Monday, 13 May 2013

La Palma: let nature guide you through its wonders

La Palma better known among Canarians as La isla bonita is a definition that speaks for itself, and gives you a hint of what you can expect when visiting this lavishly green island. Just soak in its nature and let
La Palma inspire you through your travels.
This island is not famous for its beaches, but for its excellent hiking routes, the best in the whole archipelago (7 islands).

Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente

View from Ruta de Los Volcanes

As all the other Canary Island, La Palma, has volcanic origins and enjoys mild climate all year around. However, the best times to visit are during spring and autumn, as winter might be rainy and summers extremely hot for hiking or walking around.

Another breathtaking site was the Astronomical Observatory on the top of the the Taburiente, the Pico de la Cruz (Roque de los Muchachos) at 2.351 mt altitude hosts one of the biggest telescopes in the word! Needless to say, looking at the stars should be a magic show only astronomers have the privilege to experience. In fact, I am not sure visitors get a chance to lodge here at night, since the area is under constant surveillance.

Science-fiction landscape of one of the telescopes at Los Roques de Los Muchachos

With its 18.260 inhabitants and a beautiful historical centre built in colonial style, Santa Cruz de La Palma is the sweet capital of the island.
This  little town hosts some of the most wild parties as the Lunes de los Indianos, celebrated on Monday during carnival where everybody throws talc at one another contributing to a snow white and look of the city like this. Carnival is the biggest event that nobody should miss across the Canary Islands.

Another original celebration is the one of Virgen de Las Nieves with the Enanos (dwarfs) every five years between July and August.
The last one was in 2010. Nobody really knows who is hiding under this dwarf costume.

This what it looks like:

Those who love good wine and food will find plenty of inspiration in La Palma, famous for its excellent wine routes along Villa de Mazo, just south of Santa Cruz.

In the south, alont the Ruta de los Volcanes, you can see Volcán San Antonio and in the Tourist centre you can watch a movie about his last eruption in 1971 that annexed some hectares to the island..

Volcán San Antonio 657 mt

Black sand desert -Fuencaliente-
Salinas Fuencaliente

Endemic plant

Visiting this beautiful island can take up to 5 days if you want to see it all. With the help of local in three days I could more or less see everything without haste. 
Oh yes! Almost forgot... that some roads do not allow you to drive at full speed, so take it easy as Canarios know no rush, and drive safely...

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