La Palma, Canary Islands

Of the seven famous Canary Islands that dot the coast of Africa, La Palma is the fifth-largest and one of the most-visited. It is the most north-westerly of the islands. The capitol holds most of the island’s population in Santa Cruz de la Palma. Just like all of its other sister islands, La Palma boast of an origin that is mostly volcanic. The island itself rises four miles out of the Atlantic Ocean. Out of all seven of the Canary Islands, La Palma is the most volcanically active. Since the Spanish occupied the islands in the 1400s, there have been seven recorded eruptions, the most recent eruption occurring in 1971. Since then there has been at least one tsunami hoax that was broadcast on the BBC radio.

Coastline of La Palma, Canary IslandsDuring the period of European Colonization, the Canary Islands were inhabited by Canarians, or as they were then called, Guanches. However, the natives of La Palma are more specifically referred to as, Auaritas. The original origins of these aborigines are unclear, but it is theorize that they descended from the Berbers of Northern Africa. While many historians believe that the Canary Islands were known to exist by both the Phoenicians and the Greeks, the earliest record of the islands was by the Roman Pliny the Elder. From 1405 to 1493 the natives fought the Spanish settlement in many violent and bloody battles until the natives were ultimately conquered by Spain. Alonso Fernandez de Lugo initially defeated the island’s last king, Tanausu. The island grew to become a prosperous trading post on the way to the New World and drew immigrants from all over Europe.

Much of the tourism that permeates the island are those who come to look at the “Flora and the Fauna,” or the stunning natural beauty of the island. Like the other Canaries, La Palma’s climate is quite dry. However, the terrain ranges from huge mountains and volcanic craters to forests and white sand beaches with blue water. They have a rich variety of plants, insects and animals. Some of the plants are even protected by law.

Roque de las Muchachos is the highest point on La Palma. It is so named after a small group of rocks at the top of the point, which comprise the “muchachos.” It contains an observatory, but the road is closed from sunset to sunrise because car headlights interfere with observations. Garafia is a small region that contains many even smaller towns to visit, such as Santa Domingo de Garafia, Las Tricias, El Tobaldo, Llano Negro, Don Pedro and El Castillo. Puerto Naos is the first of two tourist villages on La Palma. There are lots of restaurants and tourist shops to visit here. There is also a beautiful Black Sand Beach and the Hotel Sol Elite, the best lodging on the island. The most-visited spot, however, is Santa Cruz, the island’s capitol. This city has many winding streets, quaint cafes, shops and attractions. There is even a replication of the famous Santa Maria.


Canary Islands


Canary Islands



El Hierro



Gran Canaria

La Gomera

La Palma



Airports of Canary Islands

Tenerife North Airport


Tenerife South Airport


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