Hike to Pico del Teide and Pico Viejo

Rate this Adventure Montana Blanca, La Orotava, Spain

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  • RT Distance:

    11.8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    4921.3 Feet


This is an amazing 2-day hike climbing the two highest mountains of Tenerife (one of them is Spain's highest mountain).

Parking at the car park of the Canadas street (TF-21 at kilometre 40.5) near the Teleférico car park at an elevation of 7710 ft and follow a gravel road until Montana Blanca (8940ft). After that the footpath gets rocky and also steeper, until reaching the place Refugio de Altavista (10694 ft). It took us about 2.5 hours to get there.

Altavista del Teide Refuge consists of two buildings, has a dining room and kitchen. It has three dormitories with a total capacity for 54 people. The rooms are heated and beds are fully equipped with sheets and warm quilts, so you don't have to bring a sleeping bag. It has toilets but no showers. Also you have to bring enough bottled water with you, because when we were there, there was none available in the Teide Refuge. There were vending machines for buying sweets and hot drinks, and you can buy WiFi access. What is important is that visitors can only stay one night, and you also have to book in advance, which can be done here: telefericoteide.com.

Due to environmental reasons, a permit is needed for entering the crater of Mt Teide, but when you stay overnight at Altavista del Teide Refuge, you are entitled to access Teide Peak without having to apply for the permit, which is otherwise required. Nevertheless, you still have to leave the crater before 9AM, because that is time when people with the permit start entering the crater.

The next day we started around 6am in order to be at the top of Pico del Teide (12198 ft) before sunrise. We were accompanied by plenty of people, but managed to reach the top before everyone else after walking for around 1 hour or 1h 30min. After admiring the incredible sunrise on top, we descended to the top of the Teide cable car (11663 ft), continuing the path leading West to Mirador de Pico Viejo viewpoint from which you have a beautiful view onto Pico Viejo. Following the path number 9, we reached the crater of Pico Viejo, which is very impressive, especially because it is much bigger compared to its higher "neighbor". It is extremely colorful and also less crowded (at least early in the morning).

After a short snack and enjoying the beautiful scenery around Pico Viejo, start to descend in the direction of Roques de García (Path 23). Due to the fact that the weather was really muggy and sunny this walk seemed endless, but when we finally reached the visitor center at Roques de Garcia, we hitchhiked back to the car park and were proud that we made it back from such an incredible hike.

Pack List

  • Permit for entering the crater of Mt. Teide/or booking confirmation of the Refugio Altavista
  • Good Hiking Boots
  • Bring lots of water and food
  • Warm clothes (gloves, hat, warm jacket - huge difference in temperature)
  • Hat, sun glasses (sun protection)
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp and Flashlight
  • Camera of course to capture the beautiful scenery
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Ines Tanzer

student, 22, Austria&, sports enthusiast, ski instructor, life is better in the mountains

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