I cannot begin to estimate the number of times I have visited Las Cañadas (as the crater is known) to go hiking or to take visitors up the mountain and to the Portillo Visitor Centre. But a month or so ago, I spent a night in the Teide Parador and it turned out to be so much more than I could have imagined.
So what makes spending the night in Las Cañadas so different from simply visiting Teide National Park?
Lose the crowds. The main thing that you gain from spending the night is that you have the place all to yourself (well, almost). The National Park is Tenerife’s most popular excursion which means, during the day, it’s constantly busy with visitors, from the endless queues at the Parador café for a coffee or to use the public toilets, to the crowds milling around Roques de Garcia. Even if you leave the tour buses behind and go walking, the trails are becoming more and more popular.
But once all the tour buses and the rental cars go home, silence falls over the crater and it becomes an entirely different place. No queues, no crowds, no constant noise. Just you and this extraordinary landscape with its surreal shapes and shadows.
Starry nights. It doesn’t matter how many times you read about how clear the skies are, or that this is one of the top three places on the planet for observing the stars (Chile and Hawaii being the other two), nothing compares to seeing them for yourself. Choose a moonless night to get the best performance.
A special sunrise. Having spent the night in the Altavista Refuge and climbed to the summit of Mount Teide to witness the sun rise, I thought there was nothing special to see at crater level, but I was wrong. Mount Teide absorbs the sunrise like a sponge and reflects it back in hues of brilliant gold, something you can’t see when you’re standing on top of it. It’s worth spending the night just to see that.
Walk Alone. If you’re keen on a Tenerife Walking Holiday, Teide National Park is a must, and spending the night in the crater allows you so much more freedom. Firstly, you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll finish in time to catch the only bus back or face a long drive home to your resort. Secondly, spending the night enables you to adjust to the altitude so well that you’re barely aware of it. But best of all, you can get an early start on the trail and get well into any route long before the first tour buses arrive. If you’re getting the cable car you can walk straight on the first trip without having to queue at all.
Ultimately, spending the night in Teide National Park is an unforgettable experience in an ‘out of this world’ environment and one that few people get to enjoy. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Category : about tenerife
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