Hike the volcano El Cuervo by Salvatore Lampreu
The volcanic landscape of Lanzarote
Under a blue sky traversed by fast-moving clouds that cast strange shadows on the ground, Lanzarote shows itself to be an island of unexpected lights and contrasts that are engraved on the eyes and on the mind.
Lanzarote has a deep, dark soul, like the mouths of its volcanoes, but it can also be bright and vibrant, with villages, churches, purple and lilac flowers, cacti and palm trees… that, from time to time, you come across as you explore.
Outings to explore volcanoes are essential experiences to fully appreciate the island, its unique geological and geomorphological characteristics, and to come into contact with its intense energy.
Today I want to tell you about an excursion that is very easy to undertake, even on your own, and with no need for specialized equipment. I’m talking about the Volcán del Cuervo trail.
The Volcán del Cuervo
When the first volcanic eruption took place on the morning of September 1, 1730, as a preamble to a series of events that changed the landscape of Lanzarote over several years, giving it an almost lunar appearance, the first volcano to form was the Caldera del Cuervo or Volcán del Cuervo.
The Caldera del Cuervo, therefore, is not only a classic example of a simple crater, one of those that fortunately will only explode on a single occasion, but it is also a symbol of the transformation of Lanzarote that shouldn’t be missed.
Located in a unique, somewhat apocalyptic setting, the volcano has an unmistakable profile and faces, on the one hand, Montaña Negra and Montaña Colorada and, on the other, the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya.
Coming from the direction of Yaiza and Uga, you will find the Volcán del Cuervo after passing the vineyards of La Geria. Just opposite the volcano is a free parking area where you can leave your car, and the trail begins from there. The path, almost 5 km long, is very straightforward and can be enjoyed by anyone, including children. The only important thing is to remember to follow the path and not venture away from it into areas where walking is not permitted.
On the way to the caldera
Along the route you will find several explanatory panels that do a very good job of presenting the history and characteristics of the place, the forming of the landscape and its context with respect to the surrounding cataclysmic events.
It is incredibly exciting to be able to stand at the foot of a volcano of this magnitude and admire its magnificence, surrounded by a black sea of solidified lava that, on careful observation, still conserves its wave-like movement.
The colours are impressive and constantly changing, especially depending on the passage of the clouds. The wind blows strongly, but softens the heat, and the low plants that grow, climbing the slope of the mountain of lapilli, surprise me – a sign of resilience that only nature can teach us.
Before finishing the circuit around the caldera, a path leads down to the interior of the crater, right into the center where it all began, the alpha and omega of a cataclysmic event that altered the order of things to create something totally new.
Inside that basin I felt immensely small and yet so fortunate to have visited such a unique, wild and all-encompassing place.