La Palma, The Canaries - Part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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If you make this part of a three day trip then here are my idea for days two and three. If this is just part of a long weekend then mix and match to get the best parts that interest you.
La Palma’s centrepiece is its colossal, 8km wide Caldera de Taburiente, created by millennia of erosion on a gigantic volcanic cone. Get up early to drive or get a bus across the island to Los Llanos de Aridane and the car park at Los Hoyas. If you want to take a taxi it will cost about €10 from Los Llanos. Starting here shuttle taxis ply the road up to the Mirador de los Brecitos, which is the start of the island’s most spectacular but not overly demanding 14km walk.
You descend gently along a winding path through Canarian pine forest, while stopping off to see Benahoarite petroglyphs and peer up at the ragged crater rim above. Learn more about the crater’s natural history at the Playa de Taburiente visitor centre, then plunge into the Barranco de las Angustias, Ravine of Anguish, beneath the rock outcrop of Idafe, which used to be worshipped by the ancient Benahoarites. You can make a small detour at this point to the red, green and yellow Cascada de Colores, Waterfall of Colours. After this then return to the carpark and Los Llanos. If you want to discover more about the island’s early cave dwellers then go to the fascinating Museo Arqueológico Benahoarita in Los Llanos. At the end of the day wander the town’s old centre and enjoying al-fresco dining at Tasca La Fuente at Calle Real 70.
Clear skies and minimal light pollution create ideal conditions for stargazing which made La Palma was UNESCO’s original Starlight Reserve. Its observatory is perched at the island’s highest point at Roque de los Muchachos which is 2, 426m above sea level. The arrays including the world’s largest single aperture optical telescope search the skies under the command of astronomers from around the world. Get up early for a morning guided tour and fine views.
Now drive east along the stunning coast for a cooling dip in the lush natural pools at Charco Azul. Then, if you still have energy to burn, take a hike through the greenery of Los Tiles Biosphere Reserve, just inland past Los Sauces. Here you can discover how volcanic soil yields the best malvasia grapes with a tasting at one of the island’s top bodegas.
If time permits, go farther south to Fuencaliente which is home to several excellent vinyards as well as the mighty Volcán San Antonio. Try rounding off your short break with an evening’s stargazing tour with Ad Astra. Just prepare to be dazzled by the constellations, planets and the sweep of the Milky Way galaxy that can be seen when you have a dark sky.
Which concludes our short trip to this island.
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Page added on: 29 October 2018
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