Parque Rural de Teno
Teno Rural Park is located in north-west Tenerife, in one of the first parts of the island to emerge from the sea, containing materials that are between 6 and 7 million years old.
Erosion has shaped the landscape over the ages, carving out deep ravines that run through these lands from summit to coast. The views from the heads of the ravines are breathtaking.
On the northern edge of the park rise ancient sea cliffs that have been cut off from the sea by successive eruptions, which in turn created the coastal plains known today as Isla Baja. You can view this landscape from the limits of the Rural Park, where the towns of Garachico, Los Silos and Buenavista are located.
This northern flank, constantly exposed to the trade winds, is home to one of the largest swathes of monteverde forest in the Canary Islands, Monte del Agua y Pasos, covering an area of more than 600 hectares.
Here you can also find the last pockets of the best preserved thermophilic woodland on the island, dominated by palm trees and dragon trees.
On the southern slopes the climate is sunnier and drier, resulting in a landscape dominated by retama (Retama rhodorhizoides) and tabaiba (Euphorbia balsamifera, Euphorbia lamarckii), with the remains of old terraces, rocky outcrops and ravines carved by water. The complex and extensive network of volcanic dykes exposed on these slopes helps us to better understand how the Canary Islands were formed.
The south-west limit of the park is marked by the Los Gigantes Cliffs, an emblem of the park and of Tenerife as a whole.
Some of the villages were cut off from the rest of the island until well into the 1970s, when roads finally reached the remotest outposts. As a result, traditional architecture, livestock and agricultural practices and many cultural traditions have survived largely unchanged to the present day.
Flora and fauna
The isolation of Teno, together with the wide range of conditions found in this mountainous massif, have made it a refuge for biodiversity, home to populations of endangered species and unique plants and animals found only in the park.
These cliffs are also the habitat of the last remaining populations of the Tenerife speckled lizard, a species that can reach a length of up to 50 centimetres and that has been saved from extinction by its isolation.
Other highlights of the fauna of Teno are the laurel pigeon and Bolle’s pigeon, endemic Canary Island species that inhabit the monteverde ecosystem, and which you can see feeding in the thermophilic woodland. Also of special importance are the colonies of Scopoli’s shearwater and other seabirds, with thousands of pairs breeding every year on the cliffs.
Technical information sheet
8063.6 ha (3.9% of the island).
Species of interest
Tabaiba dulce (Euphorbia balsamifera), tabaibaamarga (Euphorbia lamarckii), cardón or Canary Island spurge (Euphorbia canariensis), tabaibamejorera (Euphorbia atropurpurea), sabina (Juniperus turbinatassp. canariensis), Canary Island date palm, bicácaro or Canary Island bellflower (Canarinacanariensis), Canary Islands dragon tree (Dracaena draco), laurel (Laurus novocanariensis), acebiño (Ilex canariensis), osprey, Tenerife speckled lizard, Scopoli’s shearwater, raven, laurel pigeon, Bolle’s pigeon.
Laurel forest, fayal-brezal (Morella-Erica heath), thermophilic forest, coastal cliffs, cardonal-tabaibal (Euphorbia), riparian ecosystems in ravine beds.
Places of interest
Teno Lighthouse, Teno Alto, Masca, Monte del Agua, El Palmar Valley.
Access and permits
Access to La Punta de Teno is regulated, and you can only reach it by bus from Buenavista.
The Barranco de Masca hiking trail is also regulated and visitor numbers are limited. To walk this route, you must first make a reservation.
To consult permits for use and updated regulations for this Protected Natural Area, visit the official website of the Government of the Canary Islands.
- Buenavista del Norte
- El Tanque
- Los Silos
- Santiago del Teide
Places of interest
These are some of the points of interest you can find along this route.