There are two Visitor Centres open daily (except 25 December and 1 January) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. El Portillo Visitor Centre exhibits the geological history of the Park and the relations and environment of the life forms that inhabit it. The Cañada Blanca Visitor Centre offers an exhibition on the interaction and mutual influence of man the Cañadas.
Here, they have recreated the interior of a volcanic pipe and it is also equipped with a range of interactive elements, back-lit photographic panels, video room, bookshop and assembly hall, where a video is screened. The video gives us a fascinating insight into how the grand caldera was formed, with the Teide – Pico Viejo strato-volcano rising up from it. Entrance to the Visitor´s Centre, the garden next door and the guided tour are all free of charge.
Botanic Garden (annex):
This garden covers a 4 hectare plot next to the visitors´ Centre and it has been created to exhibit, interpret, research and reproduce the native flora of the supra and oro-Mediterranean bio-climatic layers of this territory, representing 75% of the National Park´s superior species. Some species, like the Teide Violet, cannot acclimatize in this area because they need a higher altitude.
The garden is sign-posted and it is endowed with laboratories with germination chambers and germoplasm bank. It focuses on a programme to recover endangered species. It is currently convalidated internationally with a view to providing support for recovering endangered plant species.
Cañada Blanca Visitors´ Centre (National Parador Hotel). The building is currently being renovated and is not open to visitors.
This centre is housed in a wing of the Las Cañadas National Tourist “Parador”, at Km 46.5 of the TF-21 road, and it opens everyday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..
It provides information on man´s relations with this environment, the different uses this land has been put to, how these uses and customs have evolved over the centuries and the National Park´s archaeological heritage. The long list of researchers that have studied in this outstanding site since the 16th century merely corroborates the scientific interest that this area of Tenerife has always aroused throughout the world. Topographic maps and books on the subjects dealt with by the centre are for sale in the bookshop.
The National Park´s Interpretation Service offers free guided tours twice a day and leaving from the Cañada Blanca Visitors´ Centre and from the Portillo Alto Park Office.
For those interested in a tour, you need to book in advance, calling the National Park office: Tel. 922 922 371 (Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), or ask directly in the Visitors´ Centres.