Moving time  2 hours one minute

Time  7 hours 4 minutes

Coordinates 2107

Uploaded March 7, 2018

Recorded March 2018

4,221 f
241 f
13.14 mi

Viewed 191 times, downloaded 10 times

near Maro, Andalucía (España)

This route provides an interesting alternative ascent of El Cielo to the more usual route from the Pinarillo track. The descent via the Cuesta de la Medialuna towards the Fuente del Esparto also takes you away from the 'tourist' route! Some care is needed with navigation but sufficient cairns and other markers help to show the route.
Commencing from the Municipal car park at Maro make your way onto the old coastal road (N-340) and head west towards Almunecar and after passing the Nerja Camping site take the next left turning. This concrete road takes you over the A7 motorway and soon deteriorates into a stone track after you pass Cortijo Samuel and leads towards a disused quarry littered with abandoned vehicles and other machinery. Make your way past these generally heading uphill and into the barranco that leads into the quarry. Some well placed cairns assist with route finding. This barranco or Arroyo de los Colmenarejos is followed as far as the Puente Piedra. Here, pass beneath the natural arch and follow the rocky path until you reach a cairn on the left which marks the point of exit. Turn left onto the path which twists its way through pines and scrub until it reaches a track (which comes up from the Rio de la Miel). There is an incongruous stretch of metal railings here! Turn left and drop down to cross the barranco where a double series of chains cross the track. Ascend to the next junction where a short deviation to the right will take you to the Cortijo Basilo. (For reasons unknown to me my phone failed to register this and the next Cortijo Gomez as Waypoints!) Return and take the ascending track until you reach the Cortijo Gomez. Pass behind this and a path will be found leading into the pine trees marked by a small stone cairn. This quickly ascends and is stony in places. Take care to stay on the path which is marked by stone cairns and occasional yellow blobs and arrows although these are faded and rather indistinct. There are also two concrete boundary markers as you pass over the rocky promontory. More and more height is gained and eventually you crest the ridge and see the 'garage' type building above the Collado de la Civila where the path joins the 'tourist route' leading to El Cielo.
This is well marked and only presents a slight problem on the upper reaches where it is stony and many paths have been created. Following the blue blobs might prove the easier route!
For the descent along the delightful Cuesta de la Medialuna, you need to aim off towards the right of your ascent route. You will probably be able to see way below you, the track system around the Pinarillo Recreation Site and also the path you need to the right of the ridge. A couple of distinct pine trees are good markers. Look for a good number of stone cairns which mark the path as it threads its way downwards through the scrub. As you descend the path becomes more evident and when you reach the pine trees - survivors of fire! - the path is obvious.
Continue until you reach the overgrown Barranco de la Higuera and head left and then left again into the Barranco de la Cazadores. Soon you reach the vehicle track where a right turn takes you to the Fuente del Esparto.
Pass this and the Restaurant Mineros and then turn left following the GR 249 markers, through the Pinarillo Recreation Area and return to Maro. I took the deviation down into the Barranco de Colladilla part way down the track which takes away some of the tedious track walking and hardly adds any distance if at all.
Restaurants await in Maro to refresh your thirst!

Puente de Piedra.

An excellent example of a natural stone arch.

Left turn!

Leave the barranco and turn left to climb the path into the pines.

Track Junction.

Join the track here and turn left. You will see a short section of metal railing here!

Track near Cortijo de la Civila.

Path exits onto track. Follow established path towards summit of El Cielo.

Summit of El Cielo.


Path Junction.

From hereon the path is much more evident as it steeply descends. The path leading off to the right gradually disappears!

Barranco de la Higuera.

Head left.

Fuente del Esparto.

A potable water supply - beware of thirsty bees!

El Pinarillo Recreation Area.

Pass through the Recreation Area and follow the track downhill to finally exit near the Maro Caves.

1 comment

  • Photo of Glenkens Raider

    Glenkens Raider Mar 8, 2018

    Please note that the statistics for this route are inaccurate. The summit of El Cielo is 1508m, therefore that must be the highest point not 1286m as shown. Also the moving time is not correct. Allow yourself at least 8 hours to enjoy this walk.

You can or this trail