Those of us who did not have the good fortune to be born in Lanzarote have, in exchange, a small advantage: when we first come to the island we feel more intensely the impact of its luminosity and virtues: sky, landscape, beaches and volcanoes… As we come to familiarize ourselves with it we appreciate that Lanzarote is more than sun, beaches and Timanfaya.
In my case, as a passionate and dedicated resident conejero -my daughter and her mother are Lanzaroteans- and after wandering and working in different regions for several years, living in various parts of Latin America and, after 20 years as an ecotourism guide with the Banoa agency, I longed to create a project in Lanzarote that would feature the kinds of activities with which I identify.
TenLanzarote is founded with the goal of offering an experiential, participatory tourism that puts travellers in contact with the essence of the land they visit and allows them to get away from the usual routes established by tour operators: to position ourselves as privileged observers of the surroundings with which we interact.
When we travel to a country, to an unknown region, we feel we can better learn about the essence of the area if it is shown to us by a friend, family member or resident of that area. Someone who takes us to their favourite spots, who recommends activities they consider more interesting and which are not necessarily the most touristic, visited and expensive ones. In short, a guide who immerses us in the surroundings by selecting and helping to assimilate what we see. In this way, upon completion of our trip we take away the essence of the destination.
This is the spirit that drives the activities TenLanzarote offers: a wide range of options that, in addition to being adaptable to individual preferences, are designed with the philosophy and desire to respect the surrounding environment; a sustainable tourism that delves into the region without altering the natural balance of the terrain we explore.
In this respect the Immersion Experiences are activities that try to familiarize travellers with the daily life of the island through an area or topic of their interest, be it cuisine, ecology, the ocean, wines and agriculture or local customs and art. These activities are always pleasant -even entertaining- and educational.
The trekking routes do not aim to cover the entire island from one end to the other; they explore the areas that most impressed us when we first saw them, which we now want to show and tell you about. We will converse and engage with people we meet along the way and, above all, admire the most interesting spots, especially natural scenic overlooks. There will even be times when we ourselves create the route, mapping it out as we go, seeing and enjoying it, as occurs on a hike with friends. Ultimately it is nothing more than this: sharing, as a family, paths unknown to us that are being shown now by an acquaintance we have contacted on the island.
Likewise the MTB activities do not claim to involve rigorous exercise and exertions that leave us exhausted and feeling like we’ve practiced a sport without assimilating the itinerary. Of course there will be routes with more demanding physical requirements for whoever may want them but our main purpose is to explore, by bicycle, the unique terrain of Lanzarote. We will ride for miles for the sheer pleasure of pedalling and viewing the landscape; we will stop wherever necessary and we can enjoy a special panoramic view or observe with delight some detail of the route. It is obvious there will also be goals to achieve and heights to scale in order to obtain the reward for our efforts. At the end, some routes will even offer us culinary delights while we swap stories about the day’s outing.
It is not surprising that the aroma given off by this ecotourism (you could say ethno-tourism) initiative is closely tied to fine dining and local kitchens. It is always close to the land, the customs, the Lanzaroteans’ way of eating and drinking, and out-of-the-way enchanting spots that normally are not shown to traditional tourists.
Without disdaining the virtues of the welcoming sun, the beautiful beaches and famous Timanfaya, TenLanzarote aims for the traveller to have the option of going a step further, of exploring the island free of the pre-established restraints typical of aggressive tour operators; to give meaning to the catchphrase that Lanzarote is more than sun, beaches and Timanfaya, and to enjoy the activities we have designed for drawing near to a Lanzarote that is authentic and unique.