The National Park of Garajonay contrast to the rest of the Canary Islands, because here it is not the volcanic landscape that dominates, but laurisilva forests, almost always drowned in the fog, resulting in a constant humidity and a famous horizontal rain that produced over time dense and thick forests.
Much of the park, which culminates the namesake volcano, is composed of a magnificent forest of cedars and ancient laurels.
The National Park Pico de Garajonay was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
His statement is that it houses the best known example of laurel forest of the Old World: rain forest composed of several species perennial leaves that covered almost all of Europe in the Tertiary.
The park takes its name from the alto de Garajonay, the highest point of the island, 1487 meters. Legend has it that a princess guanche of La Gomera, “Gara” fell in love with a prince of Tenerife, “Jonay”; their two families were opposed to their marriage, the two lovers committed suicide at the summit of Pico de Garajonay.
The Canarian laurel forest has found refuge in the foggy areas of the islands. Garajonay is, nowadays, the most beautiful living example of this ecosystem. It houses more than half of adults laurel forests of the archipelago. Laurel forest, almost impenetrable, one of the last vestiges of the ancient subtropical forest covers about 70% of the park. One can enjoy various species: tree heath (Erica arborea), the mocan (Visnea cocanera) or the strawberry tree (Arbutus canariensis).
The park also houses an interesting fauna of about a thousand species of invertebrates, of which 150 are endemic. There are also 38 species of vertebrates: many species of birds, including the laurel pigeon and turquoise pigeon (Bolle’s Pigeon), endemic to the Canary Islands, and two species of reptiles, the lizard of La Gomera (Gallotia galloti gomerae) and the “lisa gomera” (Chalcides viridanus coeruleopunctatus) and a species of amphibian, the green frog (Hyla meridionalis).
The Rock of Agando (Roque de Agando)
The spectacular geological formations of Roques are another attraction of the National Park of Garajonay.
The Roque de Agando is a basalt monolith, 1 250 m, located at the bottom of barranco de la Laja, often drowned in the “niebla” clouds due to the trade winds, is a beautiful area of great botanical richness.