El Teide

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El Teide Volcano and National Park
On my first day on Tenerife I decided to make my way up to Teide Volcano and Teide National Park, a World Heritage Site. I got up before dawn, and carefully navigated my way across windy mountain roads towards the Teide cable car base station.

There's a large plateau on the base of El Teide, with a moonscape that blew me away. Watching the sun rise and slowly make its way across the ragged mountain ridges and fields of volcaic rubble was well worth getting out of bed for when it was still dark.

Making my way all the way to the top of El Teide, majestic as it is, felt a bit less exciting. For one, it was expensive–I paid a whooping Euro 27 for the short cable car ride. Pricing is staggered, and confusing, even if you buy your ticket ahead of time, online (which is recommended). Aside from hiking down from the top–there are a few paths visitors can take to take in the changing views. Ascending to the real summit of El Teide requires a special permit. If I went again, I'd want to hike down from the top. For the real hard core hikers, ascending from the bottom of El Teide to the top is where it's at.

Don't forget you're at serious altitude on Teide Volcano. Bring layers of clothes, and take it easy in the thin air, as breathing might be a little more of a challenge.

Also keep in mind that there are some amazing hiking trails in and around Teide National Park. The area is outer worldly, and a must see.

>>>Thank you Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife for being my base camp for 3 days while I discovered beautiful Tenerife, and a special shout-out to the incredible team that works the Rock Royalty desk. Your suggestions on what to see on island were priceless!!
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