Teide National Park – why aren’t the tourism authorities making the most of it?

We went for a drive yesterday, and ended up in the national park. We parked and went for a walk along the Los Roques trail, and then headed over to the cafeteria which is part of the Parador hotel and the visitor centre. And this is where I get baffled. It was Sunday lunchtime. Several buses had just arrived. We are ahead of the queue at the food counter so I decide to leave the crafts and gifts shop until later. After refusing to pay the extortionate prices for snacks, we ended up with coffee that is now from a machine so has lost all the taste and body it used to have when made by humans. We drank it quickly because it really wasn’t nice, and then I headed over to the shop … which had suddenly closed. There were at least three busloads of tourists heading its way and it closed.

Meanwhile, the loos have a guardian of the keys who demands money before you can enter. Now it is my understanding that all restaurants and cafés must have bathroom facilities, and that they must offer these freely even to those who are not using their establishments. We were using the establishment but still had to pay. OK it’s just 50 cents –  there’s no sign but she told my husband that his 40 cents was not enough, and that he must add at least 10 cents more – so is there a fee, or not, and if so, what is it? And, that’s from everyone … busload after busload … for something that should be free.

So, we decided to go to the visitor centre. This had been closed for “reformas” when we were last up there a year or so ago … and we had rolled our eyes because it had already been closed for a year at that point. But no, still closed. What on earth is the point of pretty road signs dotted all around the island’s roads directing them to tourist destinations which are clearly clueless, and have not the first idea about nor interest in how to deal with the tourists who arrive? Get your act together, for heaven’s sake.


  1. We used to go to the café at the Canadas Parador regularly and have always felt the stunning views made up for the small additional prices for the food. After all, they do have to bring everything up from the coast which takes an hour!

    Over recent years the range and quality of the food has declined. The shop that used to stock good quality and innovative items has resorted to the mass imports you find in tourist beach areas far cheaper. Charging for a pee was the last straw for us!

    Recently we have seen the push towards all-inclusive hotel accommodation and also the double whammy of attempts to end private letting; the island losing out in both cases. Hotels rarely plough profits back into local facilities, and many local shops and restaurants are suffering through reduced trade. Local dishes are in danger of disappearing altogether with the lukewarm, eat-all-you-can ‘hotel grub’ on the increase.

    A lovely rural hotel and restaurant in Santiago del Teide closed last year. This was a very pleasant place to stop off. Outside it had a café with a couple of wine presses, a free museum of local interest, and served some of the best local dishes around. We stumbled across it, but for years it had no real sign outside, did not advertise to any extent and, when we mentioned it to local folk in Los Gigantes, they hadn’t heard of it.

    With problems in places such as Egypt, visitors are looking for alternatives, so come on Tenerife, you have everything going for you. Bureaucracy and a ‘head in the sand’ will simply not do.

  2. re the charging for using the toilet in the cafeteria next to the parador on the cañadas.
    One week ago I encountered the same treatment re the toilets in the cafeteria.One of our party used the toilets whilst we got the coffee in, he is a visitor here and it was his first time going up to Teide, he remarked that it was the most expensive penny he had ever spent, it cost 50 centimos!
    I agree that there is no sign warning of this, the ticket is for single use only ( god help you if you have weak waterworks).
    We were not able to claim the 50 centimos back even with the receipt for the 3 overpriced coffees.
    I agree that it is the law that all premises must make their bathroom facilities available.
    Feeling cheated we carried on to the cable car station where bathroom facilities are free and very clean.
    The next time I visit Teide I will visit the cafeteria only to ask for the complaints book and leave notice that apart from being illegal to charge for toilet facilities it will be the last time I use the cafeteria.
    Maybe other readers will consider the same silent protest.
    It is not the fact that it is only 50 centimos it is the principle of the law breaking and the detrimental effect it is going to have on tourism

  3. If you buy something first, before going to the toilet, and show the receipt… you get in there for free, and that is however many times it’s shown, even by others, apparently.
    We’ve no grumble with the cakes and the coffee charges or the quality, seeing how far it all has to come. I love the muffins, and Eva loves the fancy slice of cake..!

  4. Author

    I’m told by a café-bar owning acquaintance that the law requires establishments to make toilets available to the public, but that managers and owners are allowed to make a charge for its use by those who are not customers.

  5. The tip about showing your receipt is very helpful – thanks. I normally use the hotel facilities next door!

  6. I am from Puerto de la Cruz, I often go to the Teide Park I also visit the cafeteria and the prices are sky high, and on top of that they charge you 50 cents what a cheeks , keep complaining!!!!

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