Las Canadas and El Tiede

  • Las Canadas rim - © William Mackesy
  • El Tiede and Roques de Garcia - © William Mackesy
  • Across Las Canadas From Guajara - © William Mackesy
  • Across Las Canadas to El Tiede - © William Mackesy
  • Guajara at sunset From Las Canadas - © William Mackesy
  • Las Canadas - © William Mackesy
  • Las Canadas floor - © William Mackesy
  • Las Canadas to El Tiede - © William Mackesy
  • Las Canadas track - © William Mackesy
  • Roques de Garcia - © William Mackesy
  • The Cathedral - © William Mackesy

Key information: Las Canadas and El Tiede

    • Tenerife's undoubted highlight is the Las Canadas and El Tiede area, a huge caldera ringed by thousand-foot cliffs, with magnificent Tiede to the north and a dramatic floor of lava flows. Volcano-nerd heaven.
      • These are why walkers come to Tenerife; Top 100 walking.
        • A plethora of superb trails, from Tiede's high, cindery outer slopes to the drama of the rim, and the gravelly caldera floor. 
          • Huge views over the crags and chasms of the caldera; and, from the outer slopes, across craters, fumeroles and barrancos down to the ever-present sea.
            • This can be tough walking in serious mountains: prepare.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating88
  • Beauty33
  • Natural interest18
  • Human interest3
  • Charisma34
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating88

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,718m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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El Tiede and Roques de Garcia - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

Imagine an underwater volcano so large, it has grown from the deep ocean into an island nearly 4,000 m high. It is subject to a catastrophic collapse, the whole of its highest massif, the Caadas Edifice, falling back into the sea, leaving a huge abyss surrounded by a crescent of cliffs hundreds of metres high. In a mere 170,000 years, a new volcano grows that dwarfs the rim - remnant of its predecessor, filling the great hole with its hot spewings. It in turn is supplanted by its unruly offspring, so energetic that it nearly overwhelms its worn-out parent, growing so that it stands more than 500m above it, the tallest mountain in a mountainous country. That island is Tenerife; that clogged-up abyss the Las Caadas caldera; that young mountain, El Tiede.

 
When the Caadas Edifice collapsed in a northward landslip, it created a huge caldera now called Las Caadas surrounded by a jagged curve of cliffs to the south. The grand but not lovable peak of El Tiede (at 3,718m) fills in its centre, with great lava flows running off it into the crescent-shaped depression, which has filled up a long way

 

The present caldera is 16km long and five or so wide, a series of arid gravelly-flats almost overwhelmed by the vast lava flows of the millennia.

 

This natural and visual drama makes for thrilling walking it is in our Top 100. If you can, spend at least two, preferably three days in this area.

 

While most walkers come to Tenerife to experience Las Caadas, or to climb El Tiede, there are many superb walking areas, and we recommend that, having made the effort to come here, you allow time to explore more widely.

 

From the score of fantastic walks in and just outside Las Caadas described by Cicerone and Sunflower, these are perhaps the best:

  •  Guajara, the high point (in all senses) of the caldera rim with a couple of hours on the Caadas floor thrown in, and in our view the best overall walk.
  • Roques de Garcia: superb scenery and volcanic nerdery, albeit over-popular.
  • The 18km trail along the Caadas floor from El Portillo to the Parador. (You get quite a taste of this on the Guajara walk.)
  • The tough but marvellous 24km along the Caadas rim, from El Portillo to the Parador. (You get quite a taste of this on the Guajara walk.)

 

Central Uplands
Other excellent walks near Las Canadas include: 
  • The short walk in the lava-gravel area around Samara or a longer but superb-sounding trail from La Montaaeta to Los Silos (Sunflower 16) through bleak, cindery scenery.
  • Various walks from Las Caadas down the mountainside to the upland towns such as Vilaflor in the south, or north-west toward Teno, with wonderful sea views and volcanic scenery see the Cicerone guide (eg. walk 34): walk 41 sounds particularly intriguing, from Chiuyero down rounded slopes of dark cinders, littered with struggling Canary pines, bleakly beautiful and dotted with intriguing little craters and other volcanic detritus.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS

Name: 360-vr
Posted on: 30/09/2012
Hello! My name is Andrey Sal'nikov. I'm a panorama photographer from Russian Federation. I went to Mitikas from Litihoro. February 2012 I was hiking around the Teide volcano & climbed on its top. During my 2-day trip i took a number of panorama pictures, 26 of which became a part of my virtual tour "Solo tracking and Climbing Caldera las Canadas - Pico del Teide". You can check it out on my website: http://www.360-vr.net/teide.php I think it can be used as links. Please contact me e-mail: studio360vr@gmail.com Best regards, Andrey Sal'nikov.

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

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Across Las Canadas to El Tiede - ©William Mackesy

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Guajara at sunset From Las Canadas - ©William Mackesy...
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