Follow us on Instagram @moonhoneytravelers for hiking and travel inspiration!

How to Visit Teide National Park in Tenerife, Canary Islands

No trip to Tenerife is complete without visiting Teide National Park. Boasting UNESCO status and the highest peak in Spain, El Teide (3,718 m), Teide National Park is one of the most impressive destinations in the Canary Islands.

The park stretches across the center of Tenerife encompassing the Cañadas del Teide caldera.

About 300,000 years ago, a massive volcano collapsed, thus forming the caldera. From above, it looks like a huge basin or depression (you’ll see this more clearly on the map below).

Pico Viejo, El Teide, and many other smaller volcanoes have sprouted out from the caldera floor, creating a striking lunar landscape of lava, pumice, and rock. The caldera is also home to rare, endemic flora and fauna, like Teide broom and Teide Bugloss.

During your visit, you can drive across Cañadas del Teide on TF-21, hike up the caldera rim, summit Pico del Teide, and walk over fields of lava and pumice.

In this guide, we’re going to outline everything you need to know about visiting Teide National Park and summiting Pico del Teide (permit, cable car, ascent routes, etc…). 

Teide National Park Travel Guide, Canary Islands

Teide National Park Quick Facts

  • Entrance Fee: None
  • Permits: You only need a permit to summit Pico del Teide.
  • Parking: Parking is free throughout the park. If you’re visiting during peak holiday seasons, parking fills up very quickly. 
  • Main Attractions: El Teide and Roques de García
  • Recommended Hike: Parador Nacional to Guajara
  • Camping: Camping is forbidden in Teide National Park
  • Recommended ItineraryTenerife 7-day Road Trip
  • Where to Stay in Teide National Park: Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide (luxury)
  • Recommended Guidebook: Tenerife Rother Walking Guide
  • Recommended Trail MapsTenerife Hiking Map Set WKE 7 (Freytag + Berndt)

Teide National Park Map

Essential Info for Visiting Teide National Park

Driving across Teide National Park

Visitor Information | There are two visitor centers in Teide National Park: one at El Portillo and the other at Parador Nacional. To get updates on trail closures, facilities, and weather, visit

Permits | If you want to hike to Mount Teide Peak (Pico del Teide), you need to secure a free permit in advance. Try to get your permit as early as possible. 

Safety |  As you explore the park, you’ll be between 2,000 and 3,718 meters. That’s really high, especially if you started your day at sea level. High elevation can impact people in different ways. If you ascend too quickly on trails, you might experience shortness of breath, dizziness, and even nausea. If you feel ill, descend immediately. If you’re determined to tackle some high elevation hikes in the park, we recommend drinking lots of water and sleeping at a higher elevation the night before (e.g. Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide). 

Food | Definitely bring snacks and water with you. Here are a few places you can grab a bite to eat in the park:

Theft | Never leave valuables in your car. Throughout Tenerife, rental cars are often targetted by thieves because tourists leave their possessions in plain sight. We recommend peeling off your rental car sticker as well. 

Essentials | Wear warm clothing (thermal jacket, wind-proof/rain jacket, fleece, beanie, and gloves) and sturdy hiking boots like the women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX / Meindl Schuhe Island Lady or the men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX.

How to Get to Teide National Park

TF-21, How to visit Teide National Park: Essential Info

The best options for visiting Teide National Park are with a rental car or on a guided tour. Transit to and from the park is extremely limited, so it’s not something we recommend.

Teide National Park covers a surface area of 190 km2 (18,990 hectares). To get to the very heart of the park, head to Parador Nacional.

You’ll find the highest concentration of trailheads and places to eat between Parador Nacional and El Portillo. 

There are three ways to get to Parador Nacional (with a car):

From the South (e.g. Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje), head to Vilaflor and take TF-21 into the park (30 minutes / 22 km)

From the North (e.g. Puerto de la Cruz), head to La Orotava and take TF-21 into the park (1 hour / 38 km)

From the West (e.g. Los Gigantes), head to Chío and TF-38 highway and then TF-21 into the park (40 min / 36 km)

Rental Car

Essential Guide to Visiting Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain

The most efficient way to travel between hiking destinations in Teide National Park is with your own car. 

We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Tenerife. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.

Check car rental rates here

How to Summit Pico del Teide

El Teide, Tenerife, Spain - how to visit Teide National Park, Tenerife

Step 1: Get a Permit 

After 9 am, you need a permit to hike to the top of El Teide. Permits are free, but you should get one well in advance of your planned hiking date.

Kati and I tried securing our permits a month in advance and we were already too late. You can obtain a free permit from the Parque Nacional Teide reservation website

If you can’t get a permit…

If you can’t get a permit on your own, you can still book a guided tour like this one, which includes the permit, cable car tickets (up and down), and insurance. For more options, check out these Teide guided tours.

If you’re not a fan of guided tours and are still determined to summit El Teide, you could visit the peak before 9 am (no permit necessary).

The best way to do that is by overnighting in the Altavista Refuge (reservation needed) and hiking up to the summit early the next morning.

Bring a headlamp, food, and warm clothing. You just have to be off the peak (trail No 10) before 9 am. 

Step 2: Pick your Route

Cable Car Up & Down

There are different ascent routes, but the most popular and easiest way to summit Teide is by taking the cable car (there’s only one cable car in the whole park).

From the top station, La Rambleta, you’ll have to hike up the final 163 meters to Teide Peak.

Make sure to purchase your cable car tickets in advance. 

 Hike: TF-21 (Trailhead at km 40.5) –  Refugio de Altavista (3260 m) – Pico del Teide (3718 m)

If you’re not planning on taking the cable car up, this is the easiest ascent route to the top.

However, it still involves a hefty 1400 meter ascent. This route follows trails 7 and 11. You can descend with the cable car (book in advance), or hike down the way you came. 

Step 3: Purchase your Cable Car Tickets 

Purchase your cable car tickets here. Pricing is as follows:

  • Ticket for the ascent: 22 EUR
  • Ticket for the descent: 22 EUR
  • Cable car return ticket: 40 EUR

The cable car only operates in stable weather conditions. You can check the cable car status here.

Kati and I planned to take the cable car up to the top station and hike to Pico Viejo and then all the way down to Parador.

We purchased our tickets, but when we arrived at the cable car station, we were informed that the cable car wasn’t running, due to strong winds. 

If that happens to you, you can either get a full refund or re-book your ticket for another day, at no extra cost. 

Step 4: Monitor Trail Conditions and Weather

Updates on Teide Trails and Facilities

If it’s really windy, or icy, Teide National Park will close the trails to the summit, to the Refuge or Pico Viejo.

You can monitor trail conditions and closures here.

Step 5: Have a Backup Plan

If the cable car isn’t running, or the trail to the summit is closed, there are other options. 

If it’s not windy and you’re up for a half-day hike, we recommend the Parador to Guajara circuit trail. 

For an easy, but stunning hike, walk the circuit trail around Roques de García.

Learne More: Best Hikes in Teide National Park.

Teide National Park Walking Routes

Roques de García, Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain
Roques de García

There are some outstanding walks across Cañadas del Teide and up to the caldera rim.

If you’re not in the mood for a big hike, we highly recommend the Roques de García circuit walk and the Montaña de la Botija loop trail

Read about the best trails in Teide National Park in Best Hikes in Teide National Park.

Easy Walks in Teide National Park

How to Visit Teide National Park, Montaña de la Botija Loop Trail
Montaña de la Botija

Roques de García (1:30 hours)

Montaña de la Botija and Montaña Samara (1:45 hours)

Fortaleza (3:15 hours)

Moderate Hikes in Teide National Park

Parador Nacional to Guajara (4:30 hours)

El Portillo to Huevos del Teide and Montaña Blanca (6 hours)

Where to Stay in Teide National Park

Visiting Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain

Luxury | The best place to stay in Teide National Park is Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide. This hotel is situated on TF-21 in the best possible location. Parador is the trailhead to Mount Guajara and a few minutes away from the Roques de García trailhead. You can also walk from the hotel to the cable car base station (1 hour) or drive (6 minutes). If you stay here, you’ll also be able to enjoy the starry skies, as there’s no light pollution in the park. 

Book your stay at Parador de Las Cañadas del Teide.

Look for accommodation in Teide National Park.


Another great base for visiting Teide National Park is the town of Vilaflor, which is only a 30-minute drive from the park. If you overnight in Vilaflor (1,400 m), you’ll have the advantage of acclimatizing before tackling higher elevations in the park. 

Midrange | El Tejar Hotel & Spa is a top-rated accommodation in Vilaflor.

Luxury | Hotel Spa Villalba is surrounded by forest and located in the mountains below Teide National Park, this peaceful hotel encourages you to unwind and relax. Guests have access to a wellness area featuring saunas and an indoor/outdoor pool. Bedrooms are comfortable and spacious. But, our favorite thing about staying here was the breakfast buffet, featuring local specialties and everything else you’d ever want. It’s possible to eat dinner at the hotel, but we’d recommend eating in the town of Vilaflor instead.

Look for accommodation in Vilaflor.

Keep Reading about Tenerife

Tenerife Travel and Hiking:

Anaga Rural Park:

Teno Rural Park:

Spain Trip Planning 

Use our Spain Travel Guide and Spain blog archive to plan a unique and memorable trip to Spain. 

When to Visit Spain

Spain is an all-year-round destination. 

In summer, we recommend visiting Picos de Europa National Park in Northern Spain. 

In spring and fall, we recommend traveling to Mallorca. Read April in Mallorca

In winter, we recommend visiting the Canary Islands. Read January in Tenerife.

Getting around Spain 

We always rent a car when traveling in Spain. Use these road trip itineraries for trip planning inspiration:

Car Rental 

We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Spain. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Check car rental rates here

Hiking in Spain

We love hiking in Spain, because of the country’s varied alpine, coastal, and volcanic landscapes. Read these region-specific hiking guides:

What to See & Do in Spain

How to Visit Teide National Park, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Pin this Image for Future Trip Planning!

Stay Connected:

Connect with us on Pinterest.

Follow us on Instagram.

Like us on Facebook.

Sign up for our Newsletter.

Support Us:

If you love reading our content, you can buy us a coffee via Ko-Fi.

Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati

Leave a Comment