The environment of the National Park

The access to the Cañadas del Teide along the dorsal mountain range allows you to contemplate the strong contrast in the change of vegetation: below 600-800 m of altitude, the humanised environments of populations and cultures; at a higher altitude, areas where the Monteverde is regaining its old domains; even higher, the extensive pine forest mass; and finally, the naked prints of the Teide and Montaña Blanca. In addition, frequently you can see the sea of clouds created by the trade winds, of great importance for the maintenance of the forest cover in the Northern slope. It is also a large contrast between the mass of clouds and the usually clear and sunny sky of the Teide.

 

The vegetal landscape

Even though the geological feature dominates the landscape of Las Cañadas del Teide, the vegetation also has an important role. Its uniqueness emphasizes from the start: it is visible at a glance that it is very different from the existing vegetation in the rest of the island. Thickets of cushion or rounded forms predominate, which reveal the adaptation to places of extreme climates. It helps to improve the resistance to temperature changes and to the frequently strong winds recorded in the high mountains.

 

 

 

 

Diversity of forms and volcanic materials of the Las Cañadas del Teide

The different colours help to distinguish some lava flows from the others, according to their age. In the red lavas, the dissolved iron in them has had more time to oxidize in contact with the atmosphere. The most recent lavas are also the darkest and, among them, the eruption of Las Narices del Teide (1789) draws particular attention, since to its blackness is added the fact of being almost devoid of vegetation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

El Teide, Los Roques de García and El Llano de Ucanca

In the centre of the caldera rises the Teide, whose mass is the geographical feature of greater attraction of the Park and that has aroused a lot of interest since ancient times, both for the inhabitants of the island and for its visitors: at first, as a totemic or magical element; after, as a scientific element; emotional for the population of the island population and, finally, a very important tourist element. Its huge size has to do with its condition of stratovolcano and, therefore, with the extensive constructive process that has taken place over the course of multiple eruptions. The several colours of the mountain are a testimony of its various geological stages and the summital cone (also known as El Pilón de Azúcar), is the result of the last eruption that occurred in its summit.

 

 

 

 

Contrasts that the climate causes in the landscape

An element that produces significant changes in the landscape has to do with the weather. Las Cañadas del Teide is one of the few places in the Canary archipelago where it snows regularly. With heavy snowfalls, the appearance of the territory of this high mountain changes dramatically. However, beyond its beauty, this change in the landscape invites us to be aware of the extent to which the climatic conditions of the national park determine the flora and fauna that it can host.

 

 

 

 

Cañada

At the foot of the Roques de García, there is the endorheic plain known as the Llano de Ucanca. It is one of the most widely-known monuments of the Las Cañadas del Teide, and along with many other small plains, usually of a much smaller size than the previous one, they are the origin of the term Cañada. This term refers to plains that have been formed with the reservoir of weathered materials from the wall of the caldera and dragged through the water until the depression of this natural amphitheatre.