Forestal Park Tenerife

La Orotava, Saturday, 9:15am ... Surprisingly, we'd already had breakfast and were ready to go out. We decided to go on the northern highway to La Laguna to reach the area of La Esperanza (which is where Forestal Park is located), in order to avoid any mishaps. That road is primarily used by the locals to get up to Las Cañadas via Izaña or the La Tarta viewpoint.

Tenerife Travel Secret

From the north of the island, you can 'venture out' to Forestal Park, going around the outskirts of the Las Cañadas del Teide National Park. When you get to Portillo, you should head for the area of La Esperanza.

The park is one hectare and is in a protected landscape area, so for us it's a privilege to work/try out an activity in a place like that. But the very fact of being in a protected landscape area raised a problem which was only solved when it was understood that the management of the woodland area could orient it towards leisure.

Tenerife Travel Secret

The area around Forestal Park is protected land and those Canary Island pine trees were planted some 100 years ago. The management are responsible for keeping the area clean, the pine needles swept, the flora, vegetation and facilities under control and, obviously, the park secure.

Arriving at Forestal Park

When you arrive at reception, they will give you a sheet with the conditions for participation, making sure that you stay safe and look after any children who are with you. The instructors will get guests kitted out and fit the harnesses. Afterwards there's a talk about safety for all participants who are assembled at the same time.

Tenerife Travel Secret

Activities started in Forestal Park in 2012. Security is paramount for them and in the last year they've implemented a harness system which attaches to participants' bodies in two places.

Forestal Park has two types of trail

The family trail is made up of three parts (reaching a maximum height of 13 metres), on top of the briefing which is when the instructor explains how to get up onto the rides and use the zip wires.

This trail is designed for children, beginners and people who aren't very sure they want to do the activity or feel a bit afraid of heights. There are lots of activities which get progressively higher, harder and more demanding. There is no maximum age limit for participation, but children have to be at least 6 years old or 1.10 metres tall.

The sports trail consists of 6 parts, which aren't in any particular order of difficulty, and includes the longest zip wire in the Canaries (at 230 metres long). It takes around 3 hours to complete in total, depending on your fitness level.

The first bit is an initial point of contact. The second is simple. The third is the highlight of the park, because you reach 30 metres above the ground (which is the highest point in the park), and there are even some vines so you feel a bit like Tarzan. The fourth part is very technical, so it requires balance and for you to be in good shape. The fifth has the longest zip wire in the Canaries (at 230 metres long). And, finally, the sixth requires you to climb a ladder and then a climbing wall above that.

Operation of Forestal Park

100-150 people can do the activity at times during the high season, although it all depends on how the trails flow. Groups are made up of at least 10 people. You have to remember that at times the activity can be hard because it operates with metal throughout. They usually open at weekends and on bank holidays.

Tenerife Travel Secret

In winter it's rarely open because, as Forestal Park is at 1400 metres above sea level and faces northeast, it's at exactly the altitude where a sea of clouds forms, so it can be quite cold and wet. Therefore, make sure you go well wrapped-up.

The instructor explains everything in an initial briefing. The supervisors speak English and Spanish (although some also speak other languages, such as Italian, Russian and Romanian), but don't worry if you speak a different language – as the activity is so visual it's easy to explain. There's always a supervisor watching from the ground to make sure that the activity goes off without a hitch.

On the hour, every hour (the most popular times tend to be 11am, 12pm and 1pm), there's a talk with an average of 35 people. We recommend arriving half an hour before the time slot you've been assigned to.

Comments from the authors about Forestal Park Tenerife

We did the family trail, because it was our first time trying this kind of activity. To be honest, although at first I felt a bit afraid to let myself go and jump into nothingness, the feeling was generally one of great motivation to apply all our skills and improve constantly as we moved through the trail. The tests weren't particularly difficult, but some of them weren't as simple as they looked either.

Our supervisor encouraged us to try the 230-metre zip wire from the sports trail as an added bonus, and it really was very exhilarating. Now we're prepared to fly higher. Next time without a doubt we'll do the sports trail and get to that height of 30 metres above the ground (without getting vertigo!). We honestly feel so excited to go back and push our boundaries a bit more.