Mount Teide National Park
The Ascension to the Top of the Volcano

Teide and Montaña Blanca (right side)

“El Teide” is a volcano in the Canary Islands, located in the Mount Teide National Park, which attracts thousands of adventurous tourists to reach its 3,718m summit every year.

Ascending to the top of the volcano when visiting the Parque Nacional de Las Cañadas (Mount Teide National Park) is a fantastic experience and a good opportunity to be in touch with Mother Nature. What makes it even more exciting is the fact that the physical and climatic conditions are not the same every day.

The Ascension

From Montaña Blanca to the peak you would have to walk about 8 km, which, depending on the pace, can be turned into a four-hour excursion.

When you reach Montaña Blanca you should leave your car in the La Pizarra square (roughly at the 40 km mark on the road that crosses Las Cañadas and Mount Teide National Park) and start walking along a fairly straight track for about 5km till finally starting to zigzag on the road towards Los Huevos del Teide. This place is easily recognisable because there are large volcanic stones located 2,732 metres high. Please note that you should not leave the marked trail (even if you see shortcuts) as the whole area is protected to prevent erosion.

Montaña Blanca

At about 500 metres the real climb will start. You should be especially careful as the soil is mainly made of gravel pebbles, which can cause unexpected falls. Therefore, it's quite understandable how difficult it is to leave the place if you have a serious injury. Bear in mind that along the seven kilometre walk, there’s a gap of almost a kilometre (930 metres). Although the ascent of El Teide seems to be easy, you should not rely 100% on that, as this seemingly low difficulty can make us lose the fear and respect that a peak of that height should impose. In addition, the speed at which you ascend hundreds of metres is so fast that you may suffer so-called "altitude sickness", which is a kind of incomprehensible dizziness, solved by walking a few metres downhill or slowing the pace.

After more or less a 3-hour walk, at about 3,260 metres above sea level, it is possible to reach Refugio de Altavista (Altavista Refuge), where you can deservedly relax and catch a breath, while enjoying the views around. During winter the shelter is closed, but some barracks are left open for free access for adventurers who come to this point and need protection from the rough weather.

Once passing Refugio de Altavista there are still about 2 kilometres of ascent with a gap of about 500 metres. You then pass by the viewpoint of La Fortaleza and after that through Llanos de La Rambleta, which leads you directly to the cable car station at 3,549 metres high. All these areas have open access.

Cable car in La Rambleta

Reaching the Peak of Teide

To reach the top, you must continue the path towards Pilon de Azúcar. Don’t forget to bring along a permit which must be requested in advance. Previously you could just climb the peak without permission, but because of the increased influx of tourism to Mount Teide National Park – and thus, the erosion produced by man which happens at a much faster pace than that of nature itself – there was no other option but to regulate the visits to the most sensitive area.

Tenerife Travel Secret

Don’t forget to bring along a permit which must be requested in advance, it will indicate you the exact date and time when it may be used

With permission in hand you may rise the few metres separating that point from the crater, via the path (sendero) called Telesforo Bravo (if you prefer you can go by 4x4 jeep ride a bit further, although the final part you need to walk).

You can then enjoy the 80 metre diameter crater, as well as the spectacular views that the nature offers. If you go on a clear day, you can probably enjoy one of the most privileged and fantastic views of the Canary Islands ... from the highest point in Spain you are able to distinguish most (if not all) of the Canary Islands.

Exercise Some Care and Caution

Again, we remind you that you are in a sensitive area in terms of nature; you should not leave the designated route and under no circumstances will you be allowed to enter the area of the volcanic crater.

Please note that both during ascent and descent you should exercise extreme caution. No easy road, nor easy mountain. Respect for the mountain should never be lost. Furthermore, we caution you that it is against the law to take samples, sand and volcanic rocks from the Parque Nacional de Las Cañadas del Teide. But no need for that… you have already an amazing experience in your memory and beautiful photos for life in your camera… those are the best trophies one can take.

Applying for a Permission to the Peak of Teide

For sure the easiest and fastest option is to request one online, for free, from the Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales. You simply need to fill in the form, which takes no more than 3 minutes.

Another option for permission is to apply in person at the Oficina del Parque Nacional de Las Cañadas del Teide (central office of Las Canadas and Mount Teide National Park). The office is open from 9.00 am to 14.00 pm Monday to Friday at the following address:

C/ Doctor Sixto Perera González, 25

38300 - La Orotava

Phone:  +34 922.922.371

E-mail (only for information): 

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