Punta de Teno, is the westernmost end of the island of Tenerife, the most solar exposed area of the island, the area with the largest number of hours of sunlight per year and the nearest point to America.
After Punta de Teno, sailing in straight line, you find nothing but the vast Atlantic Ocean until you reach America. There is nothing in between. It is, in a way, one of the island Land’s Ends "Finisterrae", perhaps the most emotionally charged by the evocation that raises the historical connection between this last piece of Spain and Europe with the Americas.
The cape is reached 9km from the town of Buenavista, after crossing tunnels dug into the rock cliffs of the massive Teno Mountains towering over the sea, one of three geological cores that originated the island of Tenerife, therefore one of the geologically oldest parts of the island.
While the western slope, the southern Massif de Teno side, slips down into the sea at the towering Cliffs of the Giants at “Los Gigantes”, no less impressive are the cliffs that separate Buenavista from Teno cape here on the north side.
If you add the very poor conditions of the road and the continuous signals in multiple languages discouraging drivers to carry on, due to the dangers of landslides on the road, you get an intensely heightened sense of entering a forbidden zone that inspires the bold to adventure into Punta de Teno - the final frontier.
Buenavista itself conveys a sense of natural and social virginity, partly lost in many other areas of the island, but Teno is the epitome of it. Following the route, after the indescribable mixture of feelings of vertigo, fear, wonder and excitement that marks the road through the massive Teno hills, you reach a vast flat area. This is pristine except for a few wind power windmills and the areas occupied by greenhouses of the Luz de Teno Cooperative, the remains of what was once a large estate. The main house, although much renovated, still exists, as well as a small ruined chapel founded in the seventeenth century.
Except for the above mentioned human constructions, lava, badlands, and Canary termobasal vegetation consisting of cacti and euphorbias, lichens and desert vegetation, invade every corner of the zone.
The intense light show and the vast blue sea, complete the short colour palette where black, brown, ochre, beige and faded green are predominant.
After the immense and straight plain, you reach the mini peninsula that forms the tip itself, with more black lava than the rest, a clear hint of recent volcanism. It is an area not yet conquered by the action of lichens; where the lighthouses tower, the nineteenth-century, romantic, old one built in the reign of Elizabeth of Spain and the other newer, more practical, and with a more efficient working light.
There is also the small fishing port and a well-designed villa.
In Teno, besides the lizards the endemic vegetation and the rocks, the perpetual protagonist is the wind and the sea, a huge, full, unforgettable ocean alongside a strong overwhelming wind, which surrounds and inspires all visitors.
The visitor can walk along the wooden walkways over the lava, look out to the volcano coves on the blue sea, and contemplate the enormous height and size of the sadly unacknowledged gigantic cliffs. Thus they enjoy the spectacle of the waves, at the confluence of sea and land, from the gentle semi–inner sea formed between Tenerife and La Gomera, with all the protection of the cliffs guarding it, versus untamed oceanfront to the North. What a majestic and incomparable spectacle!
Definitely Teno, is one of the small-big secrets that make Tenerife a place like no other. A scenic, geological and botanical treasure unique on the world stage.