Garajonay: the prehistoric natural park

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Garajonay National Park is known like one of the most beautiful forests in the world. It is located in the center and north of the island of La Gomera. It was declared a national park by UNESCO in 1986. It occupies 40 km2 on the island.

The park is named after the rock formation of Garajonay, the highest point on the island at 1,487 m . It also includes a small plateau at 790-1,400 m above the sea level. The name Garajonay comes from the love story between “guanche” (native islanders) Gara and Jonay, who tragically died in that place.

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The park provides the best example of Canarian LAURISILVA (Canarian laurel tree),  one of the last remains of the ancestral tropical forests from the Tertiary, almost permanently enveloped in fog. Although named as a single type of forest, the National Park englobes several varieties of forests: most humid and protected valleys oriented to the North have a true subtropical rainforest where the largest laurel trees can be found; at higher altitudes, with less protection from wind and sun, the forest loses some of its more delicate species; at the south the forest is mainly a mix of beech and heather, species adapted to the less humid atmosphere.

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Other attractions of the National Park are the massive rocks that are found along the island. These are former volcanoes whose shapes have been carved by erosion. Some, like the “Fortaleza” (fortress in Spanish) were considered sacred by the native islanders, as well as ideal refuges when attacked. The park is crossed by a large network of 18 footpaths, trekking being one of the main tourist activities in the island.

Fortaleza-de-Chipude

Many of the species of flora and fauna are endemic to La Gomera island, like the “Gallotia gomerana” (Gomeran giant lizard) and the “Chalcides viridanus” (Gomeran skink).

Lagarto-Gigante  viridanus

La Gomera is only 50 km from Tenerife and ferry services are available all day from Los Cristianos Harbour. It is worthy to visit La Gomera and go back in time through this amazing prehistoric trees forest.

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If you like a trip excursion to La Gomera or maybe trekking experience you can click here: http://www.nereizerdie.com/eng/otras_gomera.htm

If you like to go on your own or even take a car you can check availability and prices and buy your ferry tickets on line here: http://www.fredolsen.es/en-us/compraonline/c-compraonline.aspx

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