We've already written about the leper sanitarium, built in the 1940s and discarded before construction had finished, but Tenerife is home to many other abandoned buildings and complexes. These modern ruins are a testament to human ingenuity, but also greed and short-sightedness; projects which were either once useful but now obsolete, or ill-conceived from the get-go. We explored as many as we could, and here are a few. We'll post even more, later.
On a hill overlooking both the town of Abades and the Atlantic Ocean, is the unfinished skeleton of a vast medical complex which was meant to treat patients suffering from leprosy. We're always drawn to abandoned places, and couldn't resist poking around the remains of the sanitarium.
The hikes we map out for ourselves usually tend to be circular. Round trips involve less hassle, and there's something satisfying about arriving back to where you started; it makes the day feel complete. But we couldn't resist the one-way hike between Anaga's Cruz del Carmen and Punta del Hidalgo, ten kilometers away, on the northern coast. The fact that it's almost entirely downhill might have helped.
The vast majority of visitors to Tenerife come for the sun and the sand; this is a tropical destination known primarily for its beaches. But during our first month on the island, we didn't visit a single beach, concentrating instead on the forests and mountains. Today, though we decided to check out the Playa de las Teresitas, in the town of San Andrés just up the coast from Santa Cruz.
Throughout the age of industrialization, the Canary Islands experienced massive immigration to the New World. Later, the current of people began flowing in the other direction. People from across Latin America settled down in the Canaries, including a large number of Venezuelans... and you know they weren't going to leave their arepas behind.
On our first visit to the volcanic region known as Arenas Negras, we had done a loop around the Montaña Negra. This "Black Mountain" last exploded three hundred years ago, utterly destroying the seaside village of Garachico. We were so impressed by the otherworldly area, that we promised ourselves to return for a second hike… and it was a promise we kept.
We had approached the Cañadas del Teide from the north, the east, and the south… and that left just one mark on the compass. After hiking through the mountainous landscape of Teno, we returned home not along the coast (though this would have been faster) but up and across the center of the island. And we discovered that the western approach to the Teide national park might be the most spectacular of all.
What the Anaga mountain range is to eastern Tenerife, so is the Teno to the west. This natural reserve occupies the entire northwestern corner of the island, and although it's less forested than the Anaga, it's just as breathtaking. We spent a day hiking around its valleys and peaks.
Jürgen and I are very much "plan-ahead" guys. When we leave the house, we know exactly what we're going to do; otherwise, we'd never be able to cram so much into 91 short days. But we also leave ourselves open to surprises… such as our visit to the House-Museum of Cayetano Gómez Felipe in La Laguna. And these spontaneous experiences often turn out to be among our favorites. Our plan was to visit the church of La…
On the street of Nava y Grimón, you'll find not one, but two historic convents, both of which are still active. For centuries, the nuns of Santa Catalina de Siena have maintained a bitter, violent rivalry with those of Santa Clara de Asis.