Known as the Isla Bonita, La Palma continues to attract
visitors thanks to its striking natural features. From the lush forests
of the north to the rugged craters of the south, there’s plenty to
capture here. One of the best ways to explore the island is to follow
one of the hiking trails. Of course, you can’t miss the capital either,
with its historical buildings and colourful houses lining the streets.
four-day itinerary will show you the best things to do in La Palma. It
includes our favourite viewpoints, water activities, and hiking trails.
We’re starting our journey at the island’s capital, Santa Cruz de La
Palma. Wander along the old town and admire the 15th-century buildings
featuring colourful balconies adorned with flowers. Along the way,
you’ll find many cafés and shops. Don’t miss the waterfront promenade,
Avenida Maritima, and Plaza de España. The square is home to some of the
city’s most iconic buildings, including the Iglesia del Salvador and
the town hall.
Head inland towards the Pico de La Cruz. There’s a fantastic viewpoint
on top overlooking the Caldera de Taburiente. Several multi-day hikes
pass through here, like the Ruta de la Cresteria, which also crosses the
Pico de la Nieve. For something a little lighter, however, you can stop
at one of the parking lots on LP-4 and walk 15 minutes to the summit.
Continue west until you reach the Roque de Los Muchachos, stopping to
admire the views from the Mirador de Los Andenes. The Roque de Los
Muchachos is the highest point on the island. Standing at 2,420 metres
above sea level, it is the perfect spot for a panoramic view of the
island. It is especially beautiful in spring when the broom plant is in
bloom. There is a visitor centre around here dedicated to astrophysics,
and the nearby observatory is one of the best places for astronomical
observations worldwide. Get back here at night to witness the starry
skies on your own, or book a guided tour with the observatory to learn
more about your surroundings.
For an even better view, you can follow the trail from Roque de Los
Muchachos up to Mirador del Espigón del Roque. There is a viewing
platform overlooking the Parque Nacional Caldera de Taburiente. If
you're lucky, you might catch a sea of clouds forming below you.
Palma is home to a diverse marine life. There are over 20 types of
cetaceans living in its surrounding waters, including dolphins and
whales. You can spot these creatures up close by joining a boat tour.
The Puerto de Tazacorte is one of the several departing areas for these
experiences, which last about three hours. During the trip, you’ll have
the chance to visit some of the island’s most magical sights, including
the volcanic cave, Cueva Bonita, and the picturesque village of Poris de
Candelaria. You’ll also pass by the volcanic deltas formed during the
last volcanic eruption of La Palma in 2021.
dry land, it is time to explore the town of Tazacorte. Located on the
coast of the Valle de Aridane, Tazacorte is famous for its banana
plantations which fill the surrounding valley. Start with a walk along
the waterfront promenade, stopping by the black sandy beach Playa de
Tazacorte. Then head down to the centre, where you’ll find traditional
Canarian houses and streets packed with seafood restaurants.
your way up to the Mirador de la Cumbrecita, one of the many viewpoints
facing the Caldera de Taburiente. It is also the start of several
hikes, such as the Lomo de las Chozas and the trail leading to the
chapel of the Virgen del Pino. The parking space near the viewpoint is
small, so you’ll need to book a spot in advance.
easy hike from Mirador de Cumbrecita leads to Lomo de las Chozas. The
trail starts almost flat and then takes you through the mountains of La
Palma, ending at the viewpoint of Lomo de las Chozas. Along the way,
you’ll spot the Punta de Los Roques, Roque de Los Muchachos, and even
the interior of La Caldera. It takes about 1h30 minutes one way.
de Las Palomas is a volcanic tube formed by the solidification of lava
following the eruption of the San Juan Volcano in 1949. The attached
visitor centre features an exhibition space covering geological
formations, a souvenir shop and a cafe. There’s also a floating glass
viewpoint which overlooks the cave. You can visit the centre without a
guide, but if you want to go inside the tube, you should book a tour in
exploring Cueva de Las Palomas, drive south to see the Salinas de
Fuencaliente, one of the remaining salt pans in the Canaries. Salt
production began around the 1960s with the Hernández Villalba family.
The shallow ponds are filled with seawater which is left to evaporate in
the sun, leaving the salt exposed. The area produces the Teneguía sea
salt, named after the volcano that formed these flat surroundings. You
can read the information panels dotted around to learn more about the
production process. There is also a marine museum and a café on site.
last day, we’re exploring the north of the island. It’s around here that
you’ll encounter Los Tilos Forest, one of the last laurel forests in
the world. There are several walking trails that cross through here,
many of which lead to waterfalls. Among the most impressive ones is the
Cascada de Los Tilos.
Head down to the coast and
stop by the Charco Azul. This stunning natural pool is perfect for a
refreshing morning swim. Its clear and calm waters allow for a relaxing
dip, followed by a warm sunbathing moment in the surrounding rocks.
laurel forest extends all across the northeast of La Palma. Part of it
covers the Enchanted Forest of La Palma. To explore this area, we
recommend following the Cubo de La Galga trail. There is a circular
route which covers the best of the forest and a longer path which takes
you through other attractions like La Galga mountain and the viewpoint
of San Bartolomé. These can range between 2km to 9km long.
the day with a visit to Playa de Nogales. The beach features volcanic
black sands backed by spectacular cliffs that showcase the lush green
landscapes of the island. Many surfers come here to catch the waves, as
the sea is a bit choppy. From the car park, there is a 500-metre trail
towards the beach. You can also admire the views from the top if you
don’t feel like walking there.
Ruta de Los Volcanes: Right in the heart of La Palma is the beautiful
Cumbre Vieja National Park. The best way to explore this area is to
follow the Ruta de Los Volcanoes or Volcano Route. The 24km trail is
ideal for experienced hikers as it can be a bit demanding. Starting at
El Refugio del Pilar, you’ll pass through some of the main volcano areas
on the island, ending at Fuencaliente. Always check the weather and
trail conditions before you head out.
From nature hikes to dolphin-watching tours and beach days, there is
plenty to do with children in La Palma. You can start by exploring the
Caldera de Taburiente National Park, home to ravines, waterfalls and a
pine forest. Head to one of the viewpoints like La Cumbrecita, and
follow the signposted trail around the summits.
Kids will also
enjoy exploring Los Tilos, an enchanted laurel forest filled with mystic
tunnels and giant trees. The visitor centre can recommend trails that
are suitable for children. To learn more about the island's volcanic
history, you can visit the Centro de Visitantes Volcán San Antonio in
Being surrounded by water also means plenty of
opportunities for a swim. You can choose between serene beaches and
natural swimming pools like La Fajana and Charco Verde. This last one is
also an ideal spot for kayaking. Other fun activities for families
include hopping aboard the replica ship Barco de la Virgen and visiting
the Maroparque, a conservation park home to a variety of animals,
including rare species like the albino kangaroos.
The cuisine in La Palma mainly revolves around seafood, with fresh
fish and octopus featured in many local restaurants. Meat is also
available, often paired with potatoes in a dish known as papas arrugadas
(wrinkly potatoes). For dessert, there are many almond-based pastries
like rapadura, almendrados and bienmesabe. Below are some of the best
places to eat in La Palma:
Restaurante Enriclai: This cosy
restaurant in the capital only has a few seats, so it’s best to book a
table in advance. There is no set menu. Instead, the hosts talk you
through the daily dishes, which change according to the season.
Restaurante La Casa Del Volcán: Located near the Centro de Visitantes
Volcán San Antonio, Casa Del Volcán focuses on traditional Canarian
dishes. House favourites include the morcilla (black pudding) and the
goat cheese. They also offer several vegetarian options and a vast wine
Hotel Hacienda de Abajo (4
stars): This four-star hotel in Tazacorte occupies a former sugar
plantation area. It features 32 rooms with lavish decor, including
mahogany beds, tapestries and chandeliers. Guests can admire the vast
art collection, which has over 1,000 paintings. Other amenities include a
garden, a swimming pool and a gourmet restaurant overlooking the sea.
Hotel San Telmo (2 stars): If you’re on a budget, the Hotel San Telmo
is a great alternative. It is located right in the heart of Santa Cruz
de La Palma, making it a perfect base to explore the island. Some rooms
offer sea views, and there is also a small rooftop terrace with sun
Just like most of the islands in the
Canaries, La Palma has a subtropical climate with hot summers and very
mild winters. As such, you can expect great weather pretty much all year
round. However, August and September can be especially hot, with
temperatures reaching up to 30ºC. The coldest month is February, with an
average low of 16ºC, which means it is still pleasant enough to visit.
Carnival: Carnival is one of the most popular events in La Palma. It
takes place every year between February and March. In the big cities of
Santa Cruz and Los Llanos, the streets fill up with locals throwing baby
powder at each other to celebrate the festivity. The tradition began
during the 80s and continues to this day. After this, sardines of
textile and paper are burned for weeks around the islands.
Bajada de La Virgen de Las Nieves: Every five years, around July or
August, La Palma hosts the Bajada de La Virgen de Las Nieves. This
festivity is held in honour of the Virgin de Las Nieves, the island's
patron saint. The event lasts six weeks and includes many processions,
concerts, parades and other activities.