Welcome to La Palma
Discover the best sights of ‘la isla bonita’ with our audiovisual tourist guide. A whole attraction park full of magical landscapes, dense forests, unique beaches, high mountain peaks, endemic flora and fauna, imposing volcanoes and star skattered skies is awaiting you. La Palma is one of the most diverse, colorful and pretty islands in the world according to UNESCO.
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Immerse yourself in its nature
La Palma is one of the most privileged locations on the planet for astronomical observation thanks to its exceptional clear and dark night skies, which have been protected by a specific “Sky Law” in order to minimize light pollution. So, the island has become the world’s first Starlight Reserve. At its highest point, at 2,420 meters, is located one of the most important and complete scientific arrays in the world, the Astrophysical Observatory of Roque de Los Muchachos (ORM). But Roque de Los Muchachos is more than that. You can take a short walk to one of the best and highest viewpoints of the island, and enjoy stunning views of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. Also the sunrises and the sunsets are really spectacular and, depending on the weather conditions, it is possible to see the other three islands of the province (Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro).
The Caldera de Taburiente is one of the fifteen national parks in Spain and a very important tourist and natural resource of the island. It is a huge depression of 1,500 meters of slope with a diameter of almost 8 kilometers, which opens to the southwest area through the deep Barranco de Las Angustias. It was formed by large-scale landslides through multiple volcanic eruptions over the centuries and declared a National Park in 1954 as a place of unique geological conditions. In addition to its impressive landscapes, it also exhibits a great variety of endemic species of plants and animals. You can access the Caldera by car from Los Llanos de Aridane to Barranco de Las Angustias and walk from there upwards or, alternatively, take a taxi service to Los Brecitos, where a beautiful descending route of about 6 hours, 14 kilometers and medium difficulty begins (the estimated price of the taxi is €15,00).
The two volcanoes, San Antonio (1677) and Teneguía (1971), located in Fuencaliente, provide a perfect opportunity to get in touch with the volcanic landscapes and take a walk along the edge of their craters. Teneguía has been the most recent eruption on Spanish soil and you can still feel its heat. If you are interested in the ins and outs of the history of volcanism on La Palma, we recommend starting at the Visitors Center of the San Antonio Volcano, which is reached by car.
Los Tilos is an ecosystem based on a spectacular laurel forest inherited from the Tertiary and declared as the core of the World Biosphere Reserve of La Palma by UNESCO (1983). There are several viewpoints, waterfalls and one of the most frequented routes of the island, Marcos y Cordero, a wonderful hike of high difficulty of 14 kilometers and 6 hours, through 13 water tunnels and beautiful landscapes. It is one of the main natural attractions of the island due to the extension and good condition of the forest, the endemic flora and fauna. To access the Casa del Monte, the beginning of the route of the springs of Marcos y Cordero, it is necessary to take a 4×4 taxi available every day from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It is recommended to reserve a place (telephone 616 41 88 47). There is also a Research and Interpretation Center with five exhibition rooms and an audiovisual projection room, as an excellent starting point.
“La Cumbrecita is one of the most popular viewpoints and short walks on the island, due to its beauty and the beautiful panoramic views of the National Park of La Caldera de Taburiente. Its parking area is not very large, so it is necessary to make a free reservation in advance for the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Visitor Centre of La Caldera de Taburiente. For the visits after 4:00 p.m. there is no need to book.”
It is one of the most important archaeological resources of the Canarian archipelago, which was visited by the Benahoaritas (Aboriginal people) and where they carried out rites related to fertility and water. We found a short but magical walk through two rock engraving stations: La Zarza, with 29 engraved panels, and La Zarcita, with 18 panels. The cultural park is located in the middle of a thick forest of ferns, laurels and pines, where there is a circular route of 7.5 kilometers and 4 hours, and another shorter version of approximately two hours. The interpretation center next to the car park will help you discover more about the Auarita culture and this beautiful place.
Buracas is one of the most visited places of La Palma because it houses the best areas of dragon trees in the Canary Islands, and also for the great beauty of its landscapes and the archaeological sites of the area. In the tourist information center of Las Tricias, we start a circular walk of low difficulty, 4.8 km and 3 hours, which leads us through a traditional area, well preserved, with beautiful examples of rural architecture, and culminates in the aboriginal settlement of the Cuevas de Buracas. It is well worth making a small detour to visit the old gofio factory (cereal mill), which remains intact and houses the Gofio Museum, a tribute to this traditional food that plays such an important role in the island’s gastronomy.
La Palma is full of volcanoes, which reach their maximum splendor in the Cumbre Vieja Natural Park. The best way to enjoy this show is to walk the famous Volcano Route, which goes from Refugio del Pilar, in El Paso, to the Fuencaliente lighthouse, in the south. The route not only delves into incredible sci-fi landscapes, reminiscent of a walk on Mars, but also enjoys beautiful panoramic views of both sides of La Palma and, according to the weather, the other three islands of the province (Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro). The complete hike, of medium-high difficulty, is quite demanding and has a total length of 24 kilometers (one way), with an estimated duration of 8:30 hours. As an alternative, a shorter version of this route can be completed ending in the town of Los Canarios, whose estimated duration is 6 hours and has a length of about 19 kilometers. Another option is to start either from the Lighthouse of Fuencaliente or from Los Canarios.
From Pico Bejenado you can enjoy magnificent views over the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, the Aridane Valley and the volcano route. The walk, of medium difficulty, that leads to the top has a length of 7 kilometers (round trip) and the duration is approximately 6 hours. For more information, we recommend starting at the nearby Visitor Center of La Caldera de Taburiente.
The Cubo de La Galga is the richest laurel forest of the Canary Islands, due to the large number of fountains and springs. In this green, wonderful and millennial ecosystem, you can enjoy a huge variety of flora and fauna species. There is a circular route of low difficulty that crosses the forest along 9 kilometers and its duration is approximately 4 hours. To get to know the place better, we recommend starting by visiting the Environmental Information Point located next to the car park.
Relax on its beaches
Puerto de Tazacorte Beach is one of the most visited on the island. With its fine black sand, characteristic of La Palma´s beaches, it is ideal to spend a relaxing day at sea with the children, eat or drink something and admire beautiful sunsets. It is surrounded by a promenade with restaurants, shops and a marina, which, of course, is worth a walk.
Discover its culture
Santa Cruz, the capital of La Palma, is a historic colonial city full of beautiful corners, narrow streets and squares to stroll through. The traditional architecture with surprising patios and balconies, the elegant cobbled streets, the rich gastronomy and the remarkable artistic-cultural tradition, show a special charm. The 16th century was its greatest splendor when it became the third port in Europe after Antwerp and Seville. As the seat of the first Court of the Indies (Latinamerica), Santa Cruz de La Palma saw spend many of the riches that the Spaniards brought from their colonies in America.
At the southern end of the island is the beautiful and traditional Salina de Fuencaliente, which has been declared a “”Natural Area of Scientific Interest”” due to its ornithological and botanical characteristics. The contrasts of white salt, blue sea and black volcanic earth, draw a natural picture of great beauty. Inside the old lighthouse is the Interpretation Center of the Marine Reserve, which promotes knowledge and respect for the marine environment. Next to the salina there is also a thematic restaurant, a bar and a souvenir shop.
In the Las Hilanderas silk museum and workshop, the tradition is kept alive, from the breeding of silkworms to spinning and embroidery. Located in a charming historic building in the heart of El Paso, visitors can see first hand how the artisans follow a traditional process that has practically disappeared in the rest of Europe. Foulards, bags, handkerchiefs, ties, bow ties, embroidery, souvenirs, etc. are some of the pieces manufactured in this workshop and that have a high recognition both in La Palma and internationally.
The Sanctuary of the Virgen de las Nieves is one of the most popular of La Palma for housing the image of the patron saint of the island, a carving of the fourteenth century. It is a Sacred Museum where you can admire innumerable riches, such as the Mexican silver high altar, sixteenth-century Flemish carvings, paintings, crystal lamps and also the Virgin’s jewels. The set of these works of art make up one of the most valuable jewelers in the Canary Islands.
La Glorieta is a beautiful square with a magnificent ceramic mosaic floor and full of sculptures and native plants, created by La Palma’s artist Luis Morera advised, in turn, by the renowned Canarian artist César Manrique. Nearby is the Wine Museum, where visitors can get a generic view of the island’s rich wine heritage. It is equipped with information panels, exhibition of agricultural tools and a space where you can taste wines with denomination of origin La Palma.
In the Benahoarita Archaeological Museum you can discover everything about the aborigines of La Palma, the Benahoaritas, from their habits to their magical-religious beliefs. It has projections, information panels, archaeological samples and recreations and an auditorium-conference room.
The first petroglyphs (rock engravings) found in the Canary Islands were discovered in the Prehispanic settlement of Belmaco in the 18th century. Since then, the place has become a point of reference for all those interested in the past of the island. Ten natural caves and an area of cave paintings make up this archaeological park, which has been declared a Historic Artistic Monument. The main cave shows magnificent housing conditions and was permanently occupied by Benahoaritas (aborigines).