Just north of tiny Guatiza is the Jardín de Cactus, signalled by an 8m-high spiky metal cactus. According to reliable sources, the garden was Manrique’s favourite attraction. Built in an old quarry, it comes across as more a giant work of art than a botanical garden. There are nearly 1500 different varieties of cactus, every single one labelled. The garden's location between Guatiza and Mala is no coincidence, for while cacti are spotted throughout the island, here they were once the backbone of the economy. The cochineal beetle is particularly attracted to the prickly pear cactus and up until the late 19th century, the beetles were harvested and dried, then used to produce a vivid red dye. Although cochineal fell out of favour with the advent of synthetic dyes, some hardy farmers still make a living from the bugs and you'll notice an abundance of cacti in this region. There is a restaurant and bar on site if you want some refreshments.
If you fancy bathing (or even shopping!) in the buff, a few kilometres north of Guatiza is the naturist resort of Charco del Palo, with pleasant sandy beaches and rocky coves. To get here, take the narrow road to the beach just south of Mala.