Below Mount Teide National Park and spreading seawards down steep hills lays the Corona Forestal Natural Park. This space is protected by law owing to its outreach -over 46,000 hectares-. It is virtually unspoilt, free of human exploitation or settlements; the beauty of nature, flora, fauna, and orography is regarded as unique samples of the Canarian natural heritage. The main aim of this kind of protected spaces is to preserve the natural resources for the general public to enjoy, as well as for educational and scientific research, always excluding residential or any other uses outside of their purposes.
It is named “Corona Forestal” -that translates as “forest crown”- after the fact that it encircles the island in the manner of a green belt. Some of the densest forest masses in the Archipelago occur here. The highest areas -reaching over 2,700 metres of altitude- have been colonised by high-mountain shrubs, but the dominating vegetation is the Canarian pine tree. Samples of evergreen wax myrtle and heather shrubs and even laurel forests can also be found in certain areas. The entire space is rich in endemic flora and fauna. Pine tree groves especially are home of indigenous and exclusive birdlife, namely comprised of blue chaffinchs and the great spotted woodpecker. The Park also houses volcanos arised from historical eruptions -Fasnia volcano (1705), Siete Fuentes (1704), and Montaña de las Arenas (1705)-, deep gorges -Tamadaya, El Río, etc.-, enormous valleys originated by massive land slides -La Orotava a Güímar valleys-, as well as whimsical geomorphologic formations resulting from wind erosion, such as the ones comprising the lunar landscape found in the top of Vilaflor.
Amongst the infrastructures found within the Park, all compatible with its preservation status, one of the world’s most important astronomic complexes can be found: the Izaña Observatory. Corona Forestal also boasts several recreational and camping areas equipped with drinking water sources, toilet facilities, benches, tables, barbecuing spots and playgrounds for the younger, all of which are aimed for public use and enjoyment.
The Park offers easy access from several roads. Driving along the way, we will come across a number of viewpoints allowing to peek into the vast space. Visitors can alternatively choose to venture in one of the very many walking trails and tracks that can be covered on foot, by bike or even on horseback. That being said, we strongly recommed bringing a map along, as well as the necessary equipment for each kind of activity.