Las Cañadas del Teide has been declared National Park on January 22 of 1954, being the largest one in Spain. The park has a diameter of 17 km. as a result of an enormous volcano eruption 170,000 years ago. The walls surrounding the crater are crowned by the majestic volcano Teide by 3718m – the highest peak of Spain – which is accessible by cable car. When it is calculated from the seabed, the real measure of the Mount Teide is 7500m, making it the world’s third highest volcano. Another volcano located in the park (near Teide) is Pico Viejo. It is the second largest volcano in the Canary Islands, with a height of 3135 meters. The park covers an area of 18,900 hectares and was designated World Heritage by UNESCO on June 29 of 2007. A large part of the park is above 2000m and includes a group of very interesting geographical features, where volcanic cones and flows of lava form an extraordinary contrast of colors and shapes, creating a beautiful and unique – almost lunar – landscape. The point of most popular and spectacular observation are Roques de García, ‘roques‘ are strange unique rock formations. A large number of sharp rocks of different colors are in succession at a length of few hundred meters. The rocks are composed of several layers of different eruptions. In addition, Teide is the main center for research about the influence of long-term volcanic phenomena from an ecological point of view. The Teide itself is still active and sulfide gas emanating from its peak, the last eruption in the park was in 1798.
To visit the Mount Teide, guided walking tours are organized; must be booked at the park office or request information at the visitor centers. The climb to the Rambleta can be done on foot, or much easier and comfortable using the Cableway called ‘Teleférico del Teide’. There are specific areas where, for reasons of preservation, access and number of visitors is limited. To arrive to the top is essential to apply for an access permit.
The Teide National Park is connected to the different areas of the island by four access roads:
– From the North: TF-21, which runs from La Orotava to Las Cañadas (Portillo de la Villa) (33 km).
– From the East: TF-24 which runs from La Laguna to El Portillo de la Villa (43 km).
– From the South: TF-21, which runs from Vilaflor to Las Cañadas (Boca de Tauce) (16 km).
– From the West: TF-38, which runs from Chío to Las Cañadas (Boca Tauce) (30 km).
The public bus lines (also called ‘guaguas‘) are: line 348 from Puerto de la Cruz and line 342 from Playa de las Americas.