Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Mail from Tenerife

Group Picture
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife

With 30 years of age Alexander von Humboldt embarked in his greatest research voyage to South America. Tenerife was his first stop.

There he climbed the Pico de Teide, researched and documented the volcano and its environment. In the Island Humboldt discovered the law of geobotany which until then had not been known. He conducted studies - in astronomy, botany and geology as well as observed peculiarities such as the dragon tree Dracaena Draco in La Orotava.

220 years later in March 2019 a group of geography students from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) are travelling to Tenerife to follow in Humboldts footsteps. The field trip, organised by Prof. Dr. Patrick Hostert from the Institute of Geography at HU, comprises 25 students and is part of their curriculum. On site, amongst other things, they study the vegetation in different altitudes, volcanite as well as the Canarian pine tree, an endemic tree on the Canaries.

On their travel blog the students will relay their experiences and research results.

Authors: Lasse Harkort, Johanna Braune, Antonia Neumaier und Philip Jochinke



19 March 2019 - Mail from Tenerife #8

La Orotava

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La Orotava's Old Town
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife


On Tuesday we headed to the city La Orotava which is located above Puerto de La Cruz. We will remember it as a picturesque old town with plenty of charm. In times past the city prospered due to agriculture and trade.

After a visit to the visitor’s centre of the Teide National Park, we were welcomed at the city hall and had the chance to visit the current exhibition about Alexander von Humboldt.







Exhibition about Alexander von Humboldt
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife


At midday we drove to the forest of Aguamansa - a mixed forest which - due to being located above 1000m - is in the midst of clouds and thus covered in fog most of the time.

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Aguamansa's foggy Forest
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



18 March 2019 - Mail from Tenerife #7

Following Humboldt's path⠀

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The Group circled Humboldt's bust.
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife

To kick off the second week, after a day of rest, our schedule focussed on Alexander von Humboldts visit to Tenerife 220 years ago. We met the honorary consul as well as representatives of the island’s Humboldt Society who showed us their documentary about Humboldt. Afterwards we visited the “Jardin de Aclimatation de La Orotava”, where we got a tour by the director of the botanical garden.

Already Humboldt himself has marvelled at these endemic and exotic plants during his time on the island. With our next stop, the beautifully designed orchid garden “Sitio Litre”, we also followed Humboldt’s path.


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“Jardin de Aclimatation de La Orotava”.
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife

We set our second focus of the day on the observation of Puerto de la Cruz’ cityscape. We analysed the differences between the various quarters regarding the architecture and the touristic infrastructure.

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Puerto de la Cruz
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



16 March 2019 - Mail from Tenerife #6

From La Laguna to Puerto de la Cruz

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Puerto de la Cruz
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



On Saturday we took it a little more slowly and moved accomodation from La Laguna to Puerto de la Cruz. Here one could easily see how the city is influenced by the growing tourism and demographic processes. It offered a stark contrast compared to the university city La Laguna according to our first impressions. 

After the Check-In we took a stroll along the coast to enjoy the evening together with a picknick at Bollullo beach.






15 March 2019 - Mail from Tenerife #5

Observatorium Izaña and La Esperanza forest

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Observatorium Izaña
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife

On the fifth day our feet led us to the Observatorium Izaña. This station provides a valuable contribution to global atmospheric research. The researcher Emilio Cuevas took time to give us very interesting tour through the Institute. Behind the measuring devices on top of the roof one could marvel at the Teide [volcano] which presented itself in full splendour. Around afternoon we reached the La Esperanza forest and walked amongst impressive Canarian pine trees. 

At the end of the day we drove to Arafo. We focused on and studied the hydrology and agriculture of Tenerife and took a look at its sensitive terrace landscapes.


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La Esperanza forest
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



Terrace landscapes of Tenerife
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



14 March 2019 - Mail from Tenerife #4

Second hike through the Anaga mountains

Nebel im Gebirge
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife

Despite muscle aches and smaller scratches the great impressions from the day before motivated us to jump on our second hike through the Anaga mountains. Early in the morning a heavy fog from the trade wind clouds surrounded us.

Afterwards we wandered through dense laurel forests which now and again offered spectacular views on to the coastal landscape.

We learned about the altitudinal belts of the climate and vegetation and argued about the nature preservation on Tenerife.




Coastal landscape 
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



13 March 2019 - Mail from Tenerife #3

Hiking through the Anaga mountains

Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife

On our third day our first intense hike in the Anagaga mountains was on the agenda.

Starting at the Atlantic coast we hiked 600 metres in altitude through the green and picturesque volcanic landscape up to the cave village Chinamada. Our study focus was on the local flora and fauna.








Coastal landscape
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



12 March 2019 - Mail from Tenerife #2

El corazon de Tenerife


View of Tenerife's Auditorium 
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



Today we explored the capital of Tenerife, Santa Cruz. Accompanied by brilliant sunshine we visited parks, squares and last but not least, the town's landmark, the Auditorium. In small groups and through presentations we studied settlement development and the infrastructure of the region.



„Círculo de Amistad XII de Enero“
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife



11 March 2019 - Mail from Tenerife #1 

Approaching Tenerife

Anflug auf Teneriffa

Approaching Tenerife
Photo: Student Group Excursion Tenerife

Welcome to our blog!  

We are a group of Geography students of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and would like to share our experiences and impressions of the main excursion with you.

The excursion is part of our study and this year it's off to Tenerife.

Have fun!