Europe

The Vueltas de Taganana, discovering the Canarian jungle

In the extreme northeast of Tenerife the law of the jungle prevails. 7 million years ago, the volcanoes, the trade winds and the Atlantic Ocean conspired to shape this island of abrupt relief and jungle heart at will.

Here, the slopes are covered by a thick laurel forest and trails such as Las Vueltas de Taganana that run through them, as well as by the fog that precedes the famous sea of ​​clouds. Do you want to walk with us this spectacular jungle trail? We promise you will be fascinated.

Taganana, the origin

Since the 16th century, Taganana was the most important nucleus of Anaga. It had its own parish since at least 1505, and a mayor and bailiff since 1518.

From the beginning, their lands were dedicated to the cultivation of sugar cane, which gave rise to the construction of the Camino de Las Vueltas to bring out the production. This road was the most important communication route of the massif, by uniting the town of Taganana with San Cristóbal de La Laguna, the capital of Tenerife at the time.

Las Vueltas crossed the peaks of Anaga, and starting from it there were branches that connected with the rest of the valleys of the massif. The Anaga is a mountainous formation and in turn a historical region in the northeast of the island.

On the other hand, it is the place that has the largest number of endemisms in Europe. For this reason, in 1994 it was declared a rural park and on June 9, 2015 as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

Walking the Las Vueltas trail

Until very recently, the Las Vueltas trail was the only means of communication between the town of Taganana and Santa Cruz and La Laguna. The route begins to the left of the Forest House, on the TF-12 main road and in the area known as Casas de las Cumbres. down a dirt road.

The itinerary ascends between dense masses of fayas and heathers to the vicinity of a cave located on its right bank. From this point it begins to descend, while the presence of species of laurisilva and springs of water increases in its surroundings.

The layout shows the original cobblestone on several occasions, and follows a route full of curves, origin of the name “Camino de las Vueltas”.

Between potatoes and vines…

After the first section, the tree density progressively dissipates and reveals spectacular views of the coast. In this area, the paving is becoming more and more visible and stone walls and cultivated terraces begin to appear of potatoes and vines.

Then, the path advances to the Los Naranjos road, crosses it and, after a short distance, takes a cobbled path to the left that leads to the Portugal neighborhood, already in Taganana. This is an interesting nucleus in which the traditional architecture of its houses stands out; It also has a network of paths for hiking that connect with Afur, El Bailadero and Almáciga.

On the other hand, It has a self-guided route through the interior of the nucleus that reveals the ethnographic values ​​of the place, and there are also the beaches of Tachero and Roque de las Bodegas.

Las Vueltas, an “endemic” trail

As we mentioned before, in 2015 the Anaga Massif, where the Las Vueltas trail is inserted, was declared a Biosphere Reserve for the great variety of landscapes, habitats and ecosystems that it treasures in its different levels of vegetation.

So much so that, from the seabed to the peaks, this territory is also home to endemic flora and fauna. Especially the Cruz del Carmen, an old intersection of roads on the western side and an enclave with the greatest biodiversity in the entire European continent.

Among the hills that raise the massif to 1,000 meters of altitude, one of the greatest biological treasures of Macaronesia is guarded: the laurel forest. In this place, the fog spreads between the paths that are lost in this forest of laurels, lichens, heathers, lime trees or viñátigos. All of them make up this plant vestige from the Tertiary Era, that is, from 40 million years ago..

Tenerife, an island with unique corners

This volcanic island has everything: nature, routes, sports, excursions, leisure, etc. So, We recommend you discover the most remote places in Tenerife, the fauna and flora that complement them. In short: the beauty of nature in its purest form.

The path Las Vueltas de Taganana It is one of those itineraries that inadvertently transport you to other corners of the planet. You will surely be tremendously amazed. Are you going to miss it?

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