Spain,  Travel

Volcano Bayuyo & the Squirrels in Fuerteventura

Geologically, Fuerteventura is the oldest of the Canary Islands and most of it is said to have formed as a result of volcanic eruptions 5 million years ago. We did a hike up what remains of this volcano on a clear sunny day in the spring of 2020. It was a decent hike, easy for us at least, and takes about an hour to get to the summit and back down.

You see several volcano like structures popping up in the north part of the island and we decided that we wanted to hike up Bayuyo. There is a dirt road where you can drive, cycle or walk up to and start the hike from. There were mud bikes and buggys driving by on the path, which looked fun! I definitely want to do that sometime. We arrived at Volcanes de Bayuyo from the Corralejo side.

A one-sided collapsed caldera is already visible upon nearing the volcano. The road for cars ended and we dropped our rental in what looked like a parking lot. As soon as we stepped out of the car the tiny fellas appeared out of nowhere and started to come towards us. Not sure if this one was just posing or trying to beg for some food.

Soon we start the climb. It is not steep initially but the path is rocky. There wasn’t anybody ahead of us at the time so we just followed a faint track up.

Now at the summit of Volcano Bayuyo 28.72°N 13.89°W at an elevation of 889 ft / 271 m after a good climb. We have a nice panoramic view and feel like we are at the highest point around. You can look over the coast, the small towns nearby, Lobos Island and the sand dunes to the north-east. To the west, a couple of volcano like shapes (Montaña Lomo Blanco and de la Raya) are visible. You may also see Lanzarote Island in the north on a clear day. As you can see from the photos, it was quite hazy and we couldn’t see much further than Lobos clearly.

A white pillar and cairn marks the summit. Here we enjoyed some snacks and drink more water. It wasn’t a few minutes since we had reached up there and the tiny fellas appeared again, scuttling up the rocky slopes, did they follow us here?

As you can see, the rest of our time on the summit was spent hanging around with the Barbary ground squirrels or chipmunks as some call them. This species, that looks similar to Indian palm squirrels, is endemic to Western Africa and commonly seen in Fuerteventura. We had some pistachios with us but made sure not to give them too many, just tried to lure them near with some. We know everyone must feed them. They also look thirsty so try to give them some water!

Time to head back down. We start the same way but eventually take a slightly different path than the one up.

It doesn’t take long too get back down and this path led a few hundred meters further than where we started. Spotted an oyster like rock structure and head there to cool off. We did not know this before but it was a ‘Cueva Natural’ as marked on the map. There are also some signboards around which tell you about the region. While leaving we also happened to spot what looked like the Egyptian Vulture circling in the distance. I sure hope so! I have a poor zoomed in photo of it below, maybe you can tell.

Volcano Bayuyo

All in all it was a good hike and enough to make you sweat as you huff and puff to the top. It can get quite windy as well. You can hike further on the ridge or get back down after this one. There are several Calderas and Volcanos – all extinct – in a chain, and to be honest, back then I wasn’t sure which was which. As I looked it up, it turns out that we did hike Bayuyo. Google maps was right. There’s the Hondo crater that has a very volcano like shape and would be a good sight. Oh well, next time. But now I can let you know that it’s possible. Alternately, you can hike up Hondo when you arrive via Lajares town on the south end of this volcano chain. Here’s a satellite picture showing the volcano chain.

Google Maps satellite image of the Bayuyo chain of volcanos.

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