“We need the tonic of wildness... At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” Henry David Thoreau
Mt Teide National Park is roughly an hour from our apartment which was nestled in the city center of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Visiting this National Park has been on our " Tenerife Bucketlist" since we arrived, but we hadn't pulled the trigger due to a lack of free time in my husband's schedule.
We made a spontaneous decision to go explore the park a few days ago, and I'm thrilled that we did. We live right smack in the city center of Santa Cruz and the population is approximately 210,000 people. We knew since day dot that we were 5 minutes from the ocean and 10 minutes from the mountains, but we had no idea what else was at our doorstep.
When we started our ascent in the park, it felt like we were driving anywhere in Northern California. I actually felt a sense of deja vu on some of the bends that are so characteristic of the stunning drive down into Halfmoon Bay in CA. The woods smelled divine and all we could see on the either side of the car were thousands of lush pine trees. I completely forgot that we were on a tropical island, that is until we were high enough to look down on all the sandy white beaches, palm trees and the sapphire blue Atlantic Ocean.
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the terrain changed drastically. We both did a double take because it was as if we had teleported to the moon! I demanded that my husband pull over so that I could snap the picture (above) which was a stones throw from the lush woodland we had just admired. Volcanic islands are incredibly fascinating and diverse, a geologists wonderland!
Twenty minutes later we decided that Mother Nature was simply playing a joke on us. Surely, surely this isn't real. We had just driven through lush green forests, then moon rocks, and now we are in the heart of a crater with 15% vegetation that transition into a RED wasteland desert....
We really enjoyed hiking around the center of Tiede and taking some GoPro shots. We also found an outdoor cafe in the park and enjoyed an icy cold beer which was super refreshing and a welcomed surprise in the middle of national park.
I can't recommend this place highly enough, it is a must do if you ever visit the island of Tenerife and appreciate the outdoors.