The volcano and its surroundings comprise the Teide National Park. The park has an area of 18,900 hectares and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on June 29, 2007. Is also one of the most visited National Parks in the world, with a total of 2.7 million visitors (ISTAC, 2011).
For those reasons, this is a mandatory trip for everyone who is visiting Tenerife. In addition, in some participants’ countries there are not many mountains, so they were surprised.
This activity also prompted the awareness of microclimates and the importance of the balance of the whole environmental system of the island.
Climate change will affect the prevailing winds, and therefore all microclimates. Many species and endemic species found only in the Canary Islands would disappear. Nowadays, society and institutions strive to prevent this from happening.
Sustainability in an island is always more difficult, there is less land to develop all human activities in a manner that respects the environment. The balance between humans and nature is weaker, but must respected.
Efforts are focusing on responsible tourism, to allow economic development without wasting resources and preserving the environment: separation of waste, recicling, protection of natural areas, limiting the number of visitors, monitoring, environmental education, etc..
El Teide is located in the center of a National Park, which is the maximum protection that can be set in a natural area in Spain. National Parks are within “Natura 2000“, the European network for protected natural areas.
After el Teide we visited the main city en the north part of the island: La Orotava. Historically, La Orotava has been a economic and cultural development point. La Orotava Valley attracted many european illustrated scientists and artists during the nineteenth century, when establishing that there was the so-called scientific discovery of the Canaries. Notable visitors as Sabin Berthelot, Olivia Stone, Philip Barker Webb, Christen Smith, Leopold von Buch and Elizabeth Murray among others, were the first who took towards Canary scientific interest.
From here, the natural and climatic advantages of La Orotava Valley were really known in Europe. In addition, they extolled the qualities of many agricultural products from the north of Tenerife, as in the case of wine, as appointed by William Shakespeare in the sixteenth century through his characters and literary descriptions.