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Volunteer Family Trips!

Cultural Trip: Garachico

A new Cultural Trip offered by AWF is the day trip to Garachico.

In the fertile lowlands of Tenerife’s North West tip, Garachico is officially one of the unluckiest towns on the planet. In its short history Garachico has endured Bubonic plague, floods, storms, fires, plagues of locusts and volcanic eruptions, the worst of which in 1706 destroyed a large part of the town and the source of its wealth; the harbour.

What remains is one of Tenerife’s prettiest destinations with cobbled streets, beautifully restored churches, two fabulous hotels, coastal sea water swimming pools hewn from volcanic rock and a steadfastly traditional Canarian character.

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Mirador de Garachico

The first stop on this cultural trip is a popular vantage point where you can soak up the brilliant morning views of Garachico from high above the town. This spot is situated on the TF-82, on route towards the Parque del Drago (Dragon tree).

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Plaza Juan Gonzalez de la Torre

“Quaint little park in the heart of Garachico”

The whole square is full of character with a warming atmosphere and boasts lots of historic buildings to meander around. There are tapas bars, public toilets and a café all in and around the square. This plaza is situated just a short walking distance from the fort (Castillo San Miguel), the natural pools (Piscinas Naturales El Caleton) and restaurants including a pizzeria.

Castillo San Miguel (Fort)

Tardis like castle with exhibits tracing Garachico’s history. Great views over the pools from the battlements.
Entrance = €0.50.

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Convento de San Francisco

“Well worth the two euros to enter! This is a lovely old convent with internal courtyards and suspended wooded balconies. There are many old and interesting photos from the last 150 years of Canarian history. Not more than 15 minutes to take in the lot, but well worth doing”.

There is also an amazing collection of fossils and shells from all over the world and a display which shows the history of the volcanic eruptions that have made the town what it is today.

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Piscinas Naturales El Caleton (Rock pools)

These free natural pools make a great place to swim and relax in the heat of the sun. This area of Garachico used to be a successful fishing port until 1590 when Teide volcano erupted and filled the harbour with lava, the result is what you see; numerous natural pools formed from cooled lava flow, extending into the sea. These natural swimming pools have had some manmade enhancements such as ladders, steps and walkways for easier access.

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Changing facilities and showers are provided, with a café nearby. Toilets can be used by customers of the bar. Just don’t forget your towel and a snorkel (sign them out)!

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Cultural Trip to Santa Cruz

Cultural Trips are important excursions organised by the AWF for our volunteers. Our founders want all volunteers to have the opportunity to see some of the important historical and cultural spots of the island. One of the cultural trips is a day trip to visit three important sights of Tenerife: Candelaria, Güimar and the capital, Santa Cruz.

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Candelaria

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The trip begins in the little town of Candelaria. Start the day with the coffee in the plaza, of views of the ocean, the beautiful church and the famous Guanche statues.

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Candelaria is a nice town to make a quick stop in on the way to Santa Cruz. It has a lot of Catholic significance, as it is seen as the place of the veneration of the Virgin Candelaria.

The church is a beautiful stop to do a brief tour through, and there are many cafes surrounding the main plaza, where the Guanche men statues stand in front of the sea.

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Güimar

After the stop in Candelaria, the trip drives further north to Güimar, where volunteers can visit the famous pyramids of Güimar. 

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Santa Cruz

The capital city of Tenerife and 1/2 the capital of the Canary Islands (the other half is in the Gran Canaria, the 2nd largest of the 7 islands) is Santa Cruz. Located in the north of the island, Santa Cruz is a beautiful city to spend an afternoon in to see a bit of the island different from the endless beaches of the south.

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The main Plaza de España in Santa Cruz is right next to the commercial streets with shops and restaurants.

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Overall, Santa Cruz is a small, vibrant city with a much more “Spanish” feel to it than the tourist traps of the south. It is a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean, and a good place to see during a stay in Tenerife.

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Kayaking w/ Teno Activo

Ocean Kayaking is a popular activity among volunteers that come and work here at AWF.

We have partnered with Teno Activo  based in Los Gigantes in Tenerife for our kayaking excursions. For a very reasonable price, volunteers receive a two hour kayak rental, complete with a guided tour and photographer as well as a beer or non-alcoholic drink halfway through the journey.

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Each kayak had two people paddling, the seats were comfortable with back rests and came with one life jacket per participant. The guide also brings masks and snorkels, but we advise our volunteers to bring the ones we have at the foundation, so that they can fully enjoy a little swim during the break.

The water in this area of the island is really crystal clear, and swimming beneath the giant cliffs is an incredible experience. The ocean conditions are fairly mild, but it is a good workout for active volunteers!

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Surfing

A popular and frequent trip put on by AWF is a trip to El Medano beach to go surfing! El Medano is a well-known surfing beach famous for having great waves and wind for water sports.

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There are plenty of surf and watersport vendors in El Medano, and we have partnered with Red Rock Surf Academy for providing our volunteers with surfboard rentals and lessons. For a very reasonable price, volunteers can have 2 hour group lessons, or just rent a board if they want to try to learn themselves. The surf shop has a huge selection of different sized boards for people of all abilities.
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Parasailing

Parasailing is one of the many activities frequently organized by the AWF. It is an experience that every volunteer will have the opportunity to participate in, because the company we work with is located right in Puerto Colón near our visitors centre.

We are very fortunate to work with companies that give us great discounts for our volunteers to enjoy all Tenerife has to offer.
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Our volunteer Gemma wrote this about her experience parasailing:

“This was an amazing experience as we were able to see the landscape of Tenerife and even some jumping dolphins were spotted by another volunteer whilst we were in the air. Not only did we get to parasail, but we also had a great mini boat trip around the coast. The parasailing was great fun and I would recommend it to anyone coming to volunteer with us.”

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Masca Bay Walk

Masca Bay Walk

Masca is one of the most picturesque parts of the island and is located northwest at the foot of the Teno Mountains. This beautiful little village is a bit difficult to reach but it’s definitely worth the trip! A popular activity among tourists is The Masca trek. This track is a 7.5 km hike following a streambed down a ravine that leads to the sea at Masca Bay. After an approximate three-hour walk you will finish your hike in the Masca Bay where you can enjoy the beautiful beach with black sand and crystal clear water of the Atlantic Ocean. You can choose to walk back up to the top or you can take a boat that will transfer you to Los Gigantes. The boat will cost you 7 euro’s. On the boat you can enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean and the cliffs of the neighbouring island la Gomera.

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The Masca walk is done by so many tourists that we as volunteers also wanted to take a look at this beautiful path. So we walked the masca walk with six volunteers. With a lot of courage and a lot of energy we started the walk with a lot of enthusiasm, wondering what we would see along the path. The path is bumpy, has a lot of rocks (some are loose), is very narrow and high sometimes (little bit scary), but the view and the setting is absolutely worth it! You walk past beautiful rock walls, cliffs, streams, caves and many kinds of colourful flowers and plants like bamboo, spiny cactuses. Your climbing paths with rocks and you need to slide down over rocks down again. Halfway down the gorge it becomes quite narrow and spooky, with occasional rock falling down. At some point you use a ledge above the cliff while you need to hold onto a wire rope for safety, which is a little bit tricky for someone who suffers from vertigo. Be safe and don’t rush, we stopped a couple of times and the trek took us around three hours. And as a reward you can take a refreshing swim in beautiful Masca bay. We took the water taxi back to Los Gigantes, which took about ten minutes.

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I would really recommend the Masca walk to every one. Even if you do not like hiking or nature or exercise, Go for it! You wouldn’t regret it!

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This post brought to you by volunteer Kelly, who went on the Masca walk fam trip with AWF.

Forestal Park

Forestal Park, situated in the north of the island of Tenerife, within the biodiversity rich area of Las Lagunetas, boasts the largest treetop adventure park in the Canary Islands. This “GoApe” style woodland climb offers a variety of courses of varying difficulty and will keep you busy for at least 2-3 hours, depending on the size of your group.

If you are one who is particularly beset on heights, then this is a great place to chase that adrenaline rush and can be incredibly rewarding! If not, then hanging 30m above the forest floor and ziplining 230m might just do the trick!

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We recommend that our volunteers arrive at the centre with some time to spare and explore some of the surrounding woodland before engaging the course; with the lack of greenery in the south of the island where we are situated, traversing beneath the illuminated canopy of Canary Island pines is a refreshing sight, just don’t get lost!

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This post brought to you by our volunteer, Rhys.

Volunteer Fam Trips

Throughout the summer months and for volunteers that select the activity package for their experience, AWF coordinators organise several trips during the week for volunteers, which they sign up for based on personal interest. Here is a list of some of the activities that AWF puts on for volunteers, helping groups discover all the magic that Tenerife has to offer.

  1. Snorkelling in El Puertito to see the resident sea turtles
  2. Surfing Lessons & Board Rentals
  3. Go Ape: A high ropes course and zip-line experience
  4. Hiking in the Laurel Forest of the north of the island
  5. Exploring the capital city of Santa Cruz
  6. Kayaking from Los Gigantes to Masca Bay

These are just a few examples of the amazing excursions AWF offers to volunteers.

The foundation provides the transportation to the excursion locations free of charge, and some excursion activities are completely free, while others are charged at a discounted rate for volunteers. Sign up sheets with information will be provided at meetings, so individuals can decide what they want to do during their time at AWF.

Come explore Tenerife with us!

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