The Parque Rural de Anaga (Anaga Rural Park) is located in the north-east corner of the island of Tenerife, is declared a Biosphere Reserve for its fauna and flora but especially for its laurisilva forests, also called monteverde.
We find ourselves in a landscape of steep mountain ranges with deep valleys and ravines that descend to the ocean. It is the greenest part of the island, although what most caught our attention is the absence of brambles, gorse or thorny bushes in general. We could say that it is a "kind" mountain that allows to be crossed without the need of roads, something very different from what we are used to in the north of the Iberian Peninsula.
We woke up with a sunny but cool day early in the morning, we arrived at Cruz del Carmen around 9 a.m. There is a small parking lot where we parked without any problem but an hour later it was already full despite being the month of February. Since the Visitor's Centre was not open, we decided to make the Sendero de los Sentidos (Path of the Senses), clearly marked, while making time.
Sendero de los Sentidos
The Sendero de los Sentidos (Path of the Senses) has 3 alternatives according to its difficulty, all of them suitable for the general public. We did the longest one and we barely covered 1.5 km (0,9 mi) with 90 m (295 ft) of positive altitude change. It is really a walk to do without haste, for the enjoyment of sight, hearing, smell and touch… the taste is reserved for the scrupulousness of each one. As we advance along the path, we will find signs indicating what type of sense we should sharpen in each area.
We enjoyed a very pleasant day, there was no humidity so the dirt road was dry and we also had no fog, which allowed us to enjoy the views from the lookout of the Llano de los Loros to the Tahodio dam with Santa Cruz in the background; it is worth stopping for a moment and contemplating every detail.
Without a doubt, it was a relaxed route, which proposes pauses so that both adults and children can dedicate a moment to the perception of the environment that surrounds them.
A hiking route?
With jjiffy you will be able to gather all the photos that your friends or family are taking during the walk
Once back to the parking lot we went to the Cruz del Carmen Visitors' Centre; there they gave us a lot of information about both routes in Anaga and activities in almost all the island.
On the other side of the main road, there is a building that has a staircase to access a lookout on its roof from where you can see our next destination, Las Carboneras and Chinamada.
Circular route of Las Carboneras - Chinamada
We drove north to the village of Las Carboneras and parked at the beginning of the village, in front of a restaurant. We walked back a few metres to some stairs that point to "Cruz del Carmen", but that will not be our destination, further on in a crossing we will be able to go to Chinamada. Here begins a circular route that does not reach 8 km (4,9 mi) with barely 360 m (1,180 ft) of positive altitude change, although at the end you have the feeling that it had to be more.
A comfortable hiking route with abundant and lush vegetation in which at first, we gained altitude to give way to the views of marked and deep ravines, dotted with distant buildings that highlight the magnitude of the environment. The day was getting clearer, the presence of the sun increased the temperature and the possibility of encountering lizards and geckos that fled our presence, easier to photograph were the goats that looked at us curiously from the fences that border the path.
In 3.5 km (2,1 mi) we reach Chinamada. The most curious thing about this place are the cave houses, dug out of the rock, which in some cases still serve as a home for the locals. There is also a small chapel and a restaurant with a terrace. The route continues until you reach the Mirador de Aguaide (Aguaide Lookout Point), a balcony on the edge of a spectacular cliff from which you can enjoy magnificent views of La Punta del Hidalgo and the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean.
The return to Las Carboneras was initially by road, we climbed until you see again the Roque de Taborno in the distance and the road begins its descent, on the right we found some stone steps that allow us to leave the road and follow our route along a path in which we gain altitude to finally descend to our destination.