TIMANFAYA NATURAL PARK
Timanfaya’s natural park is located in the western part of Lanzarote. It is the most popular attraction in Lanzarote, and it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The vegetation of the area is scarce, and the landscape is bare and dry.
Volcanic eruptions have created the Timanfaya area. There have been two major eruptions during the past centuries. First a six years eruption period between 1730 and 1736 and a second eruption took place in 1824. The place was opened to the public in 1974.
The Timanfaya area is mostly lava sand, and you can even see solidified lava that was once running down. The place is very historical.
When you arrive at Timanfaya area, first you will notice the Timanfaya sign. The sign has a picture of the devil, “El Diablo”, and this symbol was designed by César Manrique. Same devil can be found in many other parts of the island. When the first eruptions occurred, no one had ever experienced similar power. So people described the event as a devil’s work. That is why the devil is actually the symbol of the whole Lanzarote.
El Echadero de los Camellos
You can go see the craters for example by camel ride. If you are using a car, leave it in the parking lot with all of your extra stuff and head towards the camels. You just need a camera, a hat and sunglasses. One camel ride costs 12 euros. One camel can carry two adults or multiple children. If necessary, the “load” is balanced with sandbags.
The journey begins. It is slow and wobbly. With this speed, you can easily look at the landscape. The camels head up to the spot where you can see the creators. You should not walk in order to get here. The camels can handle this terrain much better. You can buy a photo of your camel ride as a memory.
As you continue your journey by car and buy a ticket, you will come to the parking lot. The car is left in the parking lot, and the journey towards the volcano continues with a bus. There are many buses, so you don’t have to wait so long. One-way road has been made in the mountains just for these buses. Some places the road is so narrow that the bus can barely fit between the lava rock cliffs.
The bus has a commentary in English, German and Spanish. The commentary tells a lot about the eruptions and the surrounding bare nature. If you don’t speak any of these languages, landscape can speak for itself. The bus stops at the most significant destinations, giving the opportunity for taking photos. However, you are not allowed to get out of the bus, so the photos have to be taken through the windows. After about an hour the bus will return back to the parking lot.
Now there is a chance to eat some snacks etc. Outside of the El Diable Restaurant and gift shop, there is a chance to see how hot inside of the ground still is. There is a deep hole in the ground where men throw sticks and hay. Hays are set on fire by the heat and water heats up and burst up like a geyser. Also, there is a so-called “natural grill” that keeps the ground constantly hot. Already at 10 meters depth, the heat is 600 degrees. The restaurant grills their chickens in this grill.
Vegetation and animals
There is more life in Timanfaya than you can actually see. Even two hundred animal species have been seen there, half of which are invertebrates. Also, about twenty bird species use the area for nesting. Six mammalian species have been encountered: hedgehog, one endemic shrew and four different rodents.
Timanfaya volcanoes are actually active. In the center of each volcano is a magmatic chamber filled with gas and molten lava. This causes high pressure leading to eruption. The volcano is constantly and slowly growing with the new lava solidifying on its surface. However, it is unlikely that the mountains would erupt without any warnings. The seismic activity of volcanoes in the natural park is measured continuously. In addition, the constantly erupting lava flow happens so slowly that it causes no risk.
Timanfaya Nature Park is a very educational destination and it is worth visiting if you have any interest in volcanoes. You cannot understand how massive the craters are until you have seen them.