Refugio Altavista, Teide
Refugio Altavista (Altavista Refuge; alto means high or upper; vista means view in Spanish) is a simple refuge on Mount Teide, about 450 (vertical) metres below the peak. It is the only accommodation option available at such high altitude. You can stay there if you want to get to the peak of Teide very early in the morning (to watch the shade of Teide by sunrise) or late in the evening (good place to watch stars).
This is how Refugio Altavista looks:
Refugio Altavista Accommodation
Accommodation at Refugio Altavista costs EUR 24 or EUR 20 per night per person – the higher rate applies on Fridays, Saturdays, holidays, and other busy days. These prices are as in 2015 and they can change. Maximum stay is 1 night only.
Total capacity is 54 people, which may seem a lot, but the Refugio is often fully booked on the more popular days. Refugio Altavista is not available on the big international hotel booking websites, but you can book it here:
(you can also book Teide cable car through the same website).
Note that the location severly limits comfort and services. Refugio Altavista is not like the 4 star hotels in the resorts. There is no restaurant – you can buy some drinks, but no food. You can heat your own food in the kitchen. There are toilets and washbasins, but no showers. Bedsheets are provided, so you don’t need to bring your own sleeping bag. Internet access is available at the Refugio.
Refugio Altavista Parking
Of course you can’t get to Refugio Altavista by car. You can park your car at a small parking place directly where the trail to Refugio Altavista starts – on road TF-21 (Lugar las Cañadas del Teide) between Portillo and Teide Cable Car, about 2.5 km before the cable car. The place looks like this (looking in the direction from Portillo to cable car, it is on the right side of the road):
On the map it is here:
The cable car is to the west. The peak of Teide and the Refugio are to the north-west. Zoom out to see them.
What looks like a road on the map is actually the start of the trail which you will take towards the Refugio. Cars are not allowed there.
If you come later in the day, you may find the parking full, because there are not that many places. There are other parking options within easy walking distance, the nearest one just behind the curve (or two) in the direction towards the cable car. Just be careful when walking on the main road.
Refugio Altavista Trail
The parking is at 2,350 metres of altitude. Refugio Altavista is at 3,268 metres. The peak of Teide is of course at 3,718 metres, so the Refugio is approximately at two thirds of the vertical ascent to the peak.
The climb to the Refugio is physically demanding, but the path is well visible and easy to follow (much clearer than the trail to Pico del Teide from the other, western side). The first part is more like a dirt road, but after half an hour or so the path becomes smaller and the ascent steeper. There are a few trail junctions on the way, but most of them are signed.
The path between the parking and Refugio Altavista, just above Montaña Blanca:
The path at higher altitude, already quite close to Refugio Altavista. The hill in the middle of the picture is Montaña Blanca (2,748 m), which is a smaller, broad and often very windy side peak. If you have time, it is worth visiting – there is a short circular trail, which will be fairly obvious, especially from above.
From Refugio Altavista to the Peak of Teide
Once you get to Refugio Altavista, you have done the greater part (about two thirds) of the climb, although the terrain is a bit more challenging up from Refugio and you may also start to feel the effect of altitude. Nevertheless, the path is still very clear to follow and unless the weather is bad (in that case you shouldn’t go there in the first place), you won’t get lost.
The trail above Refugio Altavista:
The next photo is the junction where the path from Refugio Altavista meets the panoramic path from the upper station of Teide Cable Car. When the cable car is operating, you will very likely meet many people here. In the background you can see the peak of Teide.
The ice/snow is only there in the winter months (the pictures above were taken in late November and there hadn’t been any ice just two days prior).
Other Accommodation Options near Teide
If Refugio Altavista is fully booked, if you want to stay in the National Park for more than one night, or if you want more comfort, there is a more traditional kind of accommodation 4 km from the bottom station of Teide Cable Car. It is the only hotel in Teide National Park, Parador de las Cañadas del Teide. The trip to the peak of Teide and back, even without taking the cable car, can be done within a single day from here if you are physically OK and start early.
This is how the Parador looks:
You can see more information, guest reviews, more pictures, prices, and book online on Booking.com.
Besides the Parador, the hotels closest to Teide are in Vilaflor, at 1,400 metres the highest village on Tenerife, situated on the southern section of TF-21 (in the direction to the south coast – Los Cristianos, Las Americas, Costa Adeje).