Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Cuevas de Roques de Garcia en Tenerife /
Roques de Garcia Caves on Tenerife
February 9, 2015, 20 pictures

Pictures are 533 by 800 pixels in size, numbers in front of the photo descriptions are serial numbers of the original images.
Photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin 2015. Some of the pictures were taken on February 3 and February 10.


About the Caves

The caldera of the ancient volcano, Las Canadas, at 2000 meters a. s. l. and above, is part of the Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide) and offers numerous sites of great interest to visitors. One of them is Roques de Garcia, a group of monumental rock towers. To the north of this group, on the slope of the Pico Viejo (3.135 m), a large field of Pahoehoe-type lava is to be found, and in it quite a few volcanic caves, lava tubes. Most of them are small, two are larger and longer. For a cave fan they provide a nice distraction on the ascent from Roques de Garcia to Pico Viejo (4 hours, trail 23) and they are easily located. Cave names on this page have been given by the author.


24525. Simplified geological situation of the Roques de Garcia surroundings. Dark red colour shows areas of Pahoehoe-type lava, suitable for cave development. Caves, described on this page and in general known as Roque de Garcia Caves are situated on the patch, shown on the map NW of the letter B, right-center of the picture. The picture was taken in Icod de los Vinos, in the Cueva del Viento Visitor's Centre (Centro De Visitantes, Cueva Del Viento).




24270. Situation of the Roques de Garcia (lower right), Alto de Guajara (the mountain on the horizon), El Parador Nacional del Teide - Centro de Visitantes (the building in the center of the picture) and the church (tiny speck to the right of the building) as seen from the trail 23. It connects Roques de Garcia with the saddle below the Pico Viejo peak, and the position is about half an hour walk above the Roques de Garcia caves.




24479. Two phonolitic necks, to the NE of the main group of Roques de Garcia, lower center in the previous picture, view downhill, from the northwest. They are important for determining the position of the Lower and Upper Cave, as is described further on the page.




Upper Cave


24442. View from the Upper Cave down the slope to the plain east of Roques de Garcia, El Parador Nacional del Teide - Centro de Visitantes and the Alto de Guajara mountain above it. The virtual line, starting at the church west of Centro de Visitantes and passing exactly through the middle of the two rocks from the previous picture (here center right) is crossing the Lower Cave entrance, as well as Upper Cave entrance; its southern grid can be seen in the lower left corner of the picture.




24442 + red line. Virtual line, connecting the church, the two rocks and both caves, is shown in red. The easiest way to find both caves is to start at the beginning of the trail 23, which branches off the trail 3 (trail around Roques de Garcia) at a solitary rock, about 2.5 meters in diameter, some 200 meters before trail 23 turns south (and down). Follow the trail (23, northwest) for about 15 minutes, over just slightly ascending terrain until it starts to ascend more vigorously. A large Pahoehoe-type lava field is at the right of the trail, and low 'A'a-type lava ridges are at a distance on the left. Turn right and cross the Pahoehoe-type lava until you reach the virtual line connecting the church and passing through the middle of the two rocks to the east of the main Roques de Garcia group - the line is shown in red. After the virtual line is reached, ascend the lava field so that you stay on the line. Soon the Lower Cave is reached, and from there, maybe 300 meters or 5 minutes far, also along the red virtual line, proceed to the Upper Cave. Both caves are not far to the east of the trail 23, no more than 100 meters or so. No parts of the gated Lower Cave can be accessed so it is not depicted here.




24444. Upper Cave is the longest and most interesting Roques de Garcia cave, recent discoveries have prolonged it from 800 meters to 2 kilometers. Some parts of the entrance are accessible to visitors. In the picture: lower part of the entrance, view from below, from the south, with all its openings gated.




24443. Southern grid




24438. Greenery to the east of the southern grid, up close




24437. Southwestern grid




24439. Northwestern grid




24440. Northern grid




24445. View north through the northern grid, the tunnel north quickly ends.




24446. View southwest through the northern grid - the tunnel continues in the direction south-southeast and joins the southern tunnel, as can be checked through the other grids.




24452. The entrance part of the cave continues to the northeast, and it is not gated. In the picture: view back to the southwest.




24456. View east from the upper part of the entrance




Tiny Cave east of the Upper Cave


24462. The cave has developed in the southeastern flank of the upper entrance of the Upper Cave. The entrance, depicted here, is small but well passable.




24460. View of the entrance from the collapse of the main room




24458. View of the entrance and the collapse from the main room. The ceiling is slightly below the standing height, but the room is otherwise spacious enough.




Small Cave SE of the Upper Cave


24463. The cave is situated a little further down and east of the Upper Roques de Garcia Cave. It is not long, is made of two intersecting tubes, has several passable entrances and is picturesque enough to be worth a visit. In the picture - view of the largest entrance from the SE.




24465. View east from the main tube of the cave - play of light from the roof openings of the eastern tube




  Cuevas de Samara, February 5, 2015     Cueva de San Marcos, February 10, 2015  

This page and the photos by Primož Jakopin; send inquiries and comments to primoz jakopin guest arnes si (insert dots and at sign as appropriate). Page initiated on February 21, 2015; date of counter reset and last change: February 25, 2017.