Montanas del Fuego - Timanfaya Parc Nacional

Timanfaya Travel Blog

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WOW! Timanfaya National Park is so amazing. It’s like driving on the crossing the surface of the moon but much more colorful. Well, if I could cross the surface of the moon…..I think that it might resemble this.

Anyway, I made a quick glance as I drove through and continued on to the ATM. The drive did take me to see some interesting houses in Tinajo. I really do like their modern variation on their traditional homes. I could live in these, proudly. The architecture is really simple but respects the past but is modern, at the same time.

Cash in hand, I was off to Timanfaya!

I re-entered the park and went straight to the visitor’s center. I took a quick look around and was less than impressed. If you are a volcanologist or have no previous information but, I‘ve been to many places with volcanoes and much of their information is to educate you on volcanoes more than talk specifically about theirs.

There is a good model showing the parks landscape…worth stopping for as it is free.

I headed to the inner park entrance. There is an 8 euro fee but you get to areas that are impossible otherwise. Also, you get a free bus trip into areas that are totally inaccessible any other way.

I pulled up to the Manrique designed visitor’s center and parked at the bottom of a volcano! As I was walking towards the center, a man walked up and asked what language I spoke. I told him and he told me that a bus was ready to leave and I could just make it.

Well, the bus was leaving but, it was only half full. We waited another 15 minutes as to fill the bus. Soon we were on our way.

The colors of volcanic stone were as varied as any warm color palette. I was amazed at this variety. There are many, many volcanic craters of the side blast type, usual on Lanzarote. Here they look as if an artist has taken a brush and delicately painted each with his brush.

No two look the same.

The view before me was fantastic and un-earthly. I felt as though I may be in an episode of some science fiction show.

You can see the layers and the folding and twisting of the cooling lava. In these aspects, it was something that I hadn’t seen before, not even on Iceland.

You can see areas where the lava folds had been ripped apart sometime after cooling…..revealing what looks like tiles of lava….different colors as well.

The prized view was that of a “barnacle” looking volcanic crater. It’s size, shape, and coloring are unique in the land and it stands out.

Upon returning to the visitor’s center, I was just in time to witness a park ranger pouring a bucket of water into one of the vent holes which riddle the whole park. Within seconds, a geyser of steam shot up a good twenty plus feet….

WOW!

Next, he went over to a larger hole and threw a bunch of brush into it  and about 30 seconds later, flames shot up at least 10 feet. He told us that the magma chamber was very close to Earth’s surface in Timanfaya at 3 km (1/2 miles) below us.

The Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains) were created between 1730 and 1736 when more than 100 volcanoes, covering more than 50 km², rose up and devastated this part of the island (including several villages). The last eruptions were in 1824, however due to the low rainfall (and therefore lack of erosion) this area appears much the same as it did just after the eruptions. In 1968 the area was declared a national park, Parque Nacional de Timanfaya.

This part of the island is a must for any visitor to the island because of its unique 'Martian' landscape and rare plant species. The area is so hot (temperatures just a few meters below the surface reach between 400°C and 600°C).

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Timanfaya
photo by: EmyG