The Volcano Teide with the associated national park is next to the Loro Park in Puerto de La Cruz certainly the highlight for a visit to Tenerife. The national park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is visited by up to 5 million visitors annually, making it one of the most visited national parks in the world. From the top of the volcano at an altitude of 3,715 meters, you have magnificent views over the island of Tenerife and the huge caldera called Las Cañadas with a diameter of 17 kilometers.
Table of contents
The National Park El Teide – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Things to know about the National Park and the Pico del Teide
The Parque Nacional del Teide is with 190 km² the largest and oldest of the four existing national parks in the Canary Islands. It consists of a unique crater landscape, various volcanoes, petrified lava flows and the impressive silhouette of the volcano Teide. The Teide is the landmark of Tenerife and with its 3,715 meters of altitude also the highest mountain in Spain. Most of the national park is located in the middle of the huge caldera (Las Cañadas) with a diameter of 17 kilometers. The crater walls extend in a circular arc over 25 kilometers and up to 600 meters altitude. Since the caldera and the Teide massif are usually above the cloud cover, it is often cloudless here, where dense clouds can pass through on the coast.
The top of Pico del Teide is less than 15 kilometers from the coast. If you measure the height of the Teide from the bottom of the ocean, it is 7,500 meters high! After the two volcanoes Mauna Ioa and Mauna Kea in Hawaii, the volcanic massif of teide thus forms the third highest volcanic structure in the world.
By the way, the volcano Teide is considered not extinct. From the interior of the mountain, sulfur-containing vapors rise in various places. The last eruption on the Teide massif took place on November 18, 1909 at Chinyero, a cinder cone 10 kilometers northwest of the summit. The last eruption within the caldera occurred in 1798 at the Narices del Teide, which lie on the flank of the western neighboring volcano Pico Viejo.
In 2007, the area of the El Teide National Park was included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites.
How to get to the volcano Teide?
There are 3 different ways to get to Pico de Teide mountain in Tenerife: by public bus, guided tour or your own rental car.
There are 2 bus connections to teide national park: a bus line 348 from Puerto de la Cruz (departure 9.30 am) and a bus line 342 from Costa Adeje (departure 9.15 am). However, these only run on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays and only 1x per day (in the morning there & afternoon back).
With a guided tour
Whether quad tours, stargazing or a hike to sunrise – there are many different tours in Tenerife that can be combined with a visit to the Teide. A good selection of offers can be found at GetYourGuide.
To get to Teide by car, a total of four different routes are available.
– the TF-24 from Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna
– the TF-21 from Puerto de la Cruz or La Orotava
– the TF-38 of Los Gigantes and Chío
– the TF-21 from Playa de Las Américas or Los Cristianos via Vilaflor
Can you go with a baby or toddler to the Teide?
Of course, we wondered if it makes sense to take the trip to Teide National Park with our 9-month-old baby. And we can only advise against it. We have read that babies in the first year of life should not exceed 1,500 meters in height . The critical point is 2,500 meters, because from this limit, according to the German Society for Mountain and Expedition Medicine, altitude-related diseases and shortness of breath can occur in babies and toddlers. That’s why it’s always best to stay 500 to 1,000 meters below that limit.
The Teide National Park is essentially located at an altitude of over 2,000 meters. The valley station of the cable car is located z.B. at an altitude of 2,356 meters and you can see the pressure on your ears. Children under the age of 3 are generally not allowed to take the cable car up to Teide, as it could lead to health problems due to the altitude. For the same reason, pregnant women are not allowed to do so either.
We had therefore decided not to make this trip with our baby and so Michael unfortunately drove alone. But this is where safety comes in. A good summary of what you are allowed to do with babies or children and what is not allowed can be found here.
The routes TF-38 and TF-21 through the National Park
Since our Hotel RIU Buenavista was located in the south of Tenerife, the best way to get to Teide was the route TF-38. Right at the beginning of the route there is a beautiful viewpoint. The “Mirador de Chirche” offers a great panoramic view over the south coast of Tenerife. From here it goes steadily upwards, passing through forests and many old lava fields. Again and again there are beautiful holding bays with magnificent views. The TF-38 is newly developed, very easy to drive and has almost no switchbacks.
The entrance to the “Parque Nacional del Teide” is located at kilometer 9 at an altitude of 1,800 meters. Admission to the National Park is free.
Next you reach the viewpoints “Mirador de Sámar” and “Las Narices del Teide“. The Mirador de Sámara is located at an altitude of about 1,800 meters and from there you have a wonderful view of the small volcano called Sámara. The viewpoint “Las Narices del Teide” shows a landscape of cooled lava flows at the foot of Pico Viejo, which last erupted in 1798. Pico Viejo, also called Chahorra Volcano, is located at an altitude of 2,500 meters and is the closest crater to Teide. The outbreak lasted from June 9 to November 8, 1798, making it the longest known eruption in the history of Tenerife.
The TF-38 road eventually passes into the TF-21, which comes from the south of Vilaflor. It is now located on the southern edge of the caldera, the gigantic volcanic collapse basin of the Teide with a diameter of about 17 kilometers. The bottom of this boiler is located at an altitude of 2,000 meters and is bordered to the south by steep walls up to 600 meters high, which surround the interior of the caldera like a natural rampart. The entire area of the gigantic primordial crater has been a national park for more than 50 years and is under strict protection.
A great view of the huge caldera is from the viewpoints “Llano de Ucanca“, “Azulejos II” and “La Ruleta“.
The rock group Los Roques
A highlight of the Teide National Park is the rock group Los Roques. The rock formation is located about five kilometers south of the summit of Teide at an altitude of about 2,200 meters directly on the TF-21 road. There is also a large free parking lot here.
The rock towers reach a height of up to 200 meters. Some well-known rocks are the Roques Blancos, El Callejón, El Queso, Rincón Amarillo, Placas de Guillermo, Roque El Tripi, Macumba, Roque del Burro, Roque Méndez, Roque América, Roque Cinchado and Torrotito. The most famous of the bizarrely shaped towers made of volcanic rock is the Roque Cinchado, whichis also called the “Stone Tree” or “Finger of God” and is considered a landmark of Tenerife. The rock group La Cathedral is with about 200 meters the highest elevation of the Los Roques.
Seen from the parking lot across the street, there is the Cañada Blanca Visitor Center, the small sanctuary ermita de las Nieves, and the Hotel Parador de Las Canadas del Teide. Here you can stay directly in the national park and has a unique view of the volcano Teide, the Caldera de Cahorra and the mountain Montaña Blanca. Another visitor center (El Portillo) is located at the northern entrance of the Teide National Park.
The cable car to the top of the Teide
The valley station of the cable car to the top of the Teide (Teleférico del Teide) is located at an altitude of 2,356 meters. Here is a large parking lot with 220 free parking spaces, a bar, a restaurant, a gift shop and public toilets. Since 1971, the cable car, whose gondolas can carry up to 44 people, has been able to travel at a maximum speed of 8 m/s within eight minutes to the teide mountain station at an altitude of 3,555 metres.
The cable car is open all year round from 9 am to 5 pm, the last ascent is at 4 pm. The gondolas run every 10 minutes. A round trip currently costs 37 EUR per adult, with audio guide 39.50 EUR. If you want to learn more about the volcano in Tenerife, you can also buy the cable car ticket incl. buy a guided hike to the Mirador Pico Viejo. This costs 49 EUR. You should always check on the official website beforehand whether the cable car is in operation, because for safety reasons the cable car is not operated in strong winds and icing.
I was already at the valley station of the cable car in the morning at shortly after 9 o’clock and did not have a ticket yet. Thanks to free WiFi, I was able to buy a ticket online without any problems and sat in the gondola 10 minutes later. The advantage at this early time is that there is still extremely little going on. There were only three of us in the gondola 😉 When I went down again around 11 o’clock, it looked completely different. At this time, most tour buses and cruise guests arrive and the oncoming gondolas were really crowded. So it’s really worth being here very early.
The magnificent view from the volcano Teide
It is important to know that you can not get to the summit of Teide by cable car. The mountain station is located at an altitude of 3,555 meters, about 160 meters below the summit (3,715 meters). The remaining meters to the top can only be climbed with a special permit.
From the mountain station you have a great view of the entire national park. From here, hiking trails lead to the viewpoints “La Fortaleza” in the north and “Pico Viejo” in the south.
The route to the viewpoint of the volcano Pico Viejo runs almost without height differences and opens at the end of the path a view of the south side of the island of Tenerife, the islands of La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma and the volcanic crater Pico Viejo. The hiking trail is not difficult, but the lower oxygen content is clearly noticeable. The hiking trail to the viewpoint La Fortaleza offers excellent views of the north of Tenerife.
No matter which hiking trail you take, everywhere you can see bizarrely shaped structures, cooled lava flows or yellowish shimmering sulfur fields and you have a wonderful view from both sides into the large volcanic cauldron, the Caldera Cañadas del Teide.
How to get to the top of the volcano Teide?
For environmental reasons, access to the summit of the Teide volcano at an altitude of 3,715 meters is only permitted with a special permit from the park administration. This permit is available free of charge online at reservasparquesnacionales.es.
Is it worth a visit to the national park and the volcano?
Yes, a visit is definitely worthwhile and is one of the highlights of Tenerife. Alone the drive from the coast up to the national park, past old lava fields, volcanoes and gesture information, is a great experience. You are also welcome to take a look at our other travel reports on our volcanoes visited so far 🙂Hawaii: Flowing Lava Up Close – A Lava Hike on the Big Island
Hawaii: Sunrise from the Summit of Haleakala Volcano
Indonesia: The Steaming Crater of Mount Bromo
Indonesia: A Hike to Ijen Crater on the Island of Java
St. Vincent: Our volcanic ascent of La Soufrière
Galapagos Islands: The volcanic landscape of the Sierra Negra on the island of Isabella
A map with all sights & photo spots on TenerifeOn the following map at Google MyMaps we have marked all important sights, attractions and photo spots on Tenerife.
Our travel reports from TenerifeSanta Cruz de Tenerife – 8 Things to do & Top Photo Spots
The east coast of Tenerife – Attractions & Photo Spots
The old town of La Laguna & the Rural de Anaga Park
The Loro Park (Zoo) in Puerto de La Cruz
The Los Gigantes Cliffs & Mountain village of Masca
Puerto de la Cruz – Sights & the best Photo Spots
North coast of Tenerife – Sights, Photo Spots & Things to do
The Volcano Teide & Parque Nacional del Teide