One of the reasons I picked San Blas Eco Resort for our short break in Tenerife, was because it seemed a little different. Offering an all-inclusive package but also an interesting eco-side. Our stay years earlier with our children in Playa de las americas, had left me with a desire to revisit the sea surrounding the island, but not the tourist areas and I hoped that staying somewhere with an eco-vibe would help me change my negatively formed opinion, about the little island.
Although a large hotel, San Blas manages to give off a traditional Spanish vibe with its open courtyards dotted throughout. The twists and turns in its design, create an intimate feel, even though it is quite big.
I was particularly interested in the nature reserve located adjacent to the hotel, this being the reason we had decided to enjoy our break here and in the warmth of a Canary Island evening, sat with Victor Gil, resort Deputy Manager, as he shared a little of his knowledge and more evidently his passion, about the hotel, its design and the San Blas nature reserve.
The hotel is shaped to blend in with the way the land lies and the architect wanted the hotel to follow the natural shape and colours of its surroundings. The winds, he informed me, blow in mainly from the left side, which is why the rooms applicable all face inward.
Our intention whilst here was to spend a little time scuba diving the Atlantic waters and we found ourselves fortunate to be able to visit the Eco experience, which consisted of three parts, outside the normal tour times, ensuring we didn’t miss a thing. (Tours cost 7 euros 50 for hotel guests)
- Tunnel Historical Experience
An experiential journey that leaves you being shaken by a volcanic eruption, as you encounter the experiences of the people and culture of the islands throughout history. Researched and reported by Scientists of the Canary Islands and Catalan Universities and taking you briefly through the most important historical times, it enables you to envision and relive some of the island experiences. The tunnel provides you with an interesting insight into Tenerife
This provided me with an emotional connection to the people of the time, which I found surprising and how they adapted to work on the land and in the sea – tomatoes standing out for me as a staple of Tenerife’s agriculture and contributor to the economy.
3. San Blas Nature Reserve
After gaining understanding about the people and landscape of Tenerife, from the tunnel and museum tour, it was time to take a trip into the reserve. Both Vince and I felt very lucky to be out there an hour before dusk on our own. It gave it a slightly eerie feel, which just complimented nature’s tableau and allowed us, to wander through in awe at the landscape, built from the basalt flows of ebullient volcanic eruptions. We were told it was ok to walk the reserve in flip flops but once out there, wished we’d sturdier shoes on.
Along the signposted path, we discovered rocky layer formations of stone formed over 596.000 years ago, by ash deposits and flow. Cliffs formed by water channels in a ravine creating ‘waves of fire,’ original canary aborigine caves and even a dam built in the 20th century with San Blas rocks. Used to store rainwater and irrigate fields. On the guided tour, there are further treasures to unravel.
Arturo – The tour guide of the San Blas experience, was such a knowledgeable, interesting and friendly man, he shared with us his family’s real life history of working and living on the land of Tenerife with pride and enthusiasm. It would have been difficult to not be interested, with such attentive care shown by our host for his homeland.
This trip has enabled me to walk away from Tenerife, no longer viewing it like a large open quarry, or a nightmarish tourist trap. Perceiving it differently, with the understanding of the evolution of the island, through the many years of volcanic eruptions that have shaped its porous physique and the inhabitants and ‘Guanches’ who have lived, worked and cultivated both land and sea over the years, with the help in the modern day, by the informative and knowledgeable staff of San Blas.
My mind has been opened and I realise I have developed a little love for the country and its unique, at times barren, beautiful landscape.
Where have you been, that’s changed your mind on a second visit?
I’d love to know your thoughts…