The Cave of the Wind in Tenerife: the longest volcanic tube in the world (outside of Hawaii)

It is the longest in Europe and on the planet if we exclude four more extensive volcanic tubes that exist in Hawaii. An impressive natural phenomenon, carved by the force of lava and that is possible to visit. We talked about the cave of the Wind in Tenerife, one of the longest volcanic tubes in the world.

This volcanic cavity nestled in the municipality of Icod de Los Vinos has formed 27,000 years ago in basaltic lavas from the first eruptive phase of the Pico Viejo volcano, located next to Teide. It extends over 18 surveyed kilometers, who knows how much longer the unexplored part can be extended.

The name of the volcanic tube is due to the important air currents that occur inside. As we say, the cave of the Wind has not yet been fully explored, since it constitutes a labyrinthine network of innumerable ramifications, an underground landscape difficult to cover.

The Cueva del Viento stands out for its unique geomorphological characteristics as it is composed of three superimposed levels in its network of galleries. It presents a wide variety of structures of primary origin: lava stalactites, lava cascades, side terraces, and lava lakes …

What also continues to surprise with new findings is the underground fauna, since the cave houses a total of 190 known species, mostly invertebrates. Among the animals adapted to the underground environment, which can only live in the dark, up to 15 new species have been found for biology.

Inside, there have also been some fossil remains of extinct vertebrate animals, such as the giant rat and lizard, and other bone remains of species already missing on the island of Tenerife, such as graja and hubara.

Visit the cave of the Wind in Tenerife

The Autonomous Organization of Museums and Centers (OAMC) of the Island Council of Tenerife offers an interpretive guided tour in which a section of this great volcanic tube is shown, which is complemented by the explanation of other geological phenomena and interesting ethnographic aspects.

As the cave lacks artificial lighting, the interior route is provided with a helmet with electric light, thus putting ourselves in the skin of a real caver and making the environment become a unique, almost magical, changing landscape despite its nature stony.

The duration of the visit is about two hours and the difficulty is medium. In addition to the bilingual panels of the Visitor Center and inside the cave, an expert guide explains the characteristics of this unique volcanic cavity. The visit starts from the interpretation center, where a vehicle approaches the group (maximum 14 people) near the entrance.

The itinerary on foot runs through the area of ​​medium-sized crops, pine, and fayal-heathland, lava fields, as well as an old royal road, farmhouses, and eras, thus complementing the walk with an ethnohistorical view of the area. Do not forget to consult the basic rules for the safe visit.

During the tour, you go through two geological units that explain the peculiar surrounding relief: a huge monolithic viscous lava channel that descends from Pico Viejo (eruption of Roques Blancos) and the lavas of the cave. At the end of the route, other aspects of viscous lavas are seen.

The Cueva del Viento in Tenerife can be visited during summer hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays: from 9 am to 7 pm; Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In winter (from October to March) the schedule is until 5 pm every day except Thursdays, until 6 pm.

You have to book the ticket and buy the tickets for the Cave of the Wind in Tenerife previously online. The price for adults is from 20 euros (Canary residents, 10 euros). Children from 5 to 12 years old pay € 8.50 (residents € 5). A unique underground experience in the world, closer than we think.

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