This brain-bending amalgam of natural science and archaeology is an excellent museum, despite a rather confusing layout. Set inside the former civil hospital, the exhibit highlights are undoubtedly the Guanche mummies and skulls, all of which are shrivelled masses of skin, hair and bone, with faces dried into contorted and grotesque expressions. In addition, there are informative displays on wildlife, flora and geology; the audiovisual presentation about the eruption of El Teide on the ground floor is particularly powerful and mesmerising.
There's also an absorbing section on the second floor devoted to archaeological finds on each of the islands as well as an area detailing Berber ceramics. Children will enjoy the interactive displays with their flashing buttons and large TV screens. Most signage is only in Spanish, although most of the exhibition rooms have laminated explanatory sheets in English, and a handy online audiotour in six languages is available. There’s also a cafe and gift shop.