Pyramids of Guimar – Güímar, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Pyramids of Guimar

Güímar, Spain

Lava stone structures possibly dating back to the 19th century may have been a stopping point for voyagers between ancient Egypt and the Mayan Civilization. 


Six strange pyramids made of stone, with geometrical steps very similar to Aztec temples in Central America have created much controversy amongst historians, archaeologists, and those with an interest in history.

In 1970, Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a papyrus ship. He left from Morocco and reached Barbados, following the route of trade winds. Some believe this discovery proves that before Christopher Columbus, people leaving from Africa may have accessed America.

In 1991, Heyerdahl got news of the existence of the pyramids in Güimar, which is located in the Canary Islands, and moved to Tenerife to study them. These structures are directionally from the North to the South. According to Heyerdahl, the similarities between the Egyptian and Aztec buildings are further evidence of the influence of Africa on Pre- Colombian people.

In 1998, the area opened to public. It was sponsored by another Norwegian, Fred Olsen, who owns the largest ship and ferry company in Canary Islands.

However, this ʺpyramidsʺ hypothesis is not accepted by scientists. Some searches have been executed, and 19th century pottery parts were found under the pyramids. Also, a volcanic cave was found under the pyramids, and aboriginal rests were found inside it, being dating back to 600 - 1000 CE, establishing a hard boundary for the construction. Moreover, there is no mention of these pyramids in archives until 1881. According to scientists, these buildings are simply stones accumulated by peasants to cultivate their fields.

Even though this hypothesis does not convince scientists, the museum shows a lovely exhibition of Thor Heyerdahl’s works and expeditions.

Adapted with permission from dedicated to travelers looking for alternative and off the beaten track travel.

Know Before You Go

By car. Güimar is 29km (S) from Santa Cruz.

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