The Teno Rural Park is located in the extreme northwest of the island of Tenerife and includes part of the municipalities of Buenavista del Norte, Los Silos, El Tanque and Santiago del Teide. With its 8,063.3 hectares, it is one of the most beautiful natural spaces in Tenerife, and has preserved its great ecological, scenic and cultural value, largely thanks to its isolation.
Once you are aware of the complicated orography of this area, it is amazing to think how people could have lived in this place in times past. We can be amazed by the variety of landscapes that range from impressive cliffs to valleys and islands, as well as wooded areas of laurel forest adorned by magnificent traditional architecture.
Walking in Teno is a unique experience
The mountainous massif is more than 1,300 meters high, occupies the entire western end of Tenerife and is almost completely surrounded by the sea. In fact, originally Teno used to be a separate island that was later joined to a larger piece of land to form what is now Tenerife. This geographic isolation has allowed its ravines and narrow valleys to conserve their biodiversity, architecture and unique customs that are difficult to find elsewhere in Tenerife.
In the highest areas, blessed by the trade winds responsible for the wonderful microclimate of the island, we will find the lavish monteverde. If we go to Monte del Agua we can walk among small-leaved holly trees and strawberry trees. The lush vegetation of this part of Tenerife is totally different from the rest of the island. Also, even nearby parcels of land can have different species of flora. When walking up the southern slope of the Park, pay special attention to the drastically changing vegetation.
This walk can give us the feeling of having traveled to another world. The most prominent flora is the Euphorbia bush called tabaibas. The panorama changes again on the north slope with imposing palm trees. In Punta de Teno, there is one of the largest and best preserved batches of tabaibas and thistles on the island, there are specimens of all shapes and sizes.
A corner of Tenerife full of magic
The Teno Rural Park houses several urban centers such as El Palmar, Teno Alto, Las Lagunetas, Las Portelas, Los Carrizales, Masca and Erjos, which are maintained thanks to agricultural and livestock activities. Around many farmhouses you can discover old tile or bread ovens, as well as communal tagoras, which are semicircular stone structures up to three meters high used by the indigenous people of Tenerife to protect themselves from the wind.
Punta de Teno, the westernmost point of the island, is located between large cliffs. In this place you can see the contrast between the steep ravines that lead to small beaches, and the large valleys that form Isla Baja and Teno Bajo. The area is home to a large number of animal species, it is even a refuge for some local threatened species. There we can discover an old lighthouse that is preserved in good condition. From the lighthouse you can enjoy the best views of the Los Gigantes cliffs, as well as an incredible sunset.
What can we do in Teno
Getting to Teno is already an experience in itself, we can enjoy spectacular views throughout the trip. Once in the area, you shouldn’t miss out on hiking, kayaking, paddle surfing, diving, or mountain biking.
You can enjoy 100 kilometers of approved trails. In this area are the deepest ravines of Tenerife, where the first inhabitants of Masca built their first farmhouses. This picturesque enclave is one of the best examples of traditional Canarian architecture. Until just a few decades ago, it was practically isolated from the rest of the island due to its difficult access.
It is also worth visiting the Los Pedregales Visitor Center, which informs tourists interested in the network of trails and other points of interest in the park in a personalized way. There you can learn more about the Teno rock massif, which dates back more than eight million years.
On the tour you can also visit the impressive black sand beaches such as Masca, located at the foot of the cliffs. Finally, in search of Teide, you can wander the evergreen groves of flourishing Laurisilva that cover the slopes that rise to the east.
El Palmar is also a good option to make a first stop. A pleasant walk along its paths shows that beyond the undoubted natural and ecological values of the place, it is a cultural space. Hence the great importance of the place. Wandering through this paradise, we will find impressive geological fossils.
There are also several trails that start towards the Monte del Agua. A short walk that will allow us to reach the first covered slopes of Laurisilva, one of the most impressive forest ecosystems in the Canary Islands. The old paths of Erjos cross this shady and humid place that is home to one of the best preserved forests in the Canary Islands. The green roof of Monte del Agua contrasts with the rocky slopes that rise from El Palmar towards Teno Alto. This is the domain of the tabaibas, thistles, palm trees and dragon trees, species that like the sun and are not very demanding when it comes to water.
The road to Punta de Teno
11 kilometers from El Palmar is the Caserio de Masca, one of the most impressive places on the island. There are only a handful of small houses clinging to the cliffs that form a unique human and natural symbiotic landscape. In this place, you can find some of the best preserved traditional architecture on the island. The remains of ditches, pipes and cultivation terraces take us to a still recent past in which subsistence agriculture was the main economic pillar of local households.
The TF-445 road reaches the coast, literally entering the interior of the mountain. Several tunnels dug into the rock give way to platforms that plunge into the sea. Behind the wall, the landscape becomes more horizontal again, creating a place of gentle profiles enclosed by the Los Gigantes cliff. Punta de Teno ends the northwest corner of the island and is one of the most impressive places in Tenerife.
When we arrive at this beautiful place, we will not only be able to see the cliffs from an exceptional point of view, but we can also live one of the most authentic beach experiences in the Canary Islands. An arm of lava enters the sea creating small coves, small ports and cliffs from where we can take a dip in the most crystalline waters of the island. The Teno lighthouse, Tenerife’s last light before entering the Atlantic, provides an epic touch; the sunsets there are the most sublime.
If you want to join the adventure and discover the beautiful landscapes of Teno, be sure to visit Tenerife Holiday to make your reservation in the best accommodations on the island.