Tenerife is known for its microclimates and diverse vegetation. Near the center of the island lies the biggest attraction of Tenerife, its volcano Teide, which you can see from almost any point in the island. This in itself, is a day trip or a few days trip if you are really into hiking. The regional parks surrounding Teide vary in a lot in views, vegetation, hiking difficulty, weather, etc. Most viewpoints are only accessible by car since there is only one “guagua” (bus) going to the cable car on Teide.
How to get to Teide:
If you’re planning on making it to the peak of the volcano, you have to reserve a permit allowing you to enter the hiking path towards the peak. You need to reserve this at least 2 months prior to your visit. You can reserve it by clicking here.
If there are no more permits available and you really want to make it to the peak, you can book a tour with a third party, fyi… it’s a bit pricey. Tours to the peak are around €60. A company I recommend and have used before in other countries is Viator.
You can also go near the peak without the permit for €27 EUR roundtrip by taking the Cable Car. The officials instructions on how to get to the cable car by car or bus from either the north or south side of the island are here. There is only one bus around 9am getting there, and the departing bus around 4pm. Details below.
Getting there by bus from the north side of the island: Bus Line 348 Puerto de La Cruz – Las Cañadas del Teide (www.titsa.com). Departing: 09:15am from Puerto de la Cruz, with a stop in La Orotava, Montaña Blanca and Teide’s cable car. The return bus leaves from the cable car at 4pm (16:00)
Getting there by bus from the south side of the island: Bus Line 342 Playa de Las Américas – Las Cañadas del Teide (www.titsa.com). Departing at 09:15 am from Las Américas, with a stop at Los Cristianos at 9:30am. The return bus departs from the cable car at 3:30pm (15.30).
Driving up Teide is like entering the Twilight zone. First you see palm trees, then pine trees and the closer you get to the peak, the more dessert vibes you get with so many huge rocks and succulent plants. I was at awe with all the sudden changes and beautiful landscapes. Another way of exploring Teide is by hiking the regional parks. I recommend Anaga Regional Park. There’s different paths you can take with a range in difficulty, length and views. You can inquire about the hiking paths in the Anaga information point. There’s parking for your convenience and an amazing view point from the parking lot. The main road to get there is the TF-12 road from La Laguna, which goes past Las Mercedes; and the TF-12 road from San Andrés, if you are coming from Santa Cruz. You can get there by private vehicle and by public transport.
There are also some stargazing tours around Teide at night. A local mentioned that it’s so clear, you can even see the Milky Way during the summer. If you decide to wait for darkness and enjoy this majestic night sky with its mesh of stars, I recommend you stay the night. The streets are not light and it’s quite dangerous driving down that windy road in complete darkness with opposite side traffic. A quiet and small, but nice hotel near the the cable car is Parada de Cañadas del Teide. It’s across the highway from some impressive rocky magma rocks with an amazing view. A fellow tourist mentioned how this specific area is popular because it’s the image seen in the old Spaniard bills. More specifically, the 1,000 pesetas bill.
Expect the climate to be cooler in the Regional Parks and near the peak. The higher up you go, the chillier it gets. Bring enough layers, water, snacks and a camera. Wear comfortable and warm clothes, as well as shoes with a good grip since you’ll be walking on gravel, rocks, etc. Cellphone service is spotty up there so I recommend downloading the map in your phone so you know how to get back. However you decide to visit Teide, I hope you enjoy this majestic location at its fullest. When you’re up there breathing the fresh air and gazing upon the stunning views, remember to be leave all other thoughts behind and enjoy the moment. Always be present.