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Tenerife is a diverse island, where everyone can find something to do and enjoy at any time of the year, beyond the sunny beaches in the south.
For a day of exploration and adventure, you can go and visit The Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar, which is easy to reach via TF-1 if you have a rental car. Children would also enjoy a visit to the park, as the gardens are large and there are enough things to see in order to keep you all occupied for a few hours.
For some of you, this may come as a surprise, while others may have heard already about Piramides de Guimar.
Located in Guimar, the pyramids are now part of an ethnographic park that was founded by Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer and anthropologist, who has researched human migration through several expeditions... one of which has brought him to Tenerife, where he discovered the pyramids and started to study their origin.
There are many theories regarding the Pyramids in Tenerife: some people thought that there was nothing special about them, that they are just stones arranged by farmers in order to clear out the land. There are also the theories according to which the pyramids were built by the Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands. You can find more info about these theories in the park when you visit the Casa Chacona Museum.
In the museum, you can learn more about the excavations carried out in the park and their results, along with different theories about the pyramids, their purpose and their astronomical alignment with the sun during the winter and summer solstices.
Inside the museum, you can also see a large scale replica of Ra II, the boat used by Heyerdahl to cross the Atlantic.
The Ethnographic Park Piramides de Guimar is one of the lesser-known attractions in Tenerife, but the park is a great place to visit if you want to expand your knowledge about the island while enjoying the beautiful landscape. It is also a good place for children, as they have room to explore and run around, plus a small dedicated park just for them and a picnic area, where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch.
The park is actually quite large and if you want to see everything, from the Museum to the route along with the pyramids and also the other Exhibitions you will need around 2 to 3 hours, depending on how fast you are going and how many photos you take.
The view you get from the park is simply amazing since it is situated in a valley - The Valley of Guimar - and it is really pleasant to just walk around the grounds and take in the views from all sides.
By visiting the park you will not only learn more info about Tenerife and its pyramids but also about Thor Heyerdahl's work and theories, like the one about cultural parallelism.
Take your time to read about marine currents and how they could have influenced travel between continents during the times of the ancient civilizations, therefore leading to cultural exchange and influence.
Also, inside the Casa Chacona Museum, you will learn more about the findings of the excavations carried out in the pyramid complex and also different theories about connections between different ancient cultures from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and their version of pyramids and other large constructions for that time period.
Before you head out to explore the gardens, you should go to the Auditorium to watch the movie about Thor Heyerdahl's expeditions, which will probably enhance your adventure spirit while exploring the rest of the park and maybe the rest of Tenerife during your stay.
We really loved to walk around the gardens on the botanical route, where we could learn more about the endemic species, such as the Cardon, Canary Palm, Drago tree or the Canarian Pine. Most of them you had probably seen already in the wild if you've traveled around Tenerife, but this visit will give you a chance to learn more details about them.
Although we visited in January, there were still lots of flowers and plants to be admired, but I guess that if you're visiting during spring or summer you will see even more.
We recognized some of the trees and flowers from our trips around Tenerife, but we had no idea how they were called and we didn't know anything about them, so this was a chance to get to know more about the island's native plants.
Other exhibitions inside the Pyramids of Guimar park
This exhibition is full of info about the Easter Island and the discovery of the Pacific Islands and if you have an audio guide you can really get thorough information about how the Polynesians were able to colonize this vast space.
A unique exhibition in the Canary Islands where you'll get to see up close several types of poisonous plants, while also learning how different types of poisons work.
Many of the day to day plants or trees that we see around us are poisonous in some way (either for humans or / and animals). But what matters is how we interact with them and how we can protect ourselves from their harmful effects.
There are over 70 species of poisonous plants from different parts of the world and its purpose is to make visitors aware of the dangers that surround us in the form of trees, flowers and other types of vegetation
Here you'll walk through a typical ravine from the Canary Islands, with vegetation specific to this type of environment. The garden was created in collaboration with the University of La Laguna and you can see here the characteristic flora, as well as other Canarian plants.
This exhibition was created with the purpose to serve as an inspiration on how to create a garden in the Canary Island in a sustainable manner, by using endemic plants and flowers and reducing costs, by cutting down on the water bill, which is a scarce resource in the Canaries.
Inside the park, there's also a space to have a picnic, where you can enjoy your snack or lunch under the shadow of the Canarian pines.
Inside the museum, you will also have the chance to see pictures of a great number of structures similar to what we call pyramids, which are scattered around the world. Most of these constructions are dating back to a time when traveling between continents was considered impossible, so this makes us wonder if there is a connection between them or is it pure coincidence that they appear under some form or another in places like Egypt, Mexico, Peru, Guatemala and even Tenerife?
Disclaimer: We were invited as guests to visit the park, but all opinions and impressions are our own.