• Marine Conservation
  • Travel
  • Volunteer and Adventure

GVI’s Guide to the Lava Pools of Tenerife

Article by GVI


Posted: April 7, 2023

Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, is well-known for its stunning landscapes and unique natural wonders. One such marvel is the island’s lava pools – captivating formations that were created by volcanic activity.

The Formation of Tenerife’s Lava Pools

Understanding the formation of Tenerife’s lava pools first requires an exploration of the Canary Islands’ volcanic history and learning how these pools are created during a volcanic eruption.

The Canary Islands’ Volcanic History

The Canary Islands are a volcanic archipelago that began forming around 20 million years ago. This chain of islands owes its existence to a geological hotspot that resides beneath the African Plate. As the plate moves over the hotspot, magma rises to the surface, resulting in volcanic eruptions that create new landmasses. Due to this continuous volcanic activity, Tenerife has experienced many eruptions throughout its history, shaping its fascinating landscape.

How Lava Pools are Created

Lava pools form when molten lava flows into the ocean and rapidly cools upon contact with the water. This process leads to the formation of rocky basins along the coastline. Over time, seawater fills these basins, and they develop into stunning, serene lava pools. The fascinating interplay of fire and water has created some truly extraordinary natural wonders on Tenerife’s shores.

The Most Spectacular Lava Pools in Tenerife

There are several awe-inspiring lava pools in Tenerife that deserve a visit. Each one offers a unique opportunity to delve into the beauty of the island’s volcanic past. Here are some of the most spectacular ones to add to your itinerary:

Charco del Viento

Located in the northern part of Tenerife, Charco del Viento is a complex of lava pools surrounded by stunning rock formations. This breathtaking spot provides safe swimming opportunities, and its crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life make it an ideal place for snorkelling.

Charco de La Laja

Charco de La Laja is a popular spot among locals and visitors who seek a tranquil place to relax and swim. Nestled in the charming coastal village of San Juan de la Rambla, this lava pool features a stunning lava platform that offers impressive views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Charco Los Chochos

Charco Los Chochos, located near the town of Buenavista del Norte, attracts nature enthusiasts and photographers with its awe-inspiring scenery. Surrounded by imposing cliffs and lush greenery, this lava pool is a fantastic spot to experience Tenerife’s captivating beauty.

Charco del Pobre

Also known as “The Poor Man’s Pool,” Charco del Pobre is situated in the coastal town of Bajamar. This picturesque lava pool features gentle waters, making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The surrounding area is also famed for its coastal walks and mesmerizing sunsets.

The Unique Ecosystems of Lava Pools

Lava pools have more to offer than just their stunning beauty. They also serve as thriving ecosystems that support various flora and fauna.

Flora and Fauna in and Around Lava Pools

These remarkable formations act as natural aquariums, teeming with marine life such as colourful fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. While swimming or snorkelling, visitors can gaze upon diverse species like parrotfish, nudibranchs, and sea urchins. In addition, the rocks surrounding the lava pools provide a habitat for various coastal plants, some of which are endemic to the Canary Islands.

The Importance of Lava Pools for Biodiversity

Lava pools are essential for biodiversity, as they offer unique habitats for various species. They provide shelter and breeding grounds for many marine animals, ensuring their survival and contributing to the overall health of the surrounding ecosystem. Furthermore, the pools often serve as natural laboratories in which researchers can study marine life and gain insights into Tenerife’s geological history.

Tips for Visiting Tenerife’s Lava Pools

For an unforgettable experience, it’s essential to be well-prepared when visiting these extraordinary natural formations. Here are some helpful tips for planning your lava pool adventure:

Best Time of Year to Visit

The ideal time to explore Tenerife’s lava pools is during the warm months, from May to October, when temperatures range from 20 to 29 degrees Celsius (68 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit). The calmer seas during these months also provide safer swimming and snorkelling conditions.

Safety Precautions and Guidelines

Although many lava pools offer safe swimming opportunities, it’s crucial to remain cautious and follow local recommendations. Some pools may have strong currents or underwater caves, posing hazards for swimmers. Always observe signs, pay attention to weather conditions, and avoid entering the water during rough seas.

What to Bring on Your Lava Pool Adventure

To make your visit more enjoyable, we recommend packing the following items: sunscreen, comfortable footwear for walking along rocky surfaces, a bathing suit, a towel, snorkelling gear, and a camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.

Other Natural Wonders to Explore in Tenerife

Tenerife is home to numerous awe-inspiring natural attractions that are worth exploring during your visit. Besides its magnificent lava pools, consider venturing to the following wonders:

Mount Teide National Park

As Spain’s highest peak and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Mount Teide offers visitors an unforgettable hiking experience amid breathtaking landscapes. The national park also features unique rock formations and various endemic plant species.

Anaga Rural Park

This enchanting park, located in the northeastern part of Tenerife, boasts lush laurel forests, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque villages. Explore the hiking trails for an unforgettable encounter with the island’s endemic flora and fauna.

Masca Valley

Often referred to as the “hidden gem” of Tenerife, Masca Valley is known for its dramatic landscapes and charming hamlets. Hike through this beautiful area and marvel at the imposing cliffs, lush vegetation, and mesmerising views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Travel to Tenerife as a volunteer

Looking for a fulfilling way to experience Tenerife and express your dedication to marine conservation? Consider enrolling in one of GVI’s marine conservation programs. GVI provides a diverse selection of opportunities, including whale and dolphin conservation and marine conservation research. As a volunteer, you’ll work alongside seasoned marine conservationists and contribute to significant research and conservation initiatives. Beyond acquiring invaluable skills and expertise, you’ll also have the chance to explore Tenerife’s lava pools presents a unique opportunity to witness the island’s volcanic history and immerse yourself in its awe-inspiring, diverse ecosystems. Whether you’re swimming in the crystal-clear waters, snorkelling among colourful marine life, or simply admiring the breathtaking views, these stunning formations are an essential addition to your Tenerife adventure. Don’t miss the chance to explore these enchanting natural wonders and create memories that will last a lifetime.


what’s up next?
Endangered Species That Have Recovered: Stories of Hope

Discover the inspiring stories of endangered species that have recovered from the brink of extinction. Learn how you can get involved in conservation efforts.

You might also like these articles

The Rising Tide of Marine Plastic Pollution
Read the article
What Degree Do You Need to Be a Marine Biologist?
Read the article
Marine Conservation
Endangered Marine Animals: The Crisis Beneath the Waves
Read the article
Exploring Marine Biology Jobs
Read the article
Marine Biomes: Understanding the Different Types of Ocean Ecosystems
Read the article
The Fastest Marine Mammal: Exploring the Top Contenders
Read the article
How Many Marine Animals Die From Plastic Pollution?
Read the article
Marine Conservation Volunteering: How You Can Make a Difference
Read the article
The Fascinating World of Marine Animals
Read the article