Our initial driving tour of the Teide region ended at the Parador Nacional de las Cañadas, situated in front of one of the island’s most impressive natural sights: the Roques de Garcia. Before calling it a day, we found the energy to complete a quick, 90-minute hike around the rocks.
With its ochre-colored earth, wide skies, and strange rock formations, this area of Tenerife evokes nothing more than the American southwest. In fact, I found it hard to believe we were still in Spain, walking under the shadow of these enormous rocks. They once made up part of a lava wall, which formed a barrier between two calderas in the park, but which has eroded spectacularly with time.
Considering their location just off the highway, next to the Parador Nacional, along with the relative ease and brevity of the circuit which leads around them, the Roques de Garcia are among the most popular sights in the Teide Park. The trail forms a nice loop around the rocks, providing 360 degrees of perspectives. We had to hurry a bit toward the end, as the sun had just started to set, but this made for an even more beautiful scene.
The trail starts and finishes at the most famous of the formations, the Roque Cinchado (or “Cinched Rock”). This unbelievable geological marvel simply shouldn’t be standing, balanced off-kilter on one narrow leg, defying the law of gravity. I’m sure that, one day, erosion will finish its work and the rock will fall… but until then, we can enjoy yet another spot of extreme natural beauty, on an island that’s turning out to be full of them.