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Tenerife's La Caldera has the woods for walking
La Caldera is near Aguamansa
La Caldera is at the end of a bus route that runs from Puerto de la Cruz down on the north-west coast of Tenerife and up through the pretty town of La Orotava and the misty mountain village of Aguamansa. It is well worth visiting but take a coat or jacket because it can be chilly and damp in the cloud forests it is situated in.
Aguamansa, which is of interest because it has the island's only trout farm, is itself often shrouded in cloud and La Caldera is on higher ground that a road through the forests takes you to.
La Caldera woods
La Caldera trees
La Caldera described
La Caldera is a woodland location. The forests that surround it are a mixture of heather forest, pinewoods and evergreen laurel forest or "laurisilva" as it is known. There are many footpaths that walkers can enjoy, but as I said, make sure you bring suitable clothes because being in the mountains and often in clouds it can get decidedly chilly and damp too.
The clouds that keep the ground and vegetation moist make it a unique habitat for wildlife and there are many interesting examples of the flora and fauna of Tenerife to be found there. Pretty wild flowers like the Canary Islands Geranium (Geranium canariense) and the large bushy Viper's Bugloss species Echium virescens are two plants to look out for.
The forests are really beautiful and have an almost fairytale atmosphere due to the many green mossy mounds, clumps of ferns and the lichens that cling to bark and stone and hang down in weird swathes like beards from the twigs and branches.
Birds you can expect to encounter include the Chaffinch (Fringilla coeleps) and the Blackbird, (Turdus merula) and if you are very lucky, it is said that the rare Tenerife Blue Chaffinch (Fringilla teydea) has been seen in the area too.
Because the pine-needle and leaf-litter covered ground is kept cool and damp there are often many wild mushrooms and fungi to be seen in these woods too.
At the bus terminal there is an information plaque, a welcoming restaurant and log-cabin bar where you can enjoy a bite to eat and a drink either before or after your walking, though it is probably best afterwards, and a picnic area with tables and benches in a woodland setting.
There are a number of handy signposts for the footpaths too and they will tell you how far your destinations are. For serious walkers, one of the paths takes you all the way to the coastal town of Candelaria on the other side of the island. Candelaria is a place of pilgrimage for many because the Virgin of Candelaria Black Madonna is housed there in the Basilica right by the sea.
Los Organos is the name of some interesting and high cliffs that can be reached on foot from La Caldera and that tower above Aguamansa. The name refers to their similarity to organ pipes.
Los Organos is the home to many rare plant species so botanists would find plenty of interest to look out for there.
Road to Candelaria to Arafo Aguamansa
How to get to La Caldera
The best way to get to La Caldera is to catch a Titsa bus from Puerto de la Cruz. With a Bono bus pass it is only €1.45 for the fare there and the same again for your return journey. The number of the bus service you want is the 345.
The bus journey is of interest too because it gives some splendid views back down over the sunny coastal plains and takes you through the very different countryside of the mountain villages you pass through on your journey.
Before you catch the bus back the log-cabin bar at La Caldera offers very reasonably priced food and drink and a blazing fire to warm up at.
Copyright © 2011 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.
Tenerife fire news
Very sadly yesterday 15 August, 2012, this area was one of the ones where wildfires started on Tenerife. Fortunately the firefighting team got it under control and it wasn't allowed to spread. How much damage has been done is impossible to say at present.