Day 2 to 7
During our time in La Palma there is a wealth of walking to be undertaken. So much in fact it is impossible to tell you all the options. Below is a selection of walks to give you a taste of what you can expect.
San Antonio Volcano
Both Groups. Today we take a taxi ride to a tiny village called ‘Montes de Luna’, where we pick up a pathway which gently rises then falls as it contours its way around the south of the island to the town of Fuencaliente. Here, we stop for coffee in one of the charming bars before continuing down to the San Antonio Volcano. Here we watch an excellent short explanatory film in the Visitor Centre before venturing out on to rim of the volcano which formed in the 1600s. It is now quite safe and the walk is protected by hand rails where needed.
Grade 5. Our group looks down on even younger volcanoes (the youngest blew in 1971) before returning to the Visitor Centre. After lunch, we have another short walk, and then visit the ‘Bodegas Teneguia’ for wine tasting with the joint owner ‘Diego’. 10km, Ascent/Descent 350m, 3.5hrs
Grade 6. After lunch, we continue down the island via some even younger volcanoes (the youngest blew in 1971) before reaching ‘Faro’ (lighthouse) where there is a small museum and a bar selling craft beers from the island. 14km, Ascent 150m, Decent 850m, 4hrs.
Ruta de los Volcanes
Both Groups. Today we get back to business with serious hikes along the ‘spine' of the island. We take a taxi ride up the mountain road to ‘El Pinar' pass at around 1,450 metres above sea level, where we start our walks. Both groups hike (albeit at a different pace) up on the spine.
Grade 5. From the pass, we start off on the GR path, then turn off and climb up our first peak Birigoyo where we have truly amazing views back north to the whole Taburiente caldera. We may see the ‘Mar des nubes' (sea of clouds) in the foreground, which we, hopefully, will be above by this stage! We continue over the peak of Barquita and down to the ‘Hoyo Negro' crater (it means black hole). From there, we then climb up to Pico Nambroque (our main target for the day) before returning on the main GR footpath all the way back to El Pinar for our Taxi return. 11.5km, Ascent/Descent 700m, 5hrs.
Grade 6. From the pass, we stay on the GR path, bypassing the first few peaks and past the ‘Hoyo Negro' crater until we reach the dramatic ‘Volcan de la Deseada' – a spectacular volcano which is the highest on the spine. The (safe) climb up the rim is truly memorable and the 360 degree views are awesome. From there, we descend south (staying on the spine) to reach the ‘View of Views' – looking south to the Volcan de St Martin and beyond (on a clear day) out to sea and the islands of Tenerife, El Hierro and La Gomera. A steady descent to Fuencaliente completes this 18km classic walk to our Taxi return. 18km, Ascent 700m, Descent 1400m, 5.5hrs
Both Groups. From a drop-off point at 1200m, we enter woodland in a micro-climate with birds and butterflies before reaching our main viewpoint at just under 1500m. Continuing on forest tracks we reach El Pilar leisure area with a Visitor Centre showing a video about La Palma.
Grade 5. Having reached El Pilar on a shorter route, we can maintain a slower pace down to our pick-up point near El Paso, seeing a wide variety of terrain and interesting features. Distance: 10.5 km 6.6 miles Ascent: 281m Descent: 750m.
Grade 6. The longer route to El Pilar will still allow time for the video, and the group has plenty of time to descend gradually on the same terrain as Grade 5 to El Paso. Distance: 12 km 7.5 miles Ascent: 450m Descent: 850m.
Calderas, Cols and Peaks
Both Groups. Reaching our destination at La Cumbrecita, 1300m, we immediately
have a viewpoint into the massive Caldera de Taburiente. We ascend on a zig-zag
track through woodland to the first of two cols, where we have more views down
to valleys. Ascending more gradually to the second col at El Rodeo, the groups
diverge from here.
Grade 5. Descending on a good track to the valley below, we have constant views
towards our objective at El Paso, and to the mountain features beyond it. 8.4km, 5.3 miles Ascent: 462m
Grade 6. Ascending
from El Rodeo col, we summit Pico Bejenado 1840m on a popular and well-worn
track. With good weather, we can join other trekkers and have lunch, enjoying
3600 uninterrupted views. Descending after
lunch, we follow Grade 5’s route down to El Paso and join them in a visit to a popular
Highest Point and
Both Groups. This is a spectacular walk, but needs reasonable weather to enjoy
it at its utmost. From our start point at 1900m, we soon reach the largest
caldera rim for a drinks stop. We then follow slightly below the ridge of the
rim with impressive and ever-changing views.
Grade 5. Enjoying the panoramic terrain on both sides, we gradually move along
the rim with a series of peaks until we arrive at our destination and the bus
collection point. Distance: 8.5km, 5.3 miles Ascent: 650m Descent: 289m.
Grade 6. We go further than Grade 5 and drop down slightly into the caldera
before summiting the highest point on the island at 2426m, surrounded by radio
and observational telescopes of various types.
Both groups will spend time on the summit before returning to the hotel.
During our time in La Palma we will have a free which can easily be spent exploring Santa Cruz or why not ask your leader about a walk they suggest to do on your own.