El Caminito del Rey | 2023 GuideEl Caminito del Rey, once known as the scariest, most dangerous walk in the world, is now Spain's newest and most desired tourist attraction... Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime?
Imagine breathtaking views of towering mountains, vibrant green valleys, and crystal-clear lakes and streams. Picture yourself surrounded by a vast wilderness of pristine beauty, filled with the sounds of wildlife and the smell of fresh pine 🌲. Be prepared to hike across dizzying bridges, through narrow tunnels, and along sheer rock faces, with the rushing waters of the Guadalhorce River far below you.
If you dare to take this special journey, you will be rewarded with panoramic views, a sense of accomplishment and awe at the majesty of nature and an adventure to a magical place you will never forget!
** The Northern Boardwalk
But do not fear, dear hiker... a restoration project of the path was completed in 2015 which transformed this terrifying walkway into a safe and enjoyable tourist attraction, that draws thousands of visitors every year. The new walkway has retained its original charm and beauty while making it accessible and SAFE for all.
Continue reading to learn all you need to know about the Caminito del Rey... before you go...
El Caminito del Rey - Everything You Need to Know!
Contents on This Page
- Where is 'el Caminito del Rey'?
- Plan Your Walk
- Top Sites to See Nearby
- What to Wear
- Where to Eat
- Children and Pets
- Necessary Physical Condition / Vertigo?
Where is 'el Caminito del Rey'?The Caminito del Rey is in the province of Malaga, in the heartland of rustic Andalucia. It winds its way along the steep walls of the El Chorro gorge, carved out by the turquoise waters of the Guadalhorce River below it.
This stunning path lies at the center of the "Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Natural Park", which covers an area of over 2,000 hectares and is home to an incredible variety of wildlife and plant species, as well as numerous other hiking trails and outdoor recreational activities.
The walkway is only 50 kilometers northwest of the city of Malaga, but its two closest towns are Ardales and Álora, both just 10 kilometers away. The starting point of the hike is near the El Chorro train station which is easily accessible by train from either Malaga, Seville, or Granada.
Distance Between Cities and the Caminito del Rey
|Malaga||El Chorro||54 min|
|Torremolinos||El Chorro||55 min|
|Marbella||El Chorro||1 hr 7 min|
|Nerja||El Chorro||1 hr 27 min|
|Costa Tropical||El Chorro||1 hr 37 min|
|Antequera||El Chorro||44 min|
|Ronda||El Chorro||53 min|
|Álora||El Chorro||37 min|
|El Chorro||El Chorro||18 min|
|Ardales||El Chorro||17 min|
The Paths Amazing HistoryWhy in the world does this mile-high boardwalk even exist you may ask?
The Caminito del Rey has a fascinating history that dates to the beginning of the 20th century. It was constructed between 1901 and 1905 to give access to two hydroelectric power plants along the 'El Chorro Gorge', the plants were used to power the nearby and quickly growing city of Malaga.
The walkway was constructed using steel and concrete by lowering daring workers into the gorge from the top. It was an immense and nerve-wracking challenge due to its narrow width and extreme height. Can you imagine? 😱
** The Old Path vs The New Path Above
How Did "El Caminito" Get its Name?The Caminito del Rey, or the King's Little Pathway in English, received its name in 1921 when King Alfonso XIII carefully crossed the walkway during the opening of the Conde del Guadalhorce Dam.
Soon after the King's visit, the path became a popular attraction for adventurers and thrill-seekers due to its stunning views and the adrenaline rush of walking along such a precarious path... Many people were drawn to the challenge of conquering their fears and testing their limits on these heart racing, mile-high boardwalks along the cliffs...
The Most Dangerous Walk in the World!Over time, the walkway deteriorated and became known as one of the world's most dangerous walkways, mostly due to missing sections of the path, crumbling concrete, and exposed drops of over 300 feet. For decades, the path remained abandoned and dangerous, attracting daredevils and thrill-seekers from around the world.
Watch the video below of how the Caminito del Rey USED to look and how dangerous the path was for hikers... 🙈 🙈 🙈
In 2000, there were several fatalities which finally prompted authorities to close the walkway for good.
Despite the danger (and closure), hikers continued their attempts to cross the path. So the Junta de Andalucia came up with a plan...
The Brand New Caminito del Rey ➜ But, Is it Safe?In 2014, a major restoration project was undertaken to make this cliffside trail safe for the public once again. The project, which cost over €5 million, involved replacing the entire walkway (but maintaining the original design of the path), installing new handrails and safety features, and building a new access trail.
The project aimed to transform the once dilapidated and dangerous walkway into a safe and sustainable tourist attraction that would appeal to visitors from all over the world. It began in 2014 and was completed in 2015.
The newly refurbished Caminito del Rey was built on top of the initial walkway so that you can still see the original death-defying path below you as you make your way along the new boardwalks.
Watch this video below to see how the Caminito looks today...
The NEW Caminito del Rey walkway is now one meter wide and has handrails and safety barriers along its entire length. It is also less steep and less exposed than the original. The path is now one of the top (and safest) tourist attractions in Andalucia, providing a unique and unforgettable experience for all that visit.
UPDATE: A new project is currently in the works to expand the Caminito del Rey and make it a complete circuit, instead of just a one-way path, essentially doubling the length of the hike. 🙏
⭐ Plan YOUR Camino de Rey Walk ⭐The Caminito del Rey is one of the most breathtaking hiking trails in the world, and if you're looking for an adventure, this is the one to try.
The trail winds through the stunning gorges and towering cliffs of the Andalucian mountains, offering breathtaking views at every turn. You'll hike across dizzying bridges, through narrow tunnels, and along sheer rock faces, with the rushing waters of the Guadalhorce River far below. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will test your limits and leave you feeling exhilarated. So grab your gear, put on your hiking boots, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on the Caminito del Rey!
The walk is divided into four main sections, each with its own distinct characteristics and challenges.
But First, How Long is the Walk?The Caminito del Rey is a 7.7-kilometer (4.8-mile) hike that takes about 3 - 4 hours to complete. However, this can vary depending on your pace, hiking experience, and overall fitness. Some hikers can complete the walk in as little as 2 hours, while others walk more slowly.
The hike is a bit challenging as well, there are a few steep ascents and descents, narrow areas, and climbing or descending flights of stairs. So, be well-prepared, wear comfortable shoes, and overall... be careful.
Where is the Entrance to El Caminito del ReyWhen you first arrive at the Caminito del Rey, you will need to access the main entrance to the trail, which you will find at the northern end of the Guadalhorce Gorge.
You have TWO options here. There are two tunnels (just a few meters apart) that will lead you to the hikes main entrance. They are both pretty walks, but one is much longer than the other, (which is great for those wanting to add a little more walking to their day).
- Access 1. The Kiosko Tunnel: (2,7 km route) - 45 minutes (map)
- Access 2. The Conde de Guadalhorce Dam Tunnel: (1.5 km route) - 20 - 25 minutes - Most people take this route. (map)
** Conde de Guadalhorce Dam Tunnel
What Happens Next?Once you arrive at the main entrance to the Caminito del Rey, here are your next steps:
Arrive AT LEAST 30-minutes early to the main entrance.
- Purchase tickets: Before starting the hike, you must purchase a ticket to access the Caminito del Rey.
Tickets can be purchased online in advance or on-site at the ticket office. ➜
Find more about ticket prices and how to purchase a ticket below.
⭐ ⭐ Tickets are usually SOLD OUT months in advance, so we recommend buying your ticket online BEFORE you arrive. If tickets are sold out, check out this list of the best guided tours of the Caminito del Rey.
- Get equipped: Once you have your ticket, you will be given a helmet (to protect you in areas with low hanging rocks). You must wear the helmet during the entire hike.
- Receive safety instructions: Before starting the hike, you will also receive safety instructions from the staff. They will explain how to use the helmet, go over general rules, and tell you what to expect on the trail.
- Start the hike: After receiving your safety instructions, you can start the hike. Remember, the trail only goes in one direction, it starts at the northern entrance and ends at the southern exit. You will need to take a shuttle bus to return to the parking areas.
- Enjoy the hike: Now for the best part! Make your way along the trail and enjoy the stunning views of the Guadalhorce River and surrounding gorge. Take your time, enjoy the scenery, relax and have a snack, but most importantly, have the time of your life!
El Caminito del Rey ➜ The Four Sections
Section 1 - The Northern AccessThe northern access is the starting point of the Caminito del Rey. It will take you from the parking area tunnel to the main entrance and then into a beautiful pine forest. This section of the trail is relatively flat, you will take a wide dirt path that winds through the forest and along the first boardwalks. It's an easy section that gives you the chance to warm up and get used to the walk before reaching the more challenging parts of the trail.
Time to the first of the boardwalks is: 1.5 - 2 kilometers (20-minutes).
** Views of the Northern Boardwalk
Section 2 - The Forest RambleThis area of the walk is easy and very enjoyable. It moves gradually through the pine forest with stunning views of the steep canyon and river below. It's characterized by thick shady pines, hundred-year-old juniper tree growing out of the rock face, and panoramic views.
There are several picnic tables to be found along this section of the walk! We highly recommend bringing a picnic or some snacks to be enjoyed in the forest ramble. You won't regret it!
Walking time: 2.1 kilometers (35 - 40 minutes).
** The Forest Walk & Gorge Views
Section 3 - Boardwalk & Swinging Bridge (Gaitanejo Gorge)The third section of the Caminito del Rey hike is the most iconic and is where the trail becomes more challenging. This section takes you through the Gaitanejo Gorge, which features narrow pathways carved into the cliff face, high walkways, and steep drops. The scenery is spectacular, and you'll have the opportunity to see the turquoise waters of the Guadalhorce River below and towering rock formations all around you.
This section also takes you on the swinging bridge across the Conde de Guadalhorce Dam, the scariest part of the walk for most people. Although the bridge is high up, it is extremely secure and safe.
Walking time: 2.2 kilometers (1 - 1.5 hours).
** The Last Boardwalk & Swinging Bridge
Section 4 - Exit & Path to Bus Station (Conde de Guadalhorce Dam)The final section of the Caminito del Rey is less challenging. The pathway widens, and the surrounding landscape becomes more open and expansive. You'll enjoy beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
The walk ends at the south entrance of the trail, where you can return your equipment and take a shuttle back to the northern access point.
Walking time: 15-20 minutes.
El Caminito del Rey ➜ Ticket PricesHere are the current ticket prices in 2023. Read more about Caminito del Rey prices here.
Complete the trail on your own. ** Limit is 10 tickets per person.
|Official Guided Visit
Group visit (30 people max). Accompanied by a certified guide.
Kids younger than 8 will not be admitted to the Caminito del Rey.
** Kids 8 years or older must bring a photo ID or Family Book to verify age.
How to Buy a Ticket!You can buy tickets to the Caminito del Rey through their official website:
Here is a step-by-step guide for purchasing tickets: (If tickets are sold out continue reading to learn how to obtain tickets from other vendors)
- Go to the Caminito del Rey website and select the language you prefer.
- You must register with your personal details.
- After completing the registration, you will receive an email to validate your account. If you don't receive it, check your spam folder.
- Choose the date and time you want to visit. Tickets are sold for specific time slots, so you MUST arrive within the time slot you choose.
- Select the number of tickets you need and click "Book Now".
- Fill in your personal details, including your name, email, and phone number.
- Review your booking details and make sure they are correct.
- Choose your payment method and enter your payment information.
- Click "Pay Now" to complete your booking.
- Once you've purchased your tickets, you'll receive a confirmation email with your booking details. Be sure to bring your confirmation email with you when you arrive!
Alternative Sites to Find Caminito del Rey Tickets⭐ It's important to note that tickets to the Caminito del Rey are LIMITED and can sell out quickly, especially during peak tourist seasons. So, it's best to book your tickets in advance to secure your spot.
If you're having a hard time finding tickets, try these options below:
Shuttle Bus Tickets Back to the Starting PointAfter completing the Caminito del Rey, you will exit the trail at the southern end (near the small town of El Chorro). About 300 meters away, you will find the shuttle bus stop that will take you back to the starting point of the trail.
The bus ticket costs 2.50 euros / person (not included in the ticket price) and you can buy it on the Caminito del Rey website, or on the bus (which must be paid in cash to the driver). CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED.
**The shuttle bus schedules change depending on the season, so check the website before you go.
ParkingThere are three parking areas for the Caminito de Rey. The price is 2.00 euros per car for the day. The price is the same for each parking area.
- Northern Access Parking in Ardales. (map)
- Visitor Center Parking near the Northern Access Point. (map)
- South Access Parking in El Chorro. (map)
CancelationsChanges or refunds are not allowed. However, if there is bad weather on the day of your hike AND THE PARK CLOSES, you will be contacted by staff and to set a new date or to give you a refund.
Caminito de Rey ➜ HoursThe Caminito del Rey is open from Tuesday through Sunday for most of the year and has different hours depending on the season. Opening Hours & Best Time to Visit
|Low Season Hours:||9:00 am until 3:30 pm|
|High Season Hours:||9:00 am until 4:30 pm|
** Stunning Gorge Views
The Visitor's Center is located at:
el Puerto de las Atalayas (57.7km from Málaga, 6km from Ardales and 51km from Antequera)
8:00 - 17:00
Phone: +34 951 55 00 99
Where to Stay ➜ Caminito del Rey
There are several options for accommodation near the Caminito del Rey, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. Here are some of the most popular options: Best Hotels & Places to Stay
- Hostels and Guesthouses: There are several low-cost hostels and guesthouses located near the Caminito del Rey, including Hostal El Cruce and La Posada del Conde. These accommodations offer basic amenities, including clean and comfortable rooms, breakfast, and nice views.
- Rural Houses: Another popular option is to stay in a rural house or cottage in the countryside around the Caminito del Rey, for example: Casita de Madera Ardales by Ruralidays or Finca El Limonar. These accommodations offer a more peaceful and secluded experience, with many located in scenic locations and offering private pools, gardens, and BBQ areas. This way you can stay longer and explore more of the area.
- Hotels: There are also several hotels located near the Caminito del Rey, ranging from low-cost options such as Complejo Turístico La Garganta: to luxury hotels like the Parador de Ronda. These hotels offer swimming pools, spa facilities, and on-site restaurants.
- Camping: For those who enjoy camping, there are several campsites located near the Caminito del Rey, including the Camping Parque Ardales. These campsites offer very basic amenities, including toilets, showers, and laundry facilities, as well as easy access to outdoor activities and hiking trails.
How to Arrive ➜ Caminito de ReyThere are three ways to arrive to the start of the trail, depending on your location and mode of transportation.
- By car: If you have a car, you can drive to the start of the Caminito del Rey (cheap car rentals). There are several parking areas near the entrance to the trail, including a large parking lot at the "El Kiosko" restaurant. rent a cheap car!
- By public transportation: You can take a train or bus to the nearby towns of El Chorro, Ardales or Álora, and then take a shuttle or taxi to the start of the trail. The train is a convenient option, as there is a stop at the El Chorro station, which is just ten kilometers from the Caminito del Rey.
- Guided tour: If you prefer a guided experience, there are several tour companies that offer organized tours to the Caminito del Rey, which typically include transportation to and from the trailhead.
** Caminito del Rey Boardwalks & Landscape
Here are the distances from El Chorro to the top nearby cities...
Distances Between Cities and the Caminito del Rey
|Malaga||El Chorro||1 hr 1 min (60.9 km)|
|Granada||El Chorro||1 hr 44 min (140.7 km)|
|Sevilla||El Chorro||2 hr 12 min (154.8 km)|
|Cordoba||El Chorro||1 hr 50 min (159.1 km)|
|Cadiz||El Chorro||2 hr 23 min (187.0 km)|
|Costa Tropical||El Chorro||1 hr 40 min (135.0 km)|
nearby Sites and Things to DoThe area around the Caminito del Rey offers a variety of attractions and natural landmarks that are worth exploring in addition to the trail itself. Here are some of the highlights:
These are just a few of the many attractions and landmarks that can be explored around the Caminito del Rey. Whether you're interested in outdoor activities, cultural landmarks, or natural scenery... there's something for everyone to enjoy.
- Ultimate Malaga History & Tapas - All Included Full Experience
- Taste of Malaga Tour : Tapas, History and Local Customs
- Best of Málaga City Tour
- Sailing and Dolphin Watching in Marbella
- Skip the Line: Museo Picasso Malaga Entrance Ticket
- The Best of Malaga in 2 Hours on a Segway
- Arabian Baths Experience at Malaga’s Hammam Al Andalus
- Day Trip: Granada Alhambra Tour from Malaga
** Caminito del Rey - Bobastro Ruins & Ardales Lakes
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
Caminito del Rey ➜ What to WearWhen walking the Caminito del Rey, it's important to wear appropriate clothing and footwear that will keep you comfortable and safe. Here are some tips on what to wear:
- Comfortable Shoes: The Caminito del Rey is a rocky and uneven trail, so it's important to wear shoes that will provide good traction and support. Hiking boots or sturdy sneakers with good grip are recommended. Flip-flops are NOT allowed.
- Breathable Clothing: The Caminito del Rey is hot and sunny during the day, so it's best to wear light, breathable clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable. Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt can protect you from the sun and insects, but make sure they are lightweight and breathable.
- Sun Protection: Protect yourself from the sun while walking the Caminito del Rey, there are many long, exposed areas of the trail. You should wear a hat to protect your head and face, and apply sunscreen with a high SPF.
- Rain Gear: The weather in the region can be unpredictable, so it's a good idea to bring a lightweight rain jacket just in case.
- Backpack: Bring a small backpack to carry your water, snacks, camera, and other essentials.
Where to EatThere are a few restaurants along the main road near the Caminito del Rey entrance area. They are typically very busy, with basic fare.
A much more enjoyable option is to pack a picnic. There are shady areas along the trail where you can stop to rest and enjoy the views and a snack. It helps to break up the hike and the scenery can't be beat!
Is the Caminito del Rey suitable for all ages?The Caminito del Rey is a challenging hike that requires a certain level of physical fitness and endurance so it may not be suitable for all children. The minimum age for access is 8 years old and you must show a valid photo id at the entrance.
The Caminito del Rey is also not recommended for individuals with mobility issues due to its challenging terrain.
Are pets allowed on the Caminito del Rey trail?No, unfortunately your furry friends are not allowed to join you on your Caminito del Rey hike.
** Caminito del Rey Boardwalks Views
How Difficult is the Caminito del Rey Hike?Walking the Caminito del Rey does require a moderate level of physical fitness, and it can be challenging and strenuous at times. The trail includes many steps, uneven terrain, and some sections are high above the ground. It's a 3 - 4 hour long hike so you need to have a basic level of physical fitness to avoid getting too tired.
However, the trail is not exclusively for experienced hikers or extreme athletes, it's suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. You can take your time and walk at your own pace, taking breaks as needed to rest and hydrate. We recommend taking a picnic and dividing the hike into two parts.
I'm Scared of Heights, Will I have a Problem?Walking the Caminito del Rey can be challenging for people who suffer from vertigo, as there are several sections of the trail that are located at a significant height above the ground and can be quite narrow and exposed. It's important to be aware of this before you start the hike.
But also know that the trail has been designed to minimize the risk of accidents, with safety measures such as handrails and high fencing in place. Although the heights can be dizzying... there is no risk of falling.
Is the Caminito del Rey dangerous?No, the trail used to be known as one of the most dangerous in the world due to its deteriorated condition. However, it has since been renovated and safety measures have been put in place.
What safety measures are in place at the Caminito del Rey?Safety measures include handrails, high fencing, mesh wiring, and helmets for visitors.
How do I purchase tickets for Caminito del Rey?Tickets can be purchased online through the official website or in person at the entrance. You can also buy guided tour visits if you prefer extra attention or need transportation to the park.
How much does it cost to visit the Caminito del Rey?The cost of tickets ranges from 10-18 euros. More about Caminito del Rey prices here.
Are there any discounts available for Caminito del Rey tickets?Discounts are currently not available.
Can I bring my own food and drinks to the Caminito del Rey?Outside food and drinks are allowed on the trail, you could have a picnic during your hike. There are also restaurants and cafes located near the entrance.
Are there any restrooms available on the Caminito del Rey trail?Restrooms are available at the beginning and end of the trail, but not along the trail.
What is the best time of year to visit the Caminito del Rey?The best time to visit is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild. Read our full article on the Best Times to Visit the Caminito del Rey here.
Is it necessary to book tickets in advance for Caminito del Rey?Booking tickets in advance is a must, especially during peak season.
Are there any restrictions on photography at the Caminito del Rey?Photography is allowed on the trail, but tripods and selfie sticks are not allowed.
Can I visit the Caminito del Rey if I have mobility issues or use a wheelchair?The trail is not recommended for individuals with mobility issues or who use a wheelchair.
Are guided tours available for Caminito del Rey?Yes, guided tours are available for Caminito del Rey. In fact, it is recommended to take a guided tour for safety reasons and to learn more about the history and nature of the area. Many tour companies offer guided tours in multiple languages, and some even include transportation to and from the trailhead. However, it's important to note that guided tours often have limited availability, so it's best to book in advance.
Is it possible to hike the Caminito del Rey without a guide?Yes, it is possible to hike the Caminito del Rey without a guide. The General Ticket is 10.00 euros and does not include a guide.
What is the difference between the Caminito del Rey north entrance and south entrance?The north entrance is located in Ardales and the south entrance is located in El Chorro. Generally, the northern entrance is the easier option (mostly going downhill) and where the hike starts.
Is it possible to camp overnight near the Caminito del Rey?Yes, there are three campgrounds near the Caminito del Rey, one is in the Ardales nature park and the two others are in Antequera and Ronda.
- Camping Parque Ardales: This campground is in Ardales, just 10 kilometers from the start of the Caminito del Rey. It has apartments and a campsite. www.parqueardales.com
- Camping la Sierrecilla Camping la Sierrecilla is in Humilladero, not far from Antequera. Surrounded by wildlife and hiking trails, it features a seasonal outdoor pool, a free Wi-Fi zone and free parking.
- Camping La Isla: This campground is in Ronda, which is about 50 kilometers from the Caminito del Rey, but still easily within driving distance.
What type of footwear is recommended for hiking the Caminito del Rey?Sturdy hiking shoes or boots are recommended for hiking the Caminito del Rey. NO FLIP FLOPS.
What is the level of difficulty for hiking the Caminito del Rey?The trail is moderately difficult, with some steep and narrow sections.
What is the best way to get to the Caminito del Rey from Malaga?The best way to get to the Caminito del Rey from Malaga is by car or public transportation. How to Arrive to the Caminito del Rey - 2023
Is swimming or other water activities allowed in the river below the Caminito del Rey?Swimming is not allowed in the river below the Caminito del Rey, but you can swim in the Ardales lakes when you are finished with your hike. The park is directly in front of the entrance to the hike.
What is the weather like at the Caminito del Rey?The weather at the Caminito del Rey is generally warm and sunny, with occasional rain. Best Time to Visit the Caminito del Rey
Can I rent hiking equipment near the Caminito del Rey?Yes, there are several companies that offer hiking equipment rentals near Caminito del Rey, in El Chorro, Álora, or Ardales.
What is the maximum group size allowed on the Caminito del Rey trail?The maximum group size allowed on the Caminito del Rey trail is 30 people.
Is it possible to stay overnight near the Caminito del Rey?Yes, there are several accommodation options to stay overnight near the Caminito del Rey. Best Hotels & Places to Stay
What is the policy for cancellations or refunds for Caminito del Rey tickets?No cancellations or refunds are allowed for the Caminito del Rey, unless the park closes due to rain or strong winds.
Is it possible to see the Caminito del Rey from a distance without hiking the trail?Yes, it is possible to see the trail from a distance on the El Chorro side near the river.
Can I bring my drone to the Caminito del Rey?Drones are not allowed at Caminito del Rey without prior permission due to safety and privacy concerns.
What is the policy for smoking at the Caminito del Rey?Smoking is strictly prohibited at the Caminito del Rey for safety reasons due to the risk of fire. Smoking is not allowed on the trail, in the visitor center, or any other areas within the vicinity of the Caminito del Rey trail. Visitors who are caught smoking may be subject to penalties or fines.
Caminito del Rey Map