Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide), the largest national park on the Canary Islands, is a top choice for anyone interested in visiting craters, volcanoes, and terrain filled with petrified lava. Mount Teide dramatically looms 3,718 meters above sea level and is the third tallest volcanic landform and the highest peak in Spain. Visitors to Tenerife should consider taking a journey into one of nature’s special treasures.
Teide National Park is the most popular park in Spain so advanced planning is recommended. A jeep adventure is a possibility for people who can handle a jolting ride. As the vehicle winds its way up from the coast, the scent of the towering pines and junipers trigger olfactory sensors. Drivers will stop at designated places for panoramic views and quick photo shots are easier from an open vehicle.
The tree-lined landscape eventually gives way to barren and rocky open spaces that are dotted with hearty vegetation that can withstand the extremes of this high altitude climate. Some of the rock formations reveal different layers of colors that provide clues to the multiple volcanic eruptions that occurred in past centuries.
Option 1- a cable car takes passengers to an area near the top of Mount Teide. It is advisable to make an online reservation for a cable car ticket and a permit to take the peak path. The park issues a limited number of daily permits for this premium view. Two other trails are available. Keep in mind that making reservations in advance can be a hit or miss situation. Weather conditions are variable at higher altitudes.
Option 2- only individuals who are in excellent shape should consider hiking the steep incline to the top instead of taking the cable car.
Option 3- if you would prefer to avoid excessive crowds and the possibility of a long wait, consider exploring the area referred to as Pared de La Caldera de Las Cañadas. Las Cañadas Caldera was formed approximately 170,000 years ago after a landslide destroyed the top of Tenerife. Today, one can see a horseshoe shaped multi-layered depression with fascinating rock formations. It is one of the largest cauldrons in the world.
If Time Allows
Teide Observatory (Observatorio del Teide)- contact this observatory for guide tour times and general information.
Before You Go
Don’t forget that the climate on the coast is very different from the mountainous region. Be prepared for changing conditions and a rocky and lava-coated terrain. Remember to bring a lined water repellant jacket, a hat, sturdy shoes, sunglasses and ample water.
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