FMHOY - Fuerteventura

Locations that are emblematic, magical, unknown and mysterious hidden places. The Canary Islands are a paradise waiting to be discovered, an archipelago of legends where you will discover protected spaces, volcanic areas, crystal clear waters and archaeological sites. A journey of extraordinary sites waiting to be discovered...

Garajonay, one of the oldest woods with one of the planet’s almost extinct ecosystems

Garajonay, one of the oldest woods with one of the planet’s almost extinct ecosystems

The National Park of Garajonay hides amongst its leafiness one of the most enigmatic, ancestral and peculiar woods in the world. The humid jungle of laurisilva (Laurel forest) or “monteverde” (green hill) is what remains from the Tertiary Period, which, miraculously, still survives today only on the island of La Gomera, Cape Verde, the Azores and in some areas of South America. Those woods, which are over 66 million years old, have a peculiarity: wax. The leaves of this leafy location have some kind of wax that protects them against the humidity and extreme heat. Those characteristics mean that most of the trees keep their foliage all year round, which makes the landscape even more beautiful. Almost 4000 hectares of natural wonder that deserve special protection. A natural environment that looks like laurel and contains a wealth of diversity of endemic small animal species, such as the blackbird, finch, chiffchaff, Eurasian blue tit, goldcrest and bats. It also boasts geological monuments, such as Los Roques, scored by barrancos.

Gara and Jonay

Garajonay gets its name from a well-known legend, that of Romeo and Juliet. In this case, Gara and Jonay. A story, written by the columnist from Puerto del Cruz, Francisco Pedro Montes de Oca y García, in 1924, where native lovers from La Gomera end up committing suicide from Alto de Garajonay. A vantage point where one can observe the sky without any light pollution, watch the stars and an unequalled endless green rug; sinuous tracks, ancestral vegetation,with the birdsongs as background music.

Ecotourism lovers

Garajonay is a harmless jungle because, unlike other locations with similar characteristics, the animals that live there are birds, reptiles, insects and small mammals. Access to the park is very simple thanks to the well-connected and maintained roads that surround it. It is very humid and one should wear adequate shoes and clothes when hiking there. If we had any of its tracks to recommend, undoubtedly, the most famous one is the 4,8-kilometre track that goes from El Contadero to El Cedro. For those who have more experience and wish to enjoy a more complete view of the park, the 12,7-kilometre circular track that covers Pajaritos - El Cedro - Tajaqué - Pajaritos, is a good choice. Furthermore, you can also choose to go for a hike with an official guide, free of charge.

A recognised jungle

Garajonay became a National Park, in 1981, and, in 1986, it was declared World Heritage by UNESCO, as one of the oldest woods in Europe. This park represents 10% of the island of La Gomera, and it has survived thanks to the persistent mist that provides constant humidity. The highest point of the island is found in this location, between 800 and 1487 metres. The National Park of Garajonay is the last of what remains of where dinosaurs lived. A place that is frozen in time for the enjoyment of many generations. Hiking tracks in the mist, mysterious routes and vegetation that still survives in very few places on earth. It is a privilege to be able to see it on the Island of La Gomera, in the Canaries, one of UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve,since 2011.