The Anaga Rural Park covers the extreme northeast of Tenerife and the Macizo de Anaga mountain range. It is a beautiful area covered by vegetation that expands along the coast. The park is located specifically to the north and east of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Explore the Anaga Rural Park
The Anaga Rural Park is a mountainous area of volcanic formation that dates back between 7 and 9 million years. It is now a protected Rural Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere Reserve. It is the area of Europe with the largest number of endemic species.
The mountains and valleys of the Anaga Massif are covered with laurel forests also called laurisilva, a type of subtropical forest that grows in areas of high humidity. The trees are largely evergreen with long forms and glossy appearance.
In addition to the laurel trees in the Mercedes forest, mounds of moss, lichens and lianas grow, making the visiting explorer feel as if they are on an expedition adventure in a forest more exotic than Tenerife. The area is also a haven for birds and butterflies.
The towns near the Anaga Rural Park
The main towns in the area are San Andrés, Taganana and Igueste de San Andrés. There are plenty of walks that crisscross the area. A couple of them start at the Cruz del Carmen visitor center. From there you can walk through the Vueltas de Taganana to the small town of Taganana. The Taganana church is one of the oldest in Tenerife.
Alternatively, you can walk from Cruz del Carmen to Punta del Hidalgo to enjoy the rocky coastal scenery of Punta del Hidalgo. On the southern coast of the area you can visit one of the most attractive beaches in Tenerife, Playa de las Teresitas, which has golden sand imported from Zahara.
Walks through the Anaga Rural Park
If you want to take a long walk, the trail that goes from Chamorga, at the eastern end of the park, to San Cristóbal de La Laguna, at the western end, is a good alternative. It can take around eight hours to do the whole trail as it has many sections that go through the mountains.
Some archaeological finds have been seen in this area, the most important being the Mummy of San Andrés, a mummy of the ancient Guanches, who were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands before the Spanish conquest. The Mummy of San Andrés is one of the best preserved Guanche mummies and can be seen in the Museum of Nature and Man in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
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