Ecomuseo de Guinea
El Ecomuseo de Guinea (the eco-museum) is in the Valle del Golfo, at the foot of the cliff-face known as el Risco de Tibataje. It offers a visit to the hamlet of Guinea (the first settlement in the municipality of Frontera) and the lizard centre or Lagartario (Centre for Recovery of the El Hierro Giant Lizard). During the visit to Guinea, the visitors are shown the caves and volcanic tubes or “juaclos” where the first inhabitants, the Bimbaches, made their homes and how these evolved from the time of the Conquest (in the XVth century) through to the XXth century.
Each of these houses is a classic example of the traditional architecture on the island of El Hierro, where the basic materials are stone and hay. They also show the traditional crops and thus represent the living history of the island. The Centre for Recovery of the El Hierro Giant Lizard is focused on breeding and reintroduction of this highly rare species of lizard, the Galliotia Simonyi, declared to be the most endangered species in Europe and the fifth lizard in danger of extinction in the world. It was believed to be extinct until 1974 when a shepherd found some in a place called La Fuga de Gorreta. This plan for the reintroduction of the species has led to a few specimens being set free in places where there were remains of their existence. The guided visit allows us to get to know the team responsible for their reintroduction and to contemplate the lizards that live in the Centre.