This unique settlement, which hangs on the cliff above the valley of Agaete, located on the road from Fagajesto to Barranco Hondo, houses vestiges of the past, having one of the best preserved groups of inhabited hanging caves and terraces.
It is a complex formed by natural and artificial caves, distributed on several levels or superimposed platforms, some of which are inaccessible. These caves have not suffered many changes as they have not been continuously re-used as settlements. El Hornillo was an important milestone on the route running up along the Barranco de Agaete to the peaks. It was also a milestone on one of the main transhumance routes used to take livestock up the ravine from the coast to the highlands. This was a custom of pre-Hispanic origin, in which each herd of goats was kept in a ravine that runs down from the central part of the island through the nominated Cultural Landscape to the sea, twenty-five kilometres or more away. There was normally an enclosure on the coast and another at the summit, which were used in winter and summer respectively.
El Hornillo is also located at a key point on the access route from the northwest coast of Gran Canaria to the Risco Caído sanctuary and the Sacred Mountain Areas of the centre of the island.