El Caminito Del Rey (the King’s little path) is a boardwalk pinned to the cliff face of the El Chorro gorge. Suspended 100m off the ground it’s not hard to see why it has been called the most dangerous hike in the world! Originally constructed to provide workers at the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls a means to cross between them, It has recently received a complete refurbishment, opening in 2015, making it safer than ever to hike!
Here’s a definitive list of what to know and do before visiting this jaw-dropping natural attraction.
Young children are not permitted
First and foremost, this isn’t a family activity as children under 8 years old are not permitted on this excursion.
It is not worth “just going along” and hoping they don’t check as the official Caminito del Rey website states that the child must have ID in order to get in!
Due to the nature of the activity, you must pre-book tickets online. The tickets are great value for money – 10€ for a general admission ticket, and 18€ for a guided tour. If you do not pre-book tickets, there is a high chance you won’t be able to go on the hike for 2 reasons:
- You cannot buy tickets from when you are there. All tickets must be bought online.
- Numbers are limited for this excursion for safety – so if you don’t book ahead you may not secure a spot.
Finally, although when you book online you specify a time, they don’t strictly enforce this. We arrived approximately an hour after our allotted time and there wasn’t an issue, however, this was in low season.
You can book tickets here.
Best time to visit Caminito Del Rey
Before going any further, I think it is important to note that the Caminito Del Rey is closed on Mondays!
Best Season to visit Caminito Del Rey
Caminito Del Rey is open all year round, however, over the offseason, the hours are slightly reduced.
We recommend visiting on the cusp of the peak season: March-May, and September-October.
This will ensure that the weather is good, and you won’t risk missing out on getting a ticket.
The peak summer months are great, but due to the limited amount of tickets available, you may miss out. If you are one of the lucky ones that get a ticket, it will be HOT, not ideal when going on a hike.
Winter is good if you are looking to be guaranteed getting a ticket, however, this season has the most rainfall and tumultuous weather conditions making it susceptible to closure.
Overall, you will have a great time no matter when you visit!
Note: we visited in February, and it was the perfect conditions to hike in.
Best time of day to visit Caminito Del Rey
The best time of day to do the hike is around midday. This is when the sun will be directly above you and therefore lighting up the entire gorge. Of course, if you do this hike in summer you may not wish to be in the direct sunshine during the hottest part of the day. However, we think it’s worth it for the best pictures!
To be honest, the Caminito del Rey truly is spectacular at any time of the day!
There are 2 options regarding where to park for the Caminito Del Rey – the start or end of the trail.
Wherever you chose to park will be busy. When we were visiting in February there was very limited spaces as cars line the main access road in.
We recommend arriving at least 1hr prior to your allotted time in order to walk from your vehicle to the start of the hike.
Regardless of where you park you will be required to utilise the shuttle bus as Caminito Del Rey is a one-way hike, leaving you stranded at the end!
We recommend parking at the start of the hike as close as possible to El Kiosko restaurant. From here it is a 20-30 minute walk to the start of the hike.
Start of the Hike
Finding your way to the start of the hike is arguably the most challenging part of this excursion. It is not explicitly signposted and there is plenty of room for confusion.
We ended up asking the staff at a local restaurant for directions.
See below for details regarding where to access the start of the hike.
Caminito Del Rey is NOT dangerous
Although given the frightening nickname of the “most dangerous hike in the world”, this simply could not be further from the truth.
It was originally given this nickname due to five deaths that occurred in 1999-2000. The path was closed to tourists in 2001. In 2015 it reopened after having a complete refurbishment costing the local government an incredible €9million!
Although it can appear to be a little terrifying if you are afraid of heights, it’s easy to see how strong and well made the new path is. It is pinned into the cliff face using solid steel and has handrails throughout. It really is extremely safe. So much so, that we were left wishing for a little bit more of a danger factor!
Although this is technically a “hike”, it really isn’t anything more than an easy breezy Sunday walk. It is by no means strenuous or challenging and therefore you don’t need to dress like you are going to summit Everest. Comfy trainers and weather appropriate clothes are all you need.
You are required to wear a helmet throughout. You will be provided with one (and a hair net) on arrival at the Caminito Del Rey.
Bring the essentials
Although not a taxing walk, it is advised that you bring some sort of liquid – especially if it’s a hot sunny day. If you do forget water, there is a small stand and a cafe at the end of the hike with reasonably priced beverages.
Suncream is essential, especially if you intend on visiting during the summer months!
Finally, you will want to bring your camera with you. Whether you use your phone or a crazy big DSLR, the Caminito Del Rey is the perfect photo op!
Caminito Del Rey Shuttle Bus
As mentioned above, you will need to use the shuttle bus to return to your vehicle due to the nature of the Caminito Del Rey being a point to point hike.
Unfortunately, this 20-minute shuttle bus is NOT free so you must bring some change with you. The shuttle was less than 2€ per person when we were there in February 2022.
One thing that is often not mentioned is how stunning the surrounding region is. The bright blue lakes and views that stretch for miles are truly something special. If you have time on your side, we recommend exploring it.
In the area surrounding Caminito Del Rey, there are SUP and kayak rentals, a campsite, and a couple of restaurants, all worth checking out.
There are also a lot of great places to wild camp here. Check out our review of where we camped out in our van in the region below.
So, now that you know the ins and outs of visiting El Caminito Del Rey are you raring to go? We certainly were! If you are still on the fence check out the post below.
We hope our definitive list has helped you prepare for the “most dangerous hike in the world”.
If there is anything we have missed, let us know in the comments! Furthermore, if you visit the Caminito Del Rey, let us know if you loved it as much as we did!