Lanzarote is one of the largest Canary Islands and closest to the Spanish mainland. Without meaning to give a geography lesson, it is interesting to note that it was created by volcanic activity way back when. The results are huge tracts of solidified lava fields, rugged, craggy mountains, fantastically shaped rock formations and the El Jable sand dune desert.
In fact the ancient name of the island was Titerro(y) gatra meaning “red mountains.” All these physical features are very reminiscent of the rocky badlands and deserts of the American southwest. So to have a theme park called Rancho Texas on an island in the Atlantic Ocean just off Europe doesn’t seem so incongruous.
What is not widely known is that folk from Lanzarote had immigrated to the US many, many years ago and settled in the ‘southwest’ of that nation giving it a Spanish flavour. So that is another connection!
In addition to nature’s handiwork the Rancho Texas has created a setting, including Cowboys, Cowgirls and Indians redolent of the old west adding some modern touches. It has plenty for small and older children and adults to do. You can spend the whole day enjoying its pleasures and in the evening some energetic entertainment.
Rancho Texas has compact, beautiful and carefully maintained promenades, flower-filled gardens, terraces, mini waterfalls and outdoor spaces. The animal and bird areas are kept meticulously clean and as natural as possible.
The park houses snakes, boa constrictors, pythons, sea lions along with rabbits, donkeys, goats, small pigs and hens. There are free-flying eagles, vultures, falcons and a giant condor hovering around, sometimes just over your head. The bird section has smart and cheeky parrots and cockatoos that perform and show off their skills with panache. They guarantee everyone a good hearty laugh.
The California sea lions are not far behind when it comes to displaying intelligence, talent, fun, frolic and entertainment. They are noisy, playful and relish the attention and contact with people. Visitors can swim and interact with them too. Then there are the big guys! Rancho Texas Park’s animal section features rare white tigers, pumas, buffaloes and Nile crocodiles.
There are pretty little ponies for children to ride on. The Rancho Texas has a water feature section called ‘El Corral del Agua.’ It has a splash pool with play area for children, this has buffaloes standing in the water, a play house, slides, a canoeing facility and water jets everywhere. There is also a swimming pool that provides relief from the Lanzarote heat.
The park also has an Indian Village, which is a trifle kitschy but forgivable. In keeping with the western theme Mister Dakota is a lasso and whip wielding cowboy who puts on a daily and regular display.
Food at the Park is basically burgers, pizzas, chips and salads. Servings are large but very reasonably priced.
To keep the grownups involved and interested there is evening entertainment. In case you may have missed the point of the park’s theme, it is billed as Country & Western Night.
The ambience involves Cowboys and Indians on horseback and saloon girls. The entertainment is made up of comedy sketches, dance demonstrations, and Mister Dakota’s whip and lasso show. The interactive parts involving the guests are a western style all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet, free flowing beer, sangrias and soft drinks. There is a live band playing popular old and new country tunes. You can get up and join in the line dancing.
Rancho Texas Park is genuinely one for the whole family where both the kids and parents can come away very happy.
The Park is open daily 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.