The central mountains of La Gomera, frequently enveloped in clouds, holds a fascinating forest, leafy and luxuriant, evergreen and often drenched in water, quiet in contrast to the island´s arid lower slopes and coastal areas. The rainforest receives the name 'laurisilva' which means a jungle of laurels, as the leaves of the majority of the wide variety of tree species to be found in this ecosystem have the same characteristics as the laurel: they are evergreen and require both high rainfall and constant temperatures. These conditions are present on the areas of the mists on the north face of the higher Canary Islands, where the Laurisilva flourishes.
The Canarian Laurisilva is of great scientific interest because a large percentage of the animal and plant species that make up this ecosystem are unique to the islands: they are not found anywhere else on Earth. Moreover, it is known through the study of fossils, that some of these species existed in the sub-tropical forests which covered the Mediterranean area millions of years ago. They disappeared from the continent because that area of the planet suffered a period of glaciation. The Laurisilva is, therefore, an authentic living fossil, a relic from the geological past.
Destroyed and transformed, mostly because of centuries of intense exploitation, the remaining most outstanding formations of Canarian Laurisilva are now protected. Standing out above the nest is Garajonay National Park, considered to be the largest and best conserved extension of this type of ecosystem in the archipelago.
Garajonay National Park offers the visitor the possibility to enjoy a variety of forest environments, often wrapped in damp mist which nurtures the exuberant vegetation and small streams, born at the very doors of the arid areas- there you are in the presence of Nature in its virgin, unspoilt state.