Teide volcano in a panorama from the direction of Teide observatory

Teide Peak Permit Booked Out? How to Still Do This Bucket List Hike

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This is the fate of too many avid hikers that visit Tenerife.

You arrive at the island (or even check a few weeks before) only to realize that you require a special permit, and these are booked out for the next 3 months.

Here’s an experience-based guide on how to still do this epic hike as soon as the next day. Legally.

Sunset scene from the Teide Volcano peak. See the volcano shadow touch the Gran Canaria island

TL;DR

Only permits for the 9AM-6PM period are hard to book.

If you are ready to hike, you can almost always access the Teide peak before 9AM or after 6PM outside cable car working hours.

What exactly do you need the permit for?

Everyone is allowed to freely hike the Teide volcano up to the level of the upper cable car station, which stands at 3555 meters (11665 feet) above sea level.

You only need to have a permit to do the final 614 meters (2014 feet) to access the Teide peak and the volcano crater, which stand at 3718 meters (12198 feet).

It is still a very pleasant and scenic hike even if you do not get access to the peak.

Metal pin marking the highest point in Spain

Why is it so hard to get a permit to get to the Teide Peak?

The permit is so hard to get because only 200 permits per day are handed out in the 9AM – 6PM period when the cable car operates. Hikers compete not only with regular tourists who want to ascend the peak from the upper cable car station.

You are also in direct competition with the Tenerife tour companies and even the company operating the cable car. In fact, it’s these entities that snatch up majority of the most sought-after daytime permits.

This is what the typical experience looks like –

You open the website on February 2, and first permits are available for end of April.

Choose the right permit

What most hikers don’t realize is that you are allowed to access the peak outside the 9AM-6PM window. This formally still requires a morning- or evening ascent permit, but these are easily attained, usually even for the next day.

Check out the calendars for morning and evening permits. Chances are, you’ll be able to book a permit for the same or the next day easily.

Also – even if you don’t get a permit for a peak ascent prior to 9AM or after 6PM, in the past few years there have been no reports in the Tenerife Hiking Community Facebook group about anyone checking on hikers.

However, there is one major reason why to get a permit, particularly for an evening ascent – read below.

Morning 6AM-9AM and evening 6PM-10PM permits

This is the La Rambleta building gate up to the Teide peak. Park rangers check permits here every day between 9AM and 6PM

While all Teide ascent bookings are done on the same website, the morning, daytime and evening ascents permits each have a separate link. I’ve noticed that people often can’t find the morning and evening permit links, and give up after seeing that the daytime permits are not available.

You should always book the evening ascent permit and be at the gate at 5PM. If you’re charming, you could even try your luck earlier. Why?

Because hikers have reported cases where the ranger at the gate let’s people go up early if they have an evening permit. No permit, no chance of an early access before the rangers retire at 6PM.

Other options

Option A: Ascend with the cable car & trek down the volcano

If you are not willing to hike up and down mount Teide, there are also the following options.

You can ascend during the night/very early morning. Visit the peak before 9AM, and descend with the cable car.

Or an easier option is to ascend with one of the last cable cars, stay behind after 6PM. Visit Teide peak between 6 and 7PM, and hike down.

Bear in mind that even the descent from Teide is not a light stroll in the park, and you must have the physical and mental fortitude to hike around 8 km (5 miles). Also note that it get dark quickly, and you will preferably need a headlight. If you plan to rely on your mobile phone, take a power bank with you.

In no scenario descend without a flashlight or phone light. That’s a scenario for disaster, or at least an expensive rescue operation (after you’re discovered in the early morning hours by other hikers).

Option B: A less well-known and riskier hack

The rangers also do not guard the Teide ascent gate when the cable car is closed.

The cable car is usually closed due to strong wind.

If you are able to react quickly, monitor the cable car website for its operation status.

If the cable car is closed on that day, be ready to “pounce”. People regularly report their success with this approach, but your plans have to be flexible.

Here’s an Instagram video of a person who ascended Teide on a closed cable car day.

Bear in mind that the wind up on Teide can be quite strong on a normal day, so always dress appropriately.

A word on the official permit website

Screenshot of the official government website where one can obtain a Teide hiking permit

I must admit that, that I also was at first confused about the website. What can you expect from a website made in 2010?!

While it’s easy enough to find the daytime permit link, as most other sites link directly to it, to get the morning or evening permits, you actually have to locate the site above.

You also have to understand a bit of Spanish or have logical reasoning to realize where the other permits are to be found.

Hiking without a permit

Yes, you are quite safe in hiking without a permit outside the 9AM-6PM period. However, why would you?

There are benefits to having the evening permit as you might get peak access before 6PM.

Also – getting the permit allows the park administration to know that people were planning to hike. In case there are severe weather changes, the park administration might know that there is a chance for a need to rescue someone.

Step-by-step guide to making a booking

Step 1 | Find the right website & the right permit link

Screenshot of the official government website where one can obtain a Teide hiking permit

The morning and evening permits are booked on this website.

Step 2 | Find the booking sub-site

Notice that there is this obscure “Bookings” tab. Click on that.

You can book the permit for multiple persons at the same time. They will be included in the same permit, they just need to have their IDs with them (the same whose number were included in the sign up form.

These are the personal details you’ll be required to enter:

  • Document type
  • Document No.
  • Name, surname
  • Nationality
  • Contact details

Step 3 | Save the permit

It is advised to print the permit and take it with you.

This is what the permit looks like. It arrives in your email inbox after you finish the booking process.

If that is not possible, at the very least save a screenshot of the permit and have an ID with you. The mobile internet reception at the peak is spotty and you might not be able to pull up the confirmation email to show it to the park ranger.

Beware of tours that advertise a Teide visit without getting you to the top

Lastly, if you do not want to do the hard hike, but still want to visit the Teide Peak, you can always go on an organized tour.

Just be very careful to check that the tour includes access to the Teide Peak.

La Gomera island in the distance, as viewed from the Teide volcano upper cable car station level

Most tours advertise a visit to Teide and include the cable car ticket, but they fail to mention that you must have your own permit. No permit, no peak access. That being said, the view from the upper cable car level towards Gran Canaria, as well as the Lagomera and the La Palma islands is still spectacular.

Here are a few tours that I’ve checked that guarantee you access to the Teide volcanoe peak (both include ascent by the cable car and hike of the last 600+ meters):

Guided tours that might interest you

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