Mountain Route

One of the best ways to get to know this region is to take an excursion through the Parque de Anaga (Anaga Nature Reserve), stopping at the many lookouts and strolling along its paths.

At the Mirador de Jardina (Garden Lookout) we can gaze out over La Laguna, el Puerto de Santa Cruz and el Teide.

La Cruz del Carmen is located at the mountain of Las Mercedes and where the largest concentration of biodiversity in Europe can be found in an area of its size. It is home to more endemic species per square kilometer than anywhere else in Europe. Here you can find the laurisilva, a subtropical forest known for its high levels of humidity and relatively stable temperature. This is also from where many of the walking trails through Anaga begin. There are trails of all lengths and more information about these can be found at the Visitors Centre. All this as well as the Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Carmen (the Hermitage of our Lady of Carmen), an agricultural Street market and a restaurant from where to replenish ones energy and enjoy a barraquito (coffee with liquor) make La Cruz del Carmen one of the most popular sites along the mountain route.

El Pico del Inglés (The English Peak) will leave you speechless. Don’t be dismayed if there is fog when you arrive as this can disappear in a matter of minutes and give way to one of the most spectacular views on all of Tenerife. Here we can learn how the Laguneros (local inhabitants) lived up until recently raising and looking after their cattle from their ‘cave homes’ and then taking them to the cities along the same paths we can still see.

Chinamada is an historic Gaunche (the original inhabitants of the Canaries) hamlet where 20 people live in old casas cueva (cave homes) built from the rock but with the façades of normal houses. Crops are difficult to grow here because of the steep terrain and the land continues to be worked manually. And to eat at the Restaurante Las Cuevas is another pleasure. Although being at the end of the world almost, Chinamada is at the crossroads of many paths and trails and for this reason the restaurant is full of hikers coming and going. Highly recommended is the escaldón, a stew made up of beef and seasoned chicken to which they add a little spicy broth and is famed throughout the island. Also worth trying are the carne con papas (meat and potatoes) or the puchero (another local stew using vegetables and meat). From the Plaza de Chinamada (Chinamada Square) a trail will lead us to the Mirador de Aguaide (Aguaide Lookout) only 10 minutes away. This is in the shape of a semi-circle and from within its wooden barriers it provides us with a last look from here over the spectacular escarpment; truly breathtaking.