We were quite intrigued to see a little advert in the Resort Brochure for Pyramids of Guimar, which are a set of stepped pyramids located towards the North of Tenerife.
We caught the main Adeje- Santa Cruz bus to Guimar and then changed buses to a local bus that took us to the main bus station in Guimar.
The bus service is punctual and well-organised, with long-distance and local buses connecting well with each other. It is also relatively cheap. If you are going to use the buses a lot, then you can buy what is called a Bono card. This is a type of pre-loaded card, whereby you then get discounts on most of the bus fares. There are cards of 15, 25 and 50 Euros, which are valid for up to a year.
From the bus stop, there is quite a steep uphill walk of about ¾ mile to the entrance of the Pyramids. There was a little supermarket close to the bus stop, which was perfect for stocking up on bottles of water.
There are a couple of different ticket types available, depending on what you want to see. We opted for a full ticket, which included all of the exhibits and the poison garden. We had a local bus timetable from the resort and that gave us a 25% discount on the entry price. Guide maps of the site were available in English. You could also hire headphones with an audio explanation.
The site has ramps as well as steps for wheelchair access. Most of the site is made up of well-maintained paths, so there is easy access for everyone.
The origins of the pyramids seem to be unclear. Archaeological digging would suggest that they were built as late as the 19th Century, however there is also a cave under one corner where artefacts have been found that suggest this area was used by the Guanches people as far back as 600 AD.
It is a fascinating site. The pyramids themselves directly line up with the solstices and, on the Summer Solstice, you can see a phenomenon called a double sunset, where the sun sets behind one mountain, only to appear a few moments later to set behind the other one.
There are several trails you can follow around the site, depending on whether you are interested in plant life or culture. The gardens have a large number of carefully preserved plant and tree species and several picnic tables, conveniently located under shady trees.
Part of the grounds is dedicated to the Poison Garden, which was very interesting although we made sure we kept our hands and camera firmly in our pockets, so as not to touch anything. It was interesting to see how many well-known figures in history have used a little poison to dispose of unwanted enemies – in some very creative ways! Oddly enough, most of poison specialists were women!
The site has been linked to the ancient civilizations of the Mayans and the Egyptians by renowned Norwegian researcher Thor Heyerdahl. There is an exhibition about him and his work, as well as a replica of the reed boat he used to sail from Peru to French Polynesia in 1947.
We did not end up seeing the Thor Heyerdahl film show because it only ran every 90 minutes and by the time we got to the exhibition, we would have had to have waited until 4pm to watch the next showing and we were concerned we would miss our bus back. It was a shame because I would have like to have seen that. Unfortunately we had not checked the showing times before we went around the rest of the site.
In the exhibition area, there was also a picture of all the places around the world where they have found stepped pyramids, so that looks like our holidays are planned for the next 10 years! Mountains, Volcanoes and ancient Stepped Pyramid Sites – what more could I ask!
There are toilets in the main entrance area and a small gift shop and cafe. The staff all spoke English and were very helpful with giving us a quicker walking route back to the bus station than we had taken on the way up.
It was a really interesting day out and was well worth the effort to get there. We could have spent a lot more time there than we did.