to get all the way up to Arco de las Peñitas.
Alex hiking to the Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
The hike is doable for most people in good shape. Remember to wear hiking shoes or sneakers.

How to get to Arco de las Peñitas

There are no signs or marked trails to get to Arco de las Peñitas so it’s not the easiest arch to find – but it’s not impossible!

The good thing is that the arch is actually located where it says “Arco de las Peñitas” on Google Maps and if you have downloaded an offline map, you can always navigate after that.

To get there, you can choose between a short hike or a long hike. Both routes are marked on the map below and described in detail further down.

Rocky landscape in Barranco de las Penitas
The rocky landscape is a bit challenging to navigate in, but it’s very beautiful!

Map

Arco de las Peñitas is located on the western central part of Fuerteventura in the Barranco de las Peñitas.

See the different ways to get there here or scroll down for a more detailed description.

Disclaimer: there isn’t a specific marked trail leading to the arch so the directions are approximate.

Hiking routes to Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
The blue and red routes are two different ways to reach the arch on a short hike from the parking lot. You will walk along the green route if you take the longer hike from Vega de Río Palmas.

The short hike to Arco de las Peñitas

First, you should park your car at the off-road “aparcamiento” parking lot at the end of Camino Pajara (it’s free).

From there you should follow the trail heading north along the fences.

Then there are two ways to reach the arch which is hidden in the rock formations on top of a big hill:

  1. Follow the trail straight ahead until you have a huge pile of rocks to your right and then start to ascend the hill towards them (the blue route we painted on the map).
  2. Or go to the right towards the little white church (Ermita de la Peña), then turn left before reaching the church and go uphill towards the rock pile (the red route we painted on the map).

It takes about 30 minutes to an hour trekking all the way up to the arch.

The trail leading to Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
The first part of the trail is easy to follow.
Trail and landscape near Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
There are no marked trails but you can kind of see a path.
Victoria climbing rocks on her way to Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
Some parts of the route require more climbing.

The long hike to Arco de las Peñitas

If you want to explore more of the Barranco de las Peñitas, you can choose the long route from Vega de Río Palmas (the blue route we painted on the map).

Park your car at the “aparcamiento” parking lot on Camino San Sebastián/Camino Puerto de la Peña.

Follow the trail west through Barranco de las Peñitas past the water dam and the little white church (Ermita de la Peña). That will probably take around an hour.

Then turn right after the church and head towards the big pile of rocks on top of the hill which will take another 30 minutes or so.

Parking lot in Vega de Río Palmas
The longer hike starts at the parking lot in Vega de Río Palmas.
Palm trees in the barranco
In the Barranco de las Peñitas ravine, there are a few beautiful palm trees.
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Which hike should you choose?

We took the short and fastest hike to get to the arch. On the way up, we chose the first option (blue route) and on the way down, we went with the second option (red route) which was maybe less steep but a little longer – there isn’t a huge difference between the two.

The longer hike looks beautiful and if you want to see the (dried up) water dam up close and go through the ravine, this is the hike for you.

You can also see the water dam and Barranco de las Peñitas from “Mirador Las Peñitas” where you can park your car right by the viewpoint.

No matter which hike you choose, the trails will not be marked so the most important thing is that you head towards the gigantic rock formations.

You cannot see the arch from any of the routes before you’re really close so have faith that it will be there!

And be careful when climbing the rocks.

Also, you might encounter chipmunks, goats or ravens at the parking lot or along the trails but please don’t feed them.

View from Mirador Las Peñitas in Fuerteventura
The water dam and Barranco de las Peñitas from Mirador Las Peñitas.
Victoria looking at the rock pile with Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
Steer towards the gigantic rock formations even though you don’t immediately see the arch.
Arco de las Penitas spotted from a distance
When you get closer, you will start to see the arch between the rocks.
Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
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When to visit Arco de las Peñitas

Arco de las Peñitas can be visited all year around.

We reached the arch at around 10.30 in the morning in January and were the first ones there. On the way back down we met a handful of happy hikers on their way up, but it was not crowded at all.

It was overcast the day we visited but it was actually nice since there’s no shade along the trails and the arch looked beautiful on the photos in the soft light without any sharp shadows.

Because of the rocky terrain and uneven surface up there, you might want to skip days with strong winds though.

If you go on a sunny day, we recommend hiking in the morning to get the most beautiful light on the arch and to minimise your exposure to the scorching sun.

Alex and Victoria in Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
We enjoying hiking to Arco de las Peñitas on an overcast day.
Cactus
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Where to stay near Arco de las Peñitas

Betancuria – The central mountains of Fuerteventura

If you like hiking or don’t mind driving to the beach, staying in the central mountains (also known as the Betancuria Massif) in the western part of Fuerteventura can make sense.

Betancuria is known as the most beautiful town of the island and the mountains around here are stunning. The roads are very popular with road cyclists and the trails are great for hiking.

Staying in the central mountains also means you’ll be close to Arco de las Peñitas as well as Ajuy Caves and the black sand beach and several famous viewpoints.

Where to stay near Betancuria

Search for the best value accommodation near Betancuria here.

You can also look for the best and cheapest hotels in all of Fuerteventura here.

Casa Princess Arminda
If you wish to stay rurally and locally in Fuerteventura, look no further. ©Casa Princess Arminda
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What to bring to Arco de las Peñitas

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Minimise your impact

To minimise your impact, follow these guidelines:

  • Bring your own drinking water in a refillable bottle.
  • Avoid single-use plastics, including straws.
  • Dispose of waste properly. There are no trash cans on the trails.
  • Take only photos, leave only footprints. Let everything stay in its natural place. No stone-throwing or stacking.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.
  • Respect wildlife. Don’t feed the animals.
Goats near Arco de las Penitas in Fuerteventura
We met some goats at the parking lot. Minimise your impact and avoid feeding any animals you encounter.
Thanks for reading

Thank you for reading our travel guide to Arco de las Peñitas. We hope it has been useful!

What do you think about Arco de las Peñitas and the landscapes in Fuerteventura?

If you’ve been to the beautiful natural arch it would be awesome to hear how your experience was.

And if you haven’t been yet, please don’t hesitate to ask us anything. We’re glad to help.

How to hike to Arco de las Peñitas in Fuerteventura (including different routes) and what to expect from the beautiful natural stone arch.
How to hike to Arco de las Peñitas in Fuerteventura (including different routes) and what to expect from the beautiful natural stone arch.
How to hike to Arco de las Peñitas in Fuerteventura (including different routes) and what to expect from the beautiful natural stone arch.

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