The ascent to the holes, through which used to „breathe“ the stratovolcano Pico de Teide, can be a trial acclimatization hike before walks at higher altitudes. A day spent in sometimes chaotic terrain of this landscape will also offer magnificent views of the western part of central caldera, southwest of the island Tenerife with Teno mountains and neighboring island La Gomera. The level of three kilometers (3 022 m asl) will be overcome during this ascent. The trail then continues up to the crater of Pico Viejo (3 134 m asl), which is an alternative option for a day hike (longer by at least 2 hours).
The starting point of the hike is from the parking lot Mirador de Chio, which is on the road no.823 leading from the southwest of the island to the central caldera. Number of parking places is limited, so it is worth to be here around 9 am. The path leads in lava terrain in the northwest direction and offers a nice view of Pico Viejo, in the slope of which are visible the Teide´s nostrils, the destination of the hike.
After the initial descent (about ½ hour) the sign uncompromisingly determine the next direction to the right and upward. The initial ascent in chaotic terrain through lava trough is then replaced by open countryside, in which is clearly visible the narrow ascent path up towards the dominant volcano.
Water supplies and oxygen diminish with increasing vertical meters. But the opening views are more interesting, for example of Teno mountains, whose peaks struggle with trade wind clouds in the southwest of the island.
Optimistic view: somewhere down is the road along which you have ascended. It winds among the peaks of former volcanoes. Wake they up again sometime?
And here is the ascent destination. Teide´s nostrils are two buried craters above each other. The surface of the surroundings has different colors. Part of it is made up of black volcanic material, often of very interesting shapes of lava boulders. In the southwest direction stretches landscape of small volcanoes on the edge of central caldera, then Teno mountains and endless ocean of trade wind clouds with hidden Atlantic Ocean.
Part of the surface is colored in red and yellow. In the south you can see below the wall of mountains forming the central caldera edge, a narrow strip of road, from where leads the start of this hike.
Resting at the foot of the volcano
The path continues on up to the crater of volcano Pico Viejo. But the ascent is dependent on the time (and water) available, because this prolongation takes about 2 extra hours.
Above the clouds
The safest way to get back is by using the same path, but there is also an alternative of unmarked path down to the junction of roads no. 823 and 821 to the outlook point Boca Tauce. It depends on the quality of map or GPS. But the same way back is also interesting as the landscape has different light and it is possible to discover new views.
Volcano Pico Viejo lit by the afternoon sun appears again in full its glory after descending through the rugged trough with sharp red rocks and stones. Then await you just a slow final ascent to the parking lot.
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