3 Best things to do in Teide National Park
1. Climb to the Volcano Teide Summit
Ascending to the summit of Teide, towering at 3718 meters, presents a truly unique adventure. There are multiple avenues to embark on this journey.
Journey from the upper cable car station
The simplest approach involves taking the cable car to the upper station known as “La Rambleta.” From there, follow the Telesforo Bravo path towards the summit (trail map). This 618-meter path ascends 173 meters, requiring roughly 40 minutes to complete. To provide context, under regular circumstances, you might cover 3 to 4 kilometers in similar time, but the scarcity of oxygen here makes the terrain more challenging to climb.
The trail presents uneven terrain with rocky pathways, featuring demanding stretches and steep inclines. It’s advisable for individuals without health concerns or young children due to the strenuous nature of the route. However, the panoramic vistas are absolutely breathtaking.
One drawback of this choice is the requirement for a permit, as touched upon earlier. This measure is in place to regulate the volume of visitors. You can apply for your permit through the provided link, though it’s essential to note that spots tend to be booked up roughly two months ahead. As such, strategic planning is necessary.
You’ll need to select one of the available 2-hour time slots: 9 to 11 am, 11 am to 1 pm, 1 to 3 pm, or 3 to 5 pm. Following this, you should calculate the necessary travel time to reach the national park and ascend via the cable car. Remember to carry your passport or ID on the day and adhere to your designated time slot. For instance, if you hold a 3 to 5 pm permit, you must enter by 4.30 pm at the latest. Before your journey, ensure to verify the summit’s accessibility, as weather conditions could lead to its closure.
Montaña Blanca Trail
For those seeking a more challenging adventure, you have the option to embark on the most demanding route – a hike from the base to the summit. This route involves approximately 3 to 5 hours of hiking to reach the upper cable car station, followed by an additional 40 minutes to the peak.
The customary trail chosen for this hike is the Montaña Blanca trail. You can explore the trail map here. The total trail length spans 16.3 km, with an elevation gain of 1,362 meters. Conveniently, there’s available parking at the trailhead, located at the starting point (location). This option promises an exhilarating and rigorous experience for hiking enthusiasts.
Enjoy a stunning volcanic landscape
Embarking on the Montaña Blanca trail marks the initial leg of the journey, offering a glimpse of the pumice stone formations resulting from volcanic processes. As you ascend the mountain inclines, the path becomes notably steep, intensified by the altitude, thereby demanding considerable effort. Certain segments of the trail encompass gradients of up to 60%, underscoring the need to attempt this hike solely if you are in optimal physical form and devoid of any heart-related concerns.
No permit is required until you reach the upper cable car station. The exciting news is that if you opt for a visit to the summit between 6 am and 9 am (to catch the sunrise) or from 6 pm to 9 pm (for the sunset view), you’ll encounter minimal queues for the permit. The application process remains the same via the website here (select one of the last two options). Generally, these permits are readily available, even for the following day.
Take into account the ideal summit ascent times
This convenience stems from the fact that the cable car doesn’t operate during these time frames, which span from 6 am to 9 am and 6 pm to 9 pm. The cable car service starts at 9 am, with the final descent time fluctuating based on the season, usually ranging between 5 pm and 6:30 pm.
Certainly, opting for these time slots may involve ascending in the night or descending after sunset. While this might sound daunting, it’s a common practice embraced by many all year round. Equip yourself with a headlamp, and you’re good to go. Often, the stars themselves illuminate your path, and the experience of hiking under their shimmering light is etched into memory for a lifetime.
Ascending during the night is a more favored choice. With this approach, you can take the cable car down post sunrise.
For a more leisurely pace, you could split this journey into two days, spending a night at the Altavista refuge. However, as of early 2023, the refuge remains closed, and there’s no update on its reopening. This refuge comprises two buildings, allowing for a maximum one-night stay. Prior to the pandemic, the cost was 20 Euros per night.
If the option to stay overnight becomes available again, it presents a convenient way to break up the ascent. The refuge offers striking views, and you can commence your climb around 5 am, eliminating the need for an entirely nocturnal hike.
Should you decide to hike from the base to the summit of Teide
Here are a few factors to contemplate:
The sun’s intensity remains significant during the day, even in winter. It becomes extreme in the summer. Thus, it’s crucial to have sun protection and wear a cap or hat to shield yourself.
The summit of Teide, at 3,718m, experiences highly unpredictable weather. The conditions at this altitude can differ greatly, especially influenced by the wind. In winter, daytime temperatures at the peak range from -1°C to 5°C. In the summer, they vary between 8°C and 12°C on calmer, sunnier days. During the night, winter temperatures can plummet to -8°C, while summer nights hover around zero.
For a nighttime ascent, a headlamp is essential, and sturdy hiking shoes are a must for any time. Don’t forget to bring water and snacks. Given the significant change in altitude, this is no easy hike. If you’re coming from one of the resorts in Tenerife South, you’re ascending from sea level to over 3,500m in a single day! The high altitude causes a lack of oxygen, and mountain sickness could lead to headaches. If you feel unwell on the trail, it’s wise to turn back rather than push through.
2.Go Stargazing Experience
The Teide is like a natural observatory for stargazing, and there are a few reasons why it’s such a perfect spot. First off, it’s crazy high up there, at 3,718 meters. That altitude means you’re above a lot of the Earth’s pesky atmosphere, which can distort the view of the stars. Less air means clearer skies.
Then there’s the whole lack-of-light-pollution thing. I mean, have you ever been in a place where there’s almost no artificial lights around? It’s like that up on the Teide. Being in the middle of the Teide National Park means there’s not much man-made light to mess up the starry show. It’s like the universe’s own theater up there.
Oh, and let’s not forget the weather. The Teide is all about those trade winds, which are like the sky’s housekeepers. They sweep away clouds and moisture, leaving the sky nice and clear. Plus, Tenerife’s generally dry weather and minimal air pollution help too. It’s like Mother Nature’s gift to stargazers.
So, yeah, all these things together make the Teide a star gazing paradise. It’s like the stars and the mountain got together and said, “Hey, let’s make this the best spot in the world to check out the night sky.” And they totally nailed it.
Experience the magic of the night sky with Teide by Night’s Stargazing tour. Join us for an unforgettable journey through the stars and enjoy breathtaking views of the cosmos from the heart of Tenerife’s Teide National Park. Book your stargazing adventure now with Teide By Night!.
3. Roques de García
Moreover, this is a simple and relatively short stroll. The red terrain sets the stage for astonishing lava formations, which manifest in the most peculiar and surprising contours. The path forms a circular route, making it manageable even for young children.
Make sure to wear durable footwear and carry an additional layer, and if possible, arrive early. Following a level path to Los Roques, you will come across the Llano de Ucanca plain, composed of sedimentary rock. Keep an eye out for the unique Roque Cinchado, also known as the “Finger of God” or “Stone Tree”; the distinctive La Cascada (The Waterfall); and the pointed La Catedral (The Cathedral).
Distance: 3.5 km loop, 1 hour 15 minutes to complete
Elevation: 181 metres