A communal washing area where local women used to gather to wash clothes in water from the spring.
The old well in Vilaflor is still intact as are the communal washing areas where once the local women would gather to wash clothes.
The spring, known as Fuente Alta de la Candeleria, rises in the protected area of the Teide National Park.
Here the rainwater and melted ice from this area of stunning natural beauty are filtered through the natural rock for years before emerging in Vilaflor, giving the water its natural mineral qualities.
The area, especially rich in mineral and naturally carbonated waters, is part of the southern region of Chasna, which bridges the municipalities of Adeje, Arona, Vilaflor, San Miguel de Abona, Granadilla, Arico and Fasnia.
Juan Carlos Carracedo, a vulcanologist at La Laguna University explains how Mount Teide, though dormant, still produces a great deal of heat.
As rainwater and snowmelt seeps through the rock, the heat from Teide turns it into steam, which then condenses to become pure, distilled water.
Eventually the water seeps through porous rock, picking up minerals on its way before emerging, years later, from the island’s many springs.
It was only in the 1950s that people began to excavate the galleries, man-made caves and tunnels leading to the source of the springs, taking advantage of the natural holes which occur near any volcano.
In the Canaries there are more than 3,000km of these tunnels leading to the natural reservoirs that hold the precious water.
Many have fallen in to disrepair and are no longer used. But others, like Fuente Alta, remain at full capacity supplying thousands of gallons of pure water through what is a surprisingly small pipe considering the demand and output.
The Vilaflor spring wells up from a source more than 300m underground and 6,000m in from the mouth of the gallery.
It is this that gives the water its great natural purity and perfect balance of minerals, a balance, which remains constant.
This is a great bonus for unlike some other bottled waters, Fuente Alta can list the mineral content on the label with absolute confidence, proof if any were needed that not all bottled water is the same.
There was one case in the UK where a brand of bottled water was being produced straight from the tap! So it is important to make a distinction between the two.
Bottled water can come from various sources and may or may not contain quantities of healthy minerals. But, like tap water, it could have been treated to make it safe to drink.
Pure mineral water, on the other hand, goes into the bottle as it comes out of the ground and is constantly analysed in the company’s on-site laboratory and subjected to scrutiny by the health department to conform to EU standards.
The town of Vilaflor is surrounded by seven national parks containing 220 species of Canarian flora unique to the islands.
It is popular with hikers and nature lovers because of its unique location on the so-called Route to the Canarian Sky, one of the island’s major hiking routes leading to Mount Teide.
Vilaflor lies 22km from the coast and is surrounded by pine forests, where bird watchers can find species endemic to the Canary Islands, such as the Blue Chaffinch and the Great Spotted Woodpecker, the symbol of the town’s Hotel Villalba.
It was in Vilaflor that one of Tenerife’s most famous sons was born. Hermano Pedro de San José Betancurt was canonised in 2002 by Pope John Paul II to become Tenerife’s first saint, adding to the legend that the area and its water are truly blessed.