The legends of Tenerife and all its mysteries have always been present in the folk culture of the inhabitants of the island. The Canary Islands in general, an archipelago in the middle of the ocean between two continents, has been throughout its history, focus of many stories. Some of them still survive and have been passed down from generation to generation, based on beliefs, phenomena inexplicable to some and a source of imagination in other cases. What follows is an overview of the most popular legends of Tenerife.
Guayota, the demon that lives in the Teide
The natives of Tenerife believed that Guayota was the evil entity living in the bowels of the Teide. According to the beliefs of the time, he was the one which was awakening the volcano, spreading fire, lava and ash over the island as it suited him. Its name means “Destroyer”, by the destructive qualities to be associated to the volcanic phenomena, which this entity supposedly was responsible for.
Guayota lived inside the Teide, at a place that connected with the underworld. According to this legend it was Achamán, the supreme god of the Guanches, who after a fierce battle managed to lock Guayota inside the volcano and close it off, achieving peace and tranquility on the island of Tenerife. Assiduously, the Canary aborigines came to the crater to make offerings to this mythological creature. With those they supposedly would appease his fury, preventing to wake him up and that he leaves his dwelling within the Teide.
Believe it or not, if you visit the National Park, you can meet Guayota. In the visitor center you can watch a short documentary that explains the history of the highest mountain in Spain, presented precisely by this “evil entity”. We recommend visiting the visitors center in the Teide National Park since you will learn, on a short visit, many things about the origin and formation of the volcano and the island of Tenerife in general.
But apart from the legend Guayota and its visitor center, there are a lot of experiences and things to see in Teide National Park.
Inexplicable phenomena of the Barranco de Badajoz
Among the currently most vivid Tenerife legends are the mysterious events of people who have come to Barranco de Badajoz, located in Güimar in the southeast of Tenerife.
Among the supposed inexplicable phenomena that some people claim to have witnessed are: especially if you are there at night, it is a fact that at certain points of the ravine time seems to stop, since the clocks stop working. In fact, one of the most famous stories often told about the Barranco de Badajoz, is “the girl of the pears”. A girl that in the late nineteenth century went to the ravine on request of their parents for fruit and disappeared. After that, the whole canyon was screened to try to find her, but without success. However the girl showed again decades later … but with the same appearance with which it disappeared. For the girl it had only been a few hours, even though in real space-time 20 years have passed.
Other phenomena also reported by visitors to the Barranco de Badajoz, is the sighting of UFOs and very tall creatures and completely dressed in white.
The mysterious island of San Borondón
This legend does not exist only within Tenerife legends, but in he legends of the Canary Islands in general.
A story in the style of the famous series known worldwide as “Lost” or “Perdidos” in its Spanish version. We are talking about the island of San Borondon, a mysterious island of which exist numerous historiographical documents. Most notably one of the Irish monk Saint Brendan of Clonfert on an expedition between 480 and 576 A.D. After this trip undertaken by the monk that was recorded among the Vatican codices, many were those who tried to reach that island. The existence of this island even appeared in official maps and charts of the time.
According to stories and testimonials over the time, the island of San Borondon is located in two different areas, sometimes south of Tenerife, and sometimes between the islands of El Hierro and La Palma.
Currently there are still people alive who claim to have seen the mysterious island.
Myth or reality? The truth is that this legend is one of the best known on the Canary Islands and even today remains shrouded in mystery.
Sightings at Teide
To end with the legends of Tenerife, we return to the Teide, since according to some stories and witnesses, in the highest mountain in Spain not only the devil Guayota, but there are also many witnesses over time which have seen UFOs there. In 1989, gathered 10.000 people in the National Park, following a call by National Radio of Spainm the Civil Government and the Cabildo of Tenerife, to try to gaze these phenomena on the sky. In addition to the 10,000 people, national and foreign media came and performed the first live broadcast from the top of Spain.
Overnight no strange phenomenon was spotted, however, the event was used to perform relaxation exercises among the attendees. If the testimonies of the sightings on the Teide were true or not, what is certain is that it was an excellent marketing strategy for the radio program which organized this event on Spain’s highest place.
Tenerife, an island full of legends
These are the most famous legends of Tenerife, which add to the already spectacular history of this beautiful island. An additional point of magic and mystery, that we hope you have liked to know.