Tha trail goes around the Huma Mountains, which are the main geographic symbol of this nature zone. This distinctive and eye-catching landscape consists of chalky slopes that rise at different points of the path.
Paraje Natural Desfiladero de los Gaitanes is a mid mountain area characterized by limestone sierras and hills of sandstone on both sides of the Guadalhorce river in the area known as El Chorro. The proposed route starts northwards from the meeting point of the Guadalteba and the Guadalhorce dams, ascends parallel to the latter and skirts the mass of the Sierra de Huma, culminating at a pass located at 845 metres above sea level, then gradually turning east.
During the descent you will keep veering gradually towards the south and then west, with the so-called Placas Frontales to your right, from which point the track leads in a precipitous descent to a forest of planted Aleppo Pine. The end of this Stage is 140 metres lower than the start, at the train station of El Chorro (Álora), where train line infrastructures meet those of the reservoir and the central power station of the Tajo de la Encantada.
Throughout the walk, there are numerous cliffs where it is common to see climbers, some of the rock faces are quite large and close to the track. Both at the beginning and at the end of the Stage you are very close to the famous Caminito del Rey, originally a service access to the electricity plant. Restoration works of the Caminito began in 2014 to adapt it for the public. Stage 20 is long and there are some major ascents and descents.
The Sierra de Huma (place name perhaps deriving from Umar Ibn Haffsum, whose stronghold of Bobastro is very close to the protected Natural Area) is the western bastion of the Central Limestone Arch and stands out dramatically in the landscape, especially against the fl at Guadalhorce Valley.
This makes the walk, which fl anks this entire sierra, almost a full circle and rich in numerous viewpoints which have been assigned GPS points. You have spectacular views over the area of the three reservoirs, the fi rst gorge of the Desfi ladero de los Gaitanes, the Vega de Antequera, the slopes of the Sierra de Huma, the Guadalhorce Valley and the area of El Chorro.
An important focal point here is the protection of an area such as the Paraje Natural. The other is certainly geology, with the diversity of limestone, dolomites, sandstones, and a geological modelling so powerful that it has resulted in the name of Desfi ladero which means gorge. The abundance of gorges has made the area of El Chorro into the biggest climbing school in the South of Spain. In the north of the Paraje Natural note the exceptionally dense and extensive thickets of Savin juniper.
Very close to the maximum altitude of the route are the Roman ruins of Nescania, barely recognizable but of great strategic importance because of their location in the most obvious natural passage between the Guadalhorce Valley and the plains of Antequera.