Las Vegas was the first settlement founded in the Granadilla municipality post the Conquest. It still maintains its rural character and has some great examples of traditional architecture. The trail begins from the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación where, which instead of a bell tower, has a bell fitted in the pine tree in the courtyard.
Almost immediately after beginning your ascent, you will see some structures that are ethnographically quite interesting - on your right, a cistern dug out from the tuff and on the left, a small washing area, also on the same rock. A little further up, you have a kiln made of the same materials, thus uniting water and fire in this dip as you exit the village.
The settlement and area is named after the method used to create fields for cultivation on these slopes, where water is scare and the soil is not very fertile. The vegas use small channels to trap run-off water and silt, thus creating plots that can be cultivated. You can see these structures on this slope, where you also have a basin dug out from the rock - something typical to the south of the island.
All along this trail, you will cross many canals. Here the trail crosses over the southern canal that runs uncovered through this semi-natural area. It is one of the main canals on the island and brings water from the water galleries to the higher elevations, then distributing it in the area using gravity.
As you continue on the trail and climb up Lomo Seco, look out on the right-hand side for a dyke that has been dug out in the white tuff that used to channel water to the farms located on the mid-slopes.
At this second junction, you will now cross the Barranco Seco ('Dry Ravine'), which despite its name has some of the most interesting vegetation along the trail. All through, you are moving along the lower part of the pine forest, but it is the undergrowth that is actually the most striking. It is rich in rockrose and tree lucerne and especially here in the ravine, in bugloss.
The basin of the Las Vegas watermill is still in a decent state, but you need to imagine it in use as the canal that directed water to it and the ingenious watermill itself have disappeared.
This watermill used the water flowing down from the peaks to grind grain and then directed it to the fields for irrigation, thus wasting nothing.
As you climb down to another gorge, there is a small volcanic bubble at the curve of the trail that provides access to a volcanic tube. Volcanic tubes are very common in Tenerife and were created by lava flows where the upper layers cooled but the lava continued to remain liquid below and kept flowing till the lava stopped, thus creating these tubes. You can try to look inside but please do not try to enter the tube as this requires special equipment and expert guidance.
Digging out caves, often starting off and profiting from natural openings, is part of the legacy of the indigenous inhabitants of Tenerife. It is especially common in areas like Las Vegas as the tuff formations are easy to dig into. As the trail curves, you will see a small settlement of this type, which makes the most of the surroundings and were very common in this part of the island.
This wooden dyke on the top of this small ledge is an example of the old water canals. Probably made of pine, it crosses the ledge on top of stone blocks. The pipe that has now been fitted in the dyke surely has a lot to do with how well this structure has been maintained, but it is a design which was commonly employed before cement and plastic pipes were commonplace.
- Respect the animals. Do not bother them or feed them. If you see an injured specimen, you can call the emergency number: 112. Do not pick flowers or plants.
- Do not pick up or take away stones or any other item from the natural environment. And do not move them to pile them up into sadly famous 'towers'.
- Respect the signposting along trails. Leaving the set paths causes damage to the environment and could also be dangerous for you and anyone with you.
- It is safer to keep your pet on a lead.
- Try not to alter the peace of the environment with excessive noise (loud music, yelling, etc.).