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Caldera de Jieque

Located at the head of the Barranco del Jurado, the Caldera de Jieque is a beautiful natural site little known by the tourists who visit Tijarafe and even by the Tijaraferos themselves. It could be defined as a small scale reproduction of its big sister the Caldera de Taburiente, with its spectacular slopes that seem to be cut with a knife. The Caldera de Jieque measures approximately one and a half kilometres in diameter and is framed by the very edge of the Caldera de Taburiente at the bottom, by the foothills of the Llano de las Mosqueras plateau to the north and La Somada Alta to the south, being open to the west following the course of the Barranco de Jieque, which a little further down joins up with that of the Tranza to form the spectacular Barranco del Jurado.

The Caldera de Jieque contains many of the geological manifestations that characterize the Taburiente; from its own formation process, of an erosive nature, to the existence of multiple and spectacular dikes that cross its slopes from one side to the other. From the biological point of view, its richness is considerable, since its own morphology gives rise to the existence of a unique microclimate at this altitude that provides shelter to a multitude of endemic species and other spectacular formations such as the little forests of gacias or white tagasastes. The interior of the Jieque Caldera is rich in natural springs and seeps, such as the Dornajitos Spring.

There is also a gallery opened in the late 19th century by the hard-working inhabitants of the dry lands of Tijarafe in search of the precious element. Today, this gallery is abandoned and has only continued to be used by a few shepherds to water their flocks on their way to the hilltop pastures or even to Jieque's own pastures, which are prized by Tijarafe goatherds. It is not difficult to gain access to the interior, accompanied by a flashlight, in order to collect some of its cold, crystal-clear water. As already mentioned, the Jieque Boiler has traditionally been a privileged grazing area for goats, given the great richness of its pastures, which are highly appreciated by the local goatherds, and the glen that runs through it to reach the summit pastures in summer.

To access the Caldera de Jieque, the easiest way is to go up the forest track and leave the vehicles at the bottom of the Barranco de Jieque. The rest of the route must be done on foot, climbing up the path that runs sometimes along the bottom of the ravine and sometimes along one of its banks. The path, in general terms is good and well signposted. You only have to pay attention to the sections that go along the bottom of the ravine, as they may have been modified by the action of water during the winter, as happens in the Caldera de Taburiente. Another highly recommended route (for advanced hikers on the island's typical steep ascents) is to climb up to the same summit area, leaving from the town of Tijarafe and crossing Jieque, and then descending to El Time along the road that runs along the cliffs of the Caldera de Taburiente.

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