I really enjoy joining a small group for a guided walk in Lanzarote. It’s great to meet a broad mix of visitors to the island and I usually learn something new, yesterday was no exception.
My guide was Adolfo from Eco Insider, we were meeting at the Timanfaya Visitor Centre in Mancha Blanca, which incidentally is a great free attraction in Lanzarote with lots of details about Volcanology. We spent 30 minutes here whilst Adolfo gave us the basics on how volcanoes are created and what types we have in the Canary Islands. Did you know we have 152 volcanoes in Lanzarote? Or that Lanzarote & Fuerteventura consist of monogenetic volcanoes dating back 20 million years and the western islands have polygenetic volcanoes and the newest islands of La Palma & El Hierro are fairly new in geology terms at around 1 million years old.
It was time to head outside and after a short drive we were ready to start our first walk in the Parque Natural Los Volcanes. After a short climb up a dirt track we were on a plateau of volcanic ash with a panoramic view. Our destination was La Caldera de la Rilla which is a fabulous example of the inside of a volcano, looking down you can see the crust of the magma lake. We were in the heart of where the first volcanoes were created in the eruption which started in 1730 and lasted for 6 years.
Adolfo is a geologist, originally from Venezuela and he’s spent years studying the volcanic history and landscape of Lanzarote. We learned how the cinder cone was built up around the magma lake created from the volcanic ash (lapilli). In the case of la Rilla the sides remained intact, however the magma in the neighbouring La Montaña del Señalo had found a weak spot and flowed down the side of this volcano.
Back at the vehicle we enjoyed our organic picnic lunch, overlooking lava fields containing examples of the rough black Aa lava flow and smoother green surface of the Pahoehoe flow.
Our next stop was Montaña Colorada (what we call locally the Blushing Mountain, due it’s vibrant red colour). There is a circular walk around the base of this volcano, however we were just walking as far as point number 6 to see the giant volcanic bomb!
This example is thought to be the biggest volcanic bomb in the world, however it’s a bit of an an anomaly as experts are at a loss as to where it came from. Volcanic bombs need a highly explosive force to be created, our volcanoes aren’t of this type and when you see the size of this rock, it’s hard to imagine that being ejected from an erupting volcano. There’s lots of peridot / olivine examples to be seen along this footpath.
The third and final walk was to La Caldera de los Cuervos, the starting point of the 1930 volcanic eruption. We had looked down inside a volcano, around the base of another and now it was time to venture inside the crater. There are some amazing rock formations at the entrance of el Cuervo, you can distinctly see where the bubbling magma piled up layer upon layer to create the sides of this volcano. We also spotted one of the Barbary Falcons who have been nesting in this location for the last 8 years.
This geology tour is classed as a half day, it lasted from 10:00 to 15:30 not including the time to pick you up from your accommodation. It costs €42 which includes transport, guide and picnic. We had walked 9km in total, the level is classed as easy, there are some areas of deep picón / rofe (volcanic ash) so closed shoes are recommended. You can book this walk via the link above or call Eco Insider on (34) 650 819 069.