A strange mountain and rumours of chupacabras
Montaña de Taco is a strange looking volcanic cone mountain on the coast of the western part of Tenerife known as the Isla Baja ("Low Island). It apparently has a large reservoir inside its crater.
I can see the mountain down the coast from where I live in San Marcos and have often wondered about the place.
I had seen a Spanish video that had a report about chupacabra sightings in the area of Montaña de Taco which mainly consists of banana plantations and farms, some of which have derelict buildings.
The mountain itself was once used as a quarry and has caves in it and weird rock formations. If the Mexican "goatsucker" known as the chupacabra and rumoured to be an alien animal or a mutant product of some secret Frankenstein-style science was going to live anywhere on Tenerife then Montaña de Taco would make as good a home as any!
Chupcabra on Amazon
Montaña de Taco photos
Montaña de Taco has plenty of beehives
Montaña de Taco is actually right next to the village of San Bernardo. Houses are built right into its lower levels.
The mountain stands some 321 m. in height and overlooks the nearby town of Buenavista del Norte with Los Silos in the other direction. It is a landmark along the coastline of this part of the Low Island.
I thought it would be easy to find a track going up to the top from San Bernardo so set out to see if I could find one. I discovered a promising looking side road going in the right direction so went down it.
Eventually I reached a padlocked metal gate right across the road and a sign saying it was prohibited to pass beyond this point. I suppose I could have climbed over but didn't want to risk getting in trouble with the law so went to see if I could discover another way to get up the mountain.
I found a dirt track winding its way up through the scrubland that covers the mountains. "Tabaibas", the Spanish for spurges, and Prickly Pear cacti were some of the most plentiful vegetation growing on the dry and dusty cinder cone, as well as Canary Island Lavender (Lavandula canariensis).
Lizards scuttled in the dry undergrowth and were my only company.
This path looked promising too and very soon passed a weird rock formation with what looked like small caves in it. I stopped to have a better look and noticed the area also had several painted beehives on the ground.
I wondered what was in the caves. Could this be where a chupacabra lived? I didn't want to disturb the busy bees though so didn't go any further to investigate.
I had heard that there were quarries for the volcanic gravel known as picón at Montaña de Taco so maybe this was one but now used as a place to keep bees? I had read that "Las Canteras" (The Quarries) is a place name used in the neighborhood of San Bernardo.
The local bee-keepers presumably are getting lavender honey from their bees. I couldn't see much else in flower on the mountain.
I kept following the path and then came upon a flat area full of even more beehives. The track continued onwards though through the centre and so I followed it further only to be disappointed once again when it came to a dead end at another rock face and yet more beehives.
I had to admit defeat and made my way back down to the main road through San Bernardo. I was hoping that I would find another road or pathway and that it would be third time lucky.
There were several side-roads that became very steep as they went towards the mountain but they all looked as if they were dead-ends and I couldn't see any footpaths up the mountainside.
I wasn't in luck finding my way up to the reservoir, which is said to be the largest in Tenerife. I didn't encounter any chupacabras either but they mainly come out at night I have heard!
The video says that the chupacabra was there in 1979, which is a long time ago, and I can't say I have heard of any further reports of this mysterious creature being encountered on Tenerife. I don't think I'd fancy going down that lonely road up the mountain after dark though!
Chupacabras - Montañas de Taco TENERIFE 1979
Montaña Taco y Punta Teno
Steve Andrews (author) from Tenerife on June 19, 2010:
No, not really! But a photo of one would have been brilliant! I could do a lot with that! lol
Kaie Arwen on June 18, 2010:
Great adventure! You didn't really want to meet that chupacabra did you? :-D Kaie
Steve Andrews (author) from Tenerife on June 18, 2010:
Thank you for your comments, Deborah and SEM Pro!
SEM Pro from North America on June 18, 2010:
Thoroughly enjoy your writing style TI! Felt as though I was with you for your adventure, experiencing everything but the heat. Lavender honey - YUMMM! I'm sure I would have wanted to talk to the bees to get a bit of that - you might be glad I wasn't with you :)
Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on June 18, 2010:
Very interesting. I wouldn't go up there after dark either.