The timanfaya national park is one of those natural landscapes that would be difficult to find anywhere else in the world. This is a national park with no endangered plants or animal species, rather it is a mineral museum in full activity. Volcanic Cones, craters, seas of ash, tongues of liquid magma that spewed from the bowels of the earth to solidify and sculpt natural monuments that defy imagination, surfaces burnt by fire and temperatures that in certain places reach 400 degrees centigrade just a couple of meters below the ground.
In this dead area destroyed by fire, life clings on and strives to begin a fresh. Lichens that have adapted to the heat and lack of water have begun to colonise an inhospitable world and cover the volcanic rock. More than 177 different plant species belonging to 138 genera and 42 families obstinately cling to life and reproduce within the park. Fleshy plant spread across the rocks, even more surprisingly bulrushes grow in rows on the slopes of the volcanoes, lined up as though planted by a gardener.
The presence of the bulrushes is explained by the water retaining power of volcanic ash, as well as the plants taking advantage of water in the sea breeze. Animal life is also to be found, represented by insects, reptiles and birds.
The Timanfaya National Park is a splendid laboratory summarising the history of our planet. The area which is now the national park is of a very remote geological formation but was shaken in the 17th and 18th century by massive eruptions which transformed the most fertile regions of Lanzarote into a desert of death and desolation, burying entire villages and hamlets and devastating the population and their crops.
A visit to this inhospitable land is unique, a once in a lifetime experience. Montana Del Fuego, Timanfaya, Caldera Bermeja, Los Miraderos, Caldera Rajada, Pedro Perico, Caldera de los Cuervos, Montana Encantada, Tremesana, Pico Partido, Valle De La Tranquilidad, Barranco del Fuego, Manto de la Virgen are just a few of the names of these never forgotten places. A special mention should be made to Islote De Hilario where a restaurant bearing the suggestive name El Diablo, The Devil, which would undoubtedly been Jules Vernes favourite. The kitchen at this restaurant, probably the only one in the world, uses the heat from the centre of the earth.
Mancha Blanca’s Visitor Centre.
Mancha Blanca’s Visitor Centre and Interpretation Center of Timanfaya National Park is located very close to the National Park. The building seems to be sunk into the rough volcanic lava field from where it hides it’s dimensions. This building which contains architectonic elements which recalls Cesar Manrique, has gained several national awards for architecture.
An impressive audio-visual production will introduce you to a world of sight and sound, will captivate your senses and help you to understand and appreciate the natural treasures of Timanfaya National Park. The show is available in 4 languages but you require headphones.
The permanent exhibition offers information with displays, models, interactive videos and scientific instruments such as seismograph, METEOSAT- Satellite, and meteorological station. All information is offered in 3 languages. The simulation of a volcanic eruption will awaken your senses and will take you to the 18th century when the most important eruption occurred.