Hola From Tenerife

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get an (ir)regular ray of Tenerife sunshine in your inbox. Just enter your email address below.

Delivered by FeedBurner



Festivals in Tenerife and other large gatherings are still not able to be held with social distancing and other restrictions still in force. Events listed here, therefore, are subject to cancellation or change without notice. Such circumstances are beyond our control.

Please like and follow our facebook page for more updates >>

Monday, November 27, 2006

Canaries & Caving

Teno Caves

Asking someone whose claustrophobia is so acute that she doesn't even like to close bathroom doors, about caving is probably not going to the best source on the subject, however, since it was suggested that I may be able to help and today, I received another enquiry about caving in the Canaries, I'll do my best to point anyone interested in this activity in the right direction.

It seems logical that there must be a whole world of caves to explore in the Canary Islands, since the aboriginal inhabitants, the Guanches, preferred dwelling in caves. Cave homes still exist in some areas and had remained in use in many other places until the relatively recent past as this photo - Cuevas-vivienda en Tenerife - shows.

The typical situation was to use the caves on the sunny side of a valley for habitation caves and those on the shaded side for burial caves. Often, but not always bodies were mummified. In 1526, a man named Thomas Nichols explored a cave containing approximately four hundred mummies. In 1770, a cave containing 1,000 mummies was located between the towns of Arico and Guimar in Tenerife and, in 1773, a smaller mummy cave was found.

These volcanic isles have no karst caves, but several lava tubes and a huge amount of mostly artificial volcanic caves. Whilst some caves have been turned into tourist theme parks, many others are not accessible to the public, so expert guidance should be sought before rushing here to explore their murky depths.

Caves in Tenerife

There are many caves around the area of Güímar, such as, "The Cueva del Cañizo, an aboriginal cave that was the summer residence of the Menceyes (Chiefs) of Güimar, is in the ravine. It gets its name from the network of tubes inside it."

Once thought to be the largest volcanic cave in the world, is the extraordinary Cueva del Viento (Cave of the Wind), near Icod de los Vinos in Tenerife. There are guided tours available.

One of the most famous caves of Tenerife, writes Jochen Duckeck at ShowCaveBlog, is the Cueva de Bencomo in La Orotava. Although this was once the residence of the Guanche "Mencey" (Chief) Bencomo and has been declared a cultural interest site, he says, "Currently the cave is in use as a goat pen and any content of archeological interest is protected by a 40cm thick layer of packed goat excrement."


Unknown said...

I have discovered this invaluable web site and been reading through before My Fiancee and I travel to Tenerife this Saturday (23rd Feb).

I am an amateur caver in the UK and have tried contacting the numbers in the article. Unfortunately I dont speak Spanish so have got nowhere.

Do you have details of an english speaker who might be able to arrange a trip to any of the caves while we are there, especially Cueva del Viento?

I have been in touch with Patea Tus Montes S.L. who are mentioned in another of your articles but I was hoping to get a selection of places to visit and hopefully a little less expensive than the €90 for two people I have been offered.

It is one of the parts of the Island I would love to see but with the language barrier telephoning is a bit of an issue.

Tom Marshall

Anonymous said...

Thans for your question Tom.

Since I do speak Spanish, the quickest and most obvious thing to do, which I've done this morning, was to phone the town hall in Icod to see if the Cueva del Viento is open to the public or not at the moment. I think it was closed in around 2004, in order to have work done (with the intention or re-opening it to the public.) The bad news is that they say it is closed still.

Beyond that, I'm not aware of any caves that are or intend to be open to the public, but then I'm no expert. My only other suggestion is to get in touch with ATAN (Tenerife Association of the Friends of Nature) as I feel that they will have people who speak English and, may be likely to know on the subject.

Patrick said...

Hi, like Tom i'm also an amatuer caver and have explored some lava caves on tenerife. If anybody is interested please contact me so i can send some detailed information.
See also German caver site: www.hagh.de


Tenerife Topics

Adeje Almond Flower Route April in Tenerife Arafo Arico Arona Ash Wednesday Auditorio de Tenerife August in Tenerife Brexit Buenavista del Norte Burial of the Sardine Canarian Cuisine Canaries Day Candelaria Candelmas Carnaval de Día Carnival 1987 Carnival 1988 Carnival 1989 Carnival 1990 Carnival 1991 Carnival 1992 Carnival 1993 Carnival 1994 Carnival 1995 Carnival 1996 Carnival 1997 Carnival 1998 Carnival 1999 Carnival 2000 Carnival 2001 Carnival 2002 Carnival 2003 Carnival 2004 Carnival 2005 Carnival 2006 Carnival 2007 Carnival 2008 Carnival 2009 Carnival 2010 Carnival 2011 Carnival 2012 Carnival 2013 Carnival 2014 Carnival 2015 Carnival 2016 Carnival 2017 Carnival 2018 Carnival 2019 Carnival 2020 Carnival 2021 Carnival 2022 Carnival 2023 Carnival Foods Carnival History Carnival Main Parade Carnival Queen Santa Cruz Carnival Queens 2001-2020 Carnivals of the World Children's Carnaval Parade Chinyero Christmas Day Concert Christmas in Tenerife Christopher Columbus Comparsas Corazones de Tejina Corpus Christi COVID-19 Craft Fairs Daytime Carnival December in Tenerife Día de la Cruz Día de San José Easter in Tenerife El Gordo Christmas Lottery El Rosario El Sauzal El Tanque Epidemics in Tenerife Farmers Markets Fasnia February in Tenerife Fiesta Nacional de España Fiestas de San Juan Fiestas El Palmar Flavours of Christmas Free Tour Garachico Granadilla de Abona Guía de Isora Güímar History of Tenerife Icod de los Vinos Innocent Saints January in Tenerife Jardín Botánico July in Tenerife June in Tenerife Junior Carnival Queen La Gomera La Guancha La Matanza de Acentejo La Orotava La Palma Eruption La Siervita La Victoria de Acentejo Las Burras de Güímar Las Celias de Tenerife Los Cristianos Los Cristianos Carnival Los Gigantes Los Gigantes Carnival Los Indianos Los Realejos Los Reyes Los Silos March in Tenerife Masca Mascarita Ponte Tacón May in Tenerife Monuments and Sculptures in Santa Cruz Municipal Holidays Municipalities Fiestas Nelson's Attack on Santa Cruz 25 Jul 1797 New Year in Tenerife Nochebuena November in Tenerife October in Tenerife Opening Parade Parade of Vintage Cars Public Holidays Puerto de la Cruz Puerto de la Cruz Carnival Rally Calendar Recipes for All Saints Day Rhythm and Harmony Comparsas Romería de San Roque Romerías San Andrés San Antonio Abad San Cristóbal de La Laguna San Juan de la Rambla San Miguel de Abona San Sebastián Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Themes Santa Úrsula Santiago del Teide Senior Carnival Queen September in Tenerife Shrove Tuesday Simón Bolívar Summer Carnival Tacoronte Tegueste Tenerife Carnival Dates Tenerife Disaster Tenerife Fire Tenerife Month by Month Tenerife Museums Tenerife Rally Tenerife Walking Festival Tenerife Weather Tenerife Wines Teno Rural Park This Is Tenerife (TIT) Town Halls in Tenerife Traditional Fiestas Tropical Storm Delta Vilaflor de Chasna