The park covers most of the Teno Massif, occupying the northwest of the island. There are 5 settlements in the park: Los Carrizales, Masca, El Palmar, Las Portelas, and Teno Alto, which administratively belong to the municipality of Buenavista del Norte. The ethnographic and historical values result from archaeological sites, and from cultures and traditions preserved in the region.
The park was declared a Natural Space of the Canary Islands in 1987 and reclassified to its current status of Rural Park in 1994.
The geology is volcanic in origin, and among the oldest rock formations on Tenerife. The park has an area of about 80 km².
Flora and fauna
The vegetation of the park varies according to the altitude, with lush subtropical vegetation at lower altitudes and iconic laurel forests around the highest peaks. The park is of great scientific, ethnographic, and historic value, and the landscapes are unique on the archipelago due to their age. The ecosystems boast great endemic biodiversity in fauna and flora. The geomorphological structures are characterized by ravines and steep cliffs, which abruptly end in the ocean leading to the nickname Los Gigantes (the giant cliffs).
Get in and around
- Línea 325 (Puerto de la Cruz <-> Santiago del Teide <-> Los Gigantes) – Touches the rural park a large bit at its southeastern flank
- Línea 355 (Buenavista del Norte <-> Masca <-> Santiago del Teide) – Goes right through the rural park
- 1 Teno Alto – A good jump-off point for a hike to Punta de Teno in case the road is closed.
Among its natural values, the laurel forests present in the 1 Monte del Agua and the slopes of the Baracán stand out. 2 Marine cliffs such as Los Gigantes in excess of 500 m in some cases determine the presence of important riparian plants.
The great fauna richness that encloses the Teno Massif has been endorsed with the declaration by the European Union as a Special Protection Area for Birds, and with the discovery of a new species for science, the spotted lizard.
The bird community is home to a great diversity given the different habitats represented in the area. In the areas of Monteverde stands out the presence of two endemic species, the rabiche and turquoise pigeons, and the hawk. In the plains of Teno Alto it is still possible to find some specimens of a squeaky sparrow and there are many grazes and canaries.
Teno is also the last refuge on Tenerife for predators such as the osprey and the barb hawk, while the populations of eagles (Buteo buteo insularum) and kestrels (Falco tinnunculus canariensis) are relatively stable.
On the coast, and even inland there are colonies of cinderella and pigeon shearwaters .
- Masca – Overrun by tourists at any time of the year.
- 1 Punta de Teno (There are some hiking trails available from El Palmar or (better) Teno Alto. Also accessible by car via TF-445–however the road is only open M–Th 19:00-10:00 in winter and 20:00-09:00 in summer (i.e., night!). Otherwise, bus 369 is always available from Buenavista, but it will serve the sunset though.). The most western point with a lighthouse and excellent views. On any given day, the road may be closed due to wind or rain. Of particular interest is the lighthouse, one of 7 which mark the coastline of Tenerife. However, it is closed to the public since 2020. The current lighthouse has 2 towers of 20 m and 8 m respectively. The beacon has a focal height of 60 m above sea level, and is solar powered.
- Teno Alto - Punta de Teno – A great hike of about 4 km to see the sunset at Punta de Teno and in case the road from Buenavista del Norte is closed, or if you do not want to head the complete way to Buenavista first.
- San José de los Llanos - Punta de Teno. In case the former one is too short for you, you can extend the trail way until San José de los Llanos. Don't miss out on Risco Verde at the edge of the rural park.
Download the trail coordinates: GPX, KML.
- Masca - Mirador de Cruz de Hilda - Cumbres de Bolico - Risco Verde – This full-day hike starts (or end) in Masca village. Take bus 355 from Buenavista del Norte or Santiago del Teide to Masca village first. From there hike up along the road to 1 Mirador de Cruz de Hilda and take the trail further up northwest until it 2 hits the Cumbres de Bolico trail. Follow this trail east until Risco Verde. From there you can head back to TF-82 and take bus 325, hitchhike or hike down further to Santiago del Teide. Note, enjoying the sunset on Risco Verde could complicate the way getting back due to the darkness or lack of buses.
- 2 Risco Verde – At 1,312 m altitude, this mountain is the best sunset point around, overlooking the Masca gorge and village. The hike there is about 45 min to 1½ hr, depending on where you start. From TF-82 (4 km from Santiago del Teide) a narrow road leads about 1.3 km to a small car park at the beginning of the trail. There is also bus stop along TF-82 right at that junction, Las Barreras, which is reachable with bus 325. Or you can also make Risco Verde the final point of your hike out from Masca village, first westwards and then north around the Masca valley eastwards along the ridges.
Buy, eat and drink
A few shops and restaurants exist in the villages in the park.
- 1 Albergue de Bolico, Las Portelas, ☏ , . A tranquil place for hiking enthusiasts.
- 2 Albergue San José de los LLanos, San José de los LLanos, ☏ . A inexpensive and friendly hiking hostel. Simple breakfast is included. From €15.
- 3 Zona de Acampada de Los Pedregales, El Palmar, ☏ , email@example.com. A free official camp ground inside the nature park. Free.
- 4 Zona de Acampada San José de los Llanos, San José de los LLanos, ☏ . Another free official camp ground closeby. Free.