Last week I joined a walk organised on Tenerife Forums. We headed to the Northwest of the island and a small village called San Jose de los Llanos, just north of Santiago del Teide. From here we began our circular route up into the hills and past Las Montañas Negras (The Black Mountains), so named because of the colour of the volcanic ash and rock that formed them.
Las Montañas Negras include the Volcan de Garachico (Volcano of Garachico), the site of the 1706 eruption which destroyed the port of Garachico on the north of the island.
Our route first took us south towards Montaña Bilma, before turning east and picking up the forrestry track which runs alongside Canal Vergara (the water channel bringing water from the north to the south of the island. In the early part of our walk we would have enjoyed excellent views of the valley around Santiago del Teide, but rare cloud obscured most of the vistas.
As we joined the forestry track alongside the water channel we were afforded some great views of the lava flows from 1909 eruption of the Chinyero vent which is the site of the most recent volcanic eruption on Tenerife. Between the clouds we also had fleeting glances of Teide and Pico Viejo. We turned north along the forestry track and followed the channel towards Volcan de Garachico and around towards the Arenas Negras camp site.
We turned off the track just before Arenas Negras and this is where we stopped for lunch, picnicking on the site of the trail before following the footpath across the black sands of Las Montañas Negras. At this point we still had not seen the Volcan de Garachico, even though it was just a few 100 metres away. Cloud was still obscuring our vistas and spoiling any chance of a decent photo.
But just as we arrived at the foot of Volcan de Garachico, nature smiled on us, the clouds parted and gave us a stunning view of the volcano and a fantastic view back towards Teide and Pico Viejo. No sooner had we finished snapping away and turned our backs to continue on the last leg of our walk the clouds drew back in and obscured the view once more. Nature’s sense of timing never ceases to amaze.
Finally we descended back through the pine forests on a lightly warn trail to San Jose de Los Llanos. The absence of an open pub forced us to drive back to Santiago de Teide for that well earned beer.
Route: San Jose de los Llanos – Las Montañas Negras (Circular)
Distance: 14Km (9 miles)
Ascent/Descent: 200m (660 feet)