Chinyero: The Jaws of the Dragon


With 1561m of altitude, the Chinyero is eerily black, located at the foot of the northwestern slope of the majestic Mount Teide on the island of Tenerife.

Chinyero was the last volcano to erupt on the island. It occurred between 18th and 27th November 1909 and thus, its surroundings, declared a natural park since 1994, retain some of the most pristine volcanic landscapes, less colonized by lichens and other flora and fauna species that can be found in the beautiful isle of Tenerife.

Trekking around the Chinyero is a pleasure for the senses that can be done in just over two hours of slow walking. The ideal starting point to undertake this route is at Km 15 on the road joining the towns of Chio and Boca de Tauce, in the Teide National Park. Leaving your car parked on the road, you enter the nature reserve along a forest track which is closed to motorists by a protective gate.

Once through the gate and after less than a kilometer, you find a path bounded on both sides by stones. This is the trail called PR TF 43 "Circular Chinyero" as you will later discover, as access to it from this point is done more by intuition than with any signage!

Taking the path on the right and leaving the forest track, you begin to traverse through the shelter of some beautiful and old Canary Island pines.

Following the path you will eventually find a sign indicating that this circular trail has a total length of 5.7 km.

The whole place is wonderful, for its purity, its diversity of spaces and scenic beauty.

Thus, among the pines, the black image of the mythical Chinyero will suddenly appear, while, at the same time, you will be able to enjoy  extraordinary angles of Mount Teide and Pico Viejo, of the Atlantic Ocean and the island of La Palma, black lava fields and finally, when we start to close the circle again, new perspectives of the Ocean and the isle of La Gomera.

You must be careful when returning to the car, to avoid rejoining the forest road that brought you to the path; otherwise you will be completing the circular path for a second time.

In any case, the majestic Canary Island pine with a peculiar lateral branch can be an easy landmark to remember that you have completed your route, for this return route could be better signposted!

As it usually happens with all areas of this wonderful island, the ideal time to visit them is a couple of days after a rainy day. Only then, while the ground remains still humid, all nature’s colours are highlighted, obtaining a splendid palette of blacks, greys, browns, cinnamons, creams... that blend into the deep blue sea and sky of this magical island in the Atlantic Ocean named Tenerife.