Just south of the main entrance to the Timanfaya National Park, there are camel rides up through the park. It is a unique way to see ash fields in the park. The rides take about 30 to 40 minutes. Just long enough to enjoy the ride and see the park in a different way. Just short enough that your not bored.
The camel rides are between the park entrance and the town of Yaiza, about 2 kilometers south of the park entrance. After seeing the vastness of the park from one of the park buses and partaking in the heat demonstrations at the restaurant, the camel ride provided us with the opportunity to see the layers of ash along side one of the cones. It is amazing to see how hard the ash becomes after it settles. It is very similar to pavement.
The camel rides are another must see and must do when visiting Lanzarote.
Timanfaya National Park is an absolute must see if you ever visit Lanzarote. The park was formed by a volcanic eruption that lasted from 1730 to 1736. There are several cones and miles of cooled lava fields. Not much vegetation has returned to the area over the past 300 years.
As you enter the park, parking is limited. The staff has a car line form at the base of the park. As cars leave, you are allowed to head up to the main parking area. While it seems frustrating to wait at the base of the park, when you are up in the main area, there are virtually no crowds. The total wait was about 40 minutes, which wasn’t all that bad since you are sitting in your air conditioned car.
Once you are at the main parking lot, you take one of the parks buses for a up close tour of the park. The bus tour lasts about 30 minutes. It is fantastic. The bus route takes you through 2 different volcano cones that are currently dormant and down into a collapsed lava tube. The route also takes you over a couple of high points giving you great over view of the park.
After the bus tour, you can view several demonstrations on the amount of heat still being released from some of the volcano vents. At one vent, the staff places some straw into the opening. Within 2 or 3 minutes the straw is ablaze just from the hot air rising from the vent. At another demonstration the staff pours water into steel pipes drilled into the ground about 100 meters. Within a few seconds the water flashes to steam and shoots back out of the pipe with tremendous force.
There is a restaurant, El Diablo, situated in the main parking area of the park. The restaurant uses a volcano vent to grill all of the meats and fish. The restaurant is open only from 12 noon until the park closes at 4:30pm. After the bus tour and demonstrations, we decided to have some appetizers at the restaurant. The food was very good.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, if you ever visit the Canaries, you really need to visit Timanfaya!