Without a doubt Mount Teide, is one of the main tourist attractions in Tenerife. It would be a shame, if you missed the chance to visit the Mount Teide National Park during your stay. Once a sacred ground for the Guanches, the first known inhabitants of the island, and nowadays, it still maintains a certain magic, mysterious or even prehistoric air.
My proposal for today is a car route, if you are feeling adventurous, and want to get to know the island on your own. At the same time I have also highlighted some other places you can visit during your stay. But should you feel less adventurous, you can book a bus excursion in the reception of our hotel, or even take the bus (Guagua) that leaves from Los Cristianos (*).
The Mount Teide National Park is situated only 50 Km away from Los Cristianos. You need to take the TF-28 in direction to Arona. After a couple of kilometers from Cristianos you will go pass a residential area called Chayofa. On the right hand side we will find 2 big stone sculptures in the shape of an eagle. This is the entrance to the theme Parque Las Aguilas-Jungle Park. A little further along there is a petrol station with access to a small Camel Park.
Continue driving up that road, you will find a small roundabout. Take a left turn on TF-51 with direction to Teide. After a little while you will soon find two volcanic mountains or Roques, one called Roque del Conde an the other Roque Imoque. Both are well signposted and for those of you who enjoy trekking or mountain climbing, these two landmarks of the South you must keep in mind for your next visit.
Only 3 Km. later you will reach the center of village of Arona, the capital of the Municipality. At the crossroads, take the road to the left, the TF-51, with direction to Vilaflor – El Teide. On the outskirts of the village of Arona, you will find La Escalona and on the sharp bend you will find on the left hand side the Casa de los Escalones dated from 1908.
A while later you will come across the Municipaly of Vilaflor, the highest village in Spain, situated at 1500 mts. You will soon notice a great change in the landscape and vegetation, and also the rural environment that surrounds the potato farms, almond groves, fig trees, honey and a great amount of vineyards. One of the main economic incomes of the municipality is the farming of ecologic products, not in vain the municipality produces a quality wine with Guarantee of Origin Abona.
At the next crossroads we have the option to either continue on the TF-21, or turn right into the center of Vilaflor, where you can visit St. Peter’s Church, built on the S.XVI. Behind the church, you can find the home of Brother Peter, the first Canarian Saint.
On the way you can make a stop to have a coffee or a hot chocolate in one of the many bars lining the route. Continuing after the TF-21 towards Boca Tauce – El Teide, you are now entering the leafy forest of endemic pine trees and other outstanding species that encircles the National Park. If you are lucky and the sky is clear, you can stop at the first lookout situated after Vilaflor. There you will see the Pino Gordo, the “fat pine”, which is an enormous pine tree measuring 45 meters high and 9 meters wide. This forest is the largest protected area in the Canary Islands and is full of endemic and exclusive species.
If you do this route during the Winter months, you will start noticing a big drop in temperature from here. But if you do it during the summer months, the temperatures will be milder unless of course we are suffering a heat wave, in which case the temperature will be unbearable.
At 1980 mts. You arrive at Boca de Tauce . We are now in lunar landscape and has changed completely form the pine forests to the structure of the caldera and the Teide-Pico Viejo. Apart from the wide variety of volcanic cones and domes, lava flows, tors and caves that form a range of colours and forms that increase the scientific and scenic interest of the area always with Mount Teide as the backdrop.
Our third stop is the Mirador de La Ruleta, where you will find breathtaking views from the Llano de Ucanca, the biggest plain on the National Park. This plain is sometimes covered by the water that slides down the sides of the vulcano forming small lakes.
Your next stop can be the Parador National and Los Roques de García, and ending up at the base of Teide with a cable car. The Roques the García ( photo below) used to be featured in the old 1.000 Peseta notes.
(*) Should you not feel this adventurous, you can take bus 342 that departs at 9.30 AM from Los Cristianos bus stop, and that returns at 3.40 PM from the cable car terminus, or from the Parador ( above) at 4 PM. Don’t forget to buy your Bono Bus to obtain up to 50% discount on your fare. More information here.
We hope that you have enjoyed this route, and please let us know if there are other routes that you would like us to feature here.