Playa el Cañuelo
Playa el Cañuelo

Playa el Cañuelo

Playa el Cañuelo, Maro
** Cove of Playa el Cañuelo - Maro, Spain

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Here we are at the last official beach of the 'Costa del Sol'. This Maro beach sits right at the border of the provinces of Malaga and Granada and is one of the most popular in the nature reserve.

Playa el Cañuelo, like the other beaches in Maro, is a long, secluded beach (a mix of sand and stone), surrounded by soaring cliffs, rugged vegetation, wonderful hiking trails, and the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. But... unlike other beaches, Cañuelo has many amenities that make spending the day here a little easier.

The cove of Cañuelo is quite large and dramatically beautiful with large rocks jutting out of the sea at both ends. These areas are a dream for snorkelers who will enjoy seeing the many species of brightly colored fish and coral, some of which are listed as being close to extinction.

Parking is available, as well as a shuttle, two restaurants, toilets, showers, and sometimes lifeguards.

Playa el Cañuelo - Maro, Spain
Playa el Cañuelo from afar Playa el Cañuelo - Torre de Caleta
** Views of Playa el Cañuelo & Torre de Caleta

Why Visit Playa el Cañuelo?

Visit Playa el Cañuelo if you love the beach and nature but prefer to enjoy lunch in a good restaurant, and like access to toilets, showers, a shuttle, and more...

How to Arrive ➜

From Granada - Drive south on A-44. Take exit 183 to merge onto E-15 / A-7 towards Salobreña / Málaga. Take exit 305 towards N-340 / La Herradura.

➜ Continue to the roundabout and take the N-340 towards Maro, then through a tunnel. Drive for about 3-minutes, you will pass Playa Cantarriján and the 'La Herradura' village sign. After signpost #303 keep driving until you get to a large roundabout, take the third exit and drive into the large parking area.

From Malaga - Follow A-7 going east. Take exit 295 (Nerja) from A-7.

➜ Continue to the roundabout and take the N-340 towards Almeria to Maro. At the Nerja Caves roundabout take the second exit and pass Maro. Continue on the N-340 for about 5-minutes until just after signpost #302 and a biker bar on your left. At the large roundabout, take the first exit and drive into the parking area.

From Nerja - Drive along Carretera de Almería / N-340 going east towards Almeria. Then follow directions above.

Parking & How to Access Playa el Cañuelo

Playa el Cañuelo has a large parking area at the top of the cliffs, just off the N-340. During the summer months this parking area fills up quickly and people will then park along the main road. If you want to avoid a long walk... come early.

Playa el Cañuelo - Maro
Playa el Cañuelo, Playa de Maro Playa el Cañuelo, Playa de Maro
** Views of Playa el Cañuelo - Maro, Spain

During most of the year, there is an asphalt road that leads all the way down to the beach. You can drive down or walk. The walk will take you about 30-minutes and is quite steep.

During the summer, it is prohibited to drive down. Shuttles are available to carry visitors down for a small fee.

Facilities on Playa el Cañuelo:

Everything you need to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach can be found on Playa el Cañuelo.

  • Showers
  • Changing Rooms
  • Sun Beds and Umbrellas
  • Boat Rental
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Picnic Area
  • Lifeguard
  • Shuttle
  • Parking Area

Beach Info ➜

Type: Family / Natural Beach
Length: 700 meters
Width: 10 - 30 meters
Level of occupancy: Low (Summer: High)
Sand Type: Pebbles and Sand
Facilities: See Above
Nudist beach No
Access N-340 Highway to Asphalt Road (Shuttle)
Ease of Access Moderate (Walking) - Easy (Shuttle)

Other Beaches in the Maro Reserve:

Where to Stay Near Playa el Cañuelo

If you want to experience the beauty of the Maro / Cerro Gordo coastline there are several areas where you can stay. All offering a little something different. Here is what we recommend.

  • Nerja (8 km) - A famous white village with tons of restaurants, shops, and nightlife. You will find a large assortment of hotels and villas here.

  • Frigiliana (9 km) - Chosen as one of the prettiest villages of Spain this mountain village is just a 12-minute drive from Nerja and Playa de Maro. The Hotel Villa Frigiliana is the nicest hotel.

  • La Herradura (7 km) - A picturesque fishing village to the east of the nature reserve on the opposite side of Playa Cantarriján. It has a gorgeous bay with seaside chiringuitos and a marina. Here is nice selection of hotels and villas.

  • Almuñecar (14 km) - Another popular holiday destination just 20-minutes from Nerja with a waterpark, aquarium, bird park, and a castle! Best hotels and villas in Almuñecar.

  • Maro (1.7 km) - This tiny village is the closest to the Maro beaches but has far less accommodation. If you would like to stay here try these options.

  • If you haven't found anything yet, you can also try VRBO.com, they have a ton of great villas and apartments near Playa el Cañuelo, like this one!

Playa el Cañuelo & Torre el Pino - Maro
** Playa el Cañuelo & Torre el Pino - Maro, Spain

Kayaking & Scuba Tours from Playa el Cañuelo?

There are no kayak rentals or scuba excursions from Playa el Cañuelo but if you're interested in joining an excursion while visiting the area read: kayaking in Nerja. There are excursions that leave daily from both Nerja and La Herradura that pass by this beach. They visit the caves, hidden coves, and waterfalls of the Nature Reserve.

Scuba diving is also a popular activity in the reserve as Maro is one of the top diving destinations in Spain. Most of the diving companies are located in La Herradura or Nerja. Read: Scuba Diving in La Herradura / Maro.


Kayaking - Playa el Cañuelo
Kayak Cliff Tour of Nerja and Maro - Maro Waterfall - This guided kayak tour of the Nerja and Maro cliffs is in high demand. You must reserve in time to guarantee your place. There are several scheduled departures: 10:00, 13:00, 16:00. Kayak past the beautiful beaches of the Maro Reserve, like Playa el Cañuelo.

Leaves from Playa Burriana (Nerja) - tour stars 484 Reviews

Restaurants ➜

There are two restaurants on Playa el Cañuelo. Please book ahead during the summer.


Playa el Cañuelo - Chiringuito Las Piedras
Chiringuito Las Piedras - Sitting right on Playa el Cañuelo, the views are amazing. They offer typical Andalucian seafood dishes and the food is high quality and reasonably priced.

- Reservations are recommended. Book a day ahead. Phone: +34 649 854 531

Playa el Cañuelo - El Paraíso del Cañuelo
El Paraíso del Cañuelo - A fresh seafood restaurant located in the beautiful setting of the Maro Nature Reserve. Outdoor seating is available overlooking the sea. This restaurant is more rustic than 'Chiringuito Las Piedras' but the food is simple and good.

- Reservations are recommended. Book a day ahead. Phone: +34 722 238 094

If you are looking for other good places to eat in the area, we suggest:

Playa el Cañuelo - Maro
Playa el Cañuelo - Sailboat Playa el Cañuelo - Rocks
** Playa el Cañuelo - Sailboat and Rock Details

photo of Darsey and Izzy

Who are we? An American expat with over 20 years of experience living and traveling in Spain, specifically in Malaga and Granada. Darsey is a seasoned explorer of Andalucia. Drawing from decades of immersive experience, she offers deep insights into this enchanting region of Spain, including off-the-beaten path destinations, the best places to stay, and the top bucket list activities to try! More...

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Playa el Cañuelo ➜ Map