In 1492, Alonso Fernandez de Lugo disembarked on the beaches of Tazacorte and, after taking heavy losses, took control over most of the island. Only Aceró (the pre-Hispanic name for the Caldera de Taburiente, meaning “strong and invulnerable place”) remained beyond his grasp and, therefore, he could not complete the conquest of the island.
The local “Mencey”, or King, Tanausú managed to resist the invasion of the Castillian conquerors. Frustrated and desperate, Fernandez de Lugo had no idea how to get Tanausú and his men out of their fortress kingdom to be able to take it, so he decided to lure Tanausú with false promises of peace. As soon as Tanausú and his men had left Aceró, “ El Adelantado”, as Fernando de Lugo was known, broke his promise and attacked them, capturing Tanausú in El Paso de Adamancasis (near to what is now El Riachuelo picnic spot ). They say that, while being taken to the Spanish mainland by ship, the aboriginal leader starved himself to death. Nowadays, the only elements that bear witness to the existence of these valiant people, mostly herdsmen, are the petroglyphs and rock and cave paintings that can be found within the boundaries of the Caldera de Taburiente.
In gratitude to Fernández de Lugo for conquering the island, Queen Isabel I and Ferdinand of Spain gave his family the right not only to share out the lands that are now the National Park, they also had the right to the waters on the land too. Hence, the ownership of the park lands has been passed down from one generation to the next until the present day. These lands are owned by an association known as Heredamiento de las Haciendas de Argual y Tazacorte (or Heirs to the Argual and Tazacorte Estates), a 2000 member association that manages the water rights.
Thanks to the efforts of a group of artists and intellectuals from the island, La Caldera de Taburiente was declared a National Park. The area of the National Park was increased to its present 4,690 hectares in 1981. There is also a peripheral buffer zone of 5,956 acres around it to guarantee protection.