Walking on La Palma: the Caldera de Taburiente

The Caldera de Taburiente national park is a beautiful walking area. This large crater offers a wide variety of different walks at every level. With its impressive heights and depths, the Caldera de Taburiente is a feast for the eyes during your walk. All walks in the Caldera de Taburiente are equally spectacular. The diversity of plants and trees is also beautiful to see.

The starting points

There are three starting points where walks in the Caldera begin. All three of these can be reached by car. The winding roads are in good condition. None of the three starting points can be reached by bus, but they can be reached by taxi. Of course you can walk from the nearest bus stop to the starting points, but these are quite long distances!

The Cumbrecita

The LP-3 takes you from both the east and west sides of the island to the visitor center (centro de visitantes) of the national park. This visitors center is located about two miles above El Paso. You must park your car at the visitor center and register. This costs nothing, all they want to know from you is your name and the license plate of your (rental) car. Of course you can also get more information about the national park there. At the visitor center there is a side road to the left, which you take. From here follow the signs ‘Parque National’. You will come to a barrier, where you will hand in the receipt that you provided when you registered at the visitor center. Then you continue, all the way up to the Cumbrecita, which is located at an altitude of almost 1300 meters.

Barranco de las Angustias

This starting point is located in a gorge that is also the only passage from the Caldera to the sea. To get here, follow the signs to ‘Parque National’ from the center of Los Llanos de Aridane. This is well indicated. You pass a bus station and then drive through a residential area. At the very top of the street near the residential area, turn right and continue down towards the Barranco de las Angustias. You will pass an information center where you can of course ask questions, there is no registration requirement. Then you continue downhill and after a winding road you will see the parking lot.

Los Brecitos

To get to Los Brecitos, follow the road down from the parking lot at Barranco de las Angustias. You drive through the usually dry riverbed and then the road takes you up to the parking lot of Los Brecitos through many twists and hairpin bends. This is a ride of approximately 10 kilometers. This road is also in good condition, contrary to what many hiking guides report. However, the road is narrow and if you meet an oncoming vehicle it can be difficult to pass each other; but with the help of the many inlets along the road this is possible. Take into account falling stones and stones on the road!

A short but beautiful walk

The starting point of this walk of over an hour is at the Cumbrecita. With a height difference of 100 meters, this walk is ideal for everyone. Even though the walk is short, you still get a good impression of the Caldera.

  • There is a path to the left of the information kiosk. After about 50 meters you enter a wide path that descends to the left. At the first junction you come across, follow the sign ‘Mirador de los Roques, Lomo de las Chozas’. Shortly afterwards you will come to signposts again and go straight ahead. You pass a tunnel closed with an iron door. If you walk past this you will arrive at Mirador Punta de los Roques. Here you have a beautiful view of the Caldera. Then you walk back to the signposts and head in the direction of Loma de las Chozas.
  • The road now goes downhill. After you have passed through a valley, the road goes up for a short time, certainly not steeply! The path then winds through the forest at approximately the same altitude.
  • After walking for more than half an hour you will arrive at a bridge and cross it. Shortly afterwards you will come to a bridge again and after this the path goes up again for a short time. You then come to a junction, where you turn right. Shortly afterwards you will come to a junction again, here it does not matter which way you go: both paths go to the Lomo de las Chozas viewpoint. You also have a great view from this vantage point. A staircase leads down to a smaller viewpoint.
  • Then you go back to the junction and walk back to the parking lot on a wide unpaved road in about half an hour. There are various information boards along this wide road; unfortunately only in Spanish.

From Los Brecitos to the highest waterfall in La Palma

This walk of approximately 4 and a half hours starts at Los Brecitos. The height difference is approximately 600 meters. The trails are all well maintained.

  • At the Los Brecitos parking lot, take the path downhill. Follow the signs ‘Zona de Acampada’, the road is marked white-yellow. The path runs through a pine forest and you have a beautiful view of the Barranco de las Angustias below you. At first the path barely noticeably ascends and descends, later you descend quite a bit. You can ignore all the side roads you encounter. You pass a farm, but it is no longer inhabited.
  • After about 45 minutes you will arrive at the ‘Mirador de Lomo del Tagasaste’ viewpoint. You have a beautiful view from here! If you continue walking, you will soon reach a wooden bridge. You walk through a number of barrancos and after more than an hour you approach the ‘Playa de Taburiente’.
  • Just before you get there you will come to a junction. Turning right is marked yellow-white and takes you to the campsite. (Camping here is only allowed with permission. This can be obtained from the Centro de Visitantes in El Paso!) You can take a break at the campsite, there are benches and drinking water available.
  • After a possible break, turn left at the above-mentioned fork. This road takes you to the Cascada de la Fondada in just under an hour; the highest water vanl in La Palma. Shortly after the junction you will come to another junction. Here you turn left again. There is a sign saying ‘Hoyo Verde’.
  • The road now goes steeply uphill. After about 20 minutes you will arrive at a beautiful viewpoint. You pass a riverbed twice (there may be water in it) and shortly afterwards the path turns right to Mirador Cascada de la Fondada. From the viewpoint you can enjoy the view of the 100-meter-high waterfall and enjoy a well-deserved break.
  • After the break you walk the same way back to the starting point.

Through the Barranco de las Angustias to the colored waterfalls

This beautiful and adventurous route of more than 5 hours runs partly along the river that flows through the Barranco Angustias. In parts where this is not possible, go above. If there is a lot of water in the river, it is dangerous to walk this route!

  • The starting point of the walk is the parking lot at the Barranco de las Angustias. From the parking lot, follow the paved road until you reach the riverbed. If there is already water here, you better turn back, then this walk is too dangerous!
  • You continue along the riverbed and after a short time you will see an aqueduct above you. A little later you pass another one. You walk for a while through the usually dry riverbed that you have to cross every now and then. Keep an eye on the sides throughout the entire route. As soon as you see a sign saying: ‘Zona de Acampada’, leave the riverbed and walk along the top. At these points it is not possible to follow the riverbed.
  • The paths speak for themselves: they always take you above the river if necessary and you automatically descend back to the river. The roads that take you above the river are sometimes steep, but the paths are almost all in good condition. You will pass several barrancos, almost all of which are indicated with signs. The view is spectacular, especially if you are a little higher!
  • After about two hours you will approach a hydroelectric power station. Here the route can be difficult to follow. It is important that you keep the hydroelectric power station on your right, you will automatically see a forest path in front of you. Follow this and you will eventually arrive at Dos Aquas. Two rivers meet here.
  • You will have to cross this place because on the other side you continue straight to the colored waterfalls. There are many stones in the river, which you can use to cross. Take the time to find a good spot where the water is shallow, the river is the narrowest and there are many stones.
  • When you have reached the other side, continue straight ahead. You no longer follow the sign ‘Zona de Acampada’ that you see. You are now following the river. If it is not possible to cross the river in good manners, it is really better to turn around. Further on you will only find more water.
  • After about 10 minutes you will hear a waterfall. This is the Kaskade des Río Almendro. The water of the river will now be colored yellow-red-orange. This is due to the high iron levels in the water.
  • Eventually you approach the colored waterfalls. To get here you have to go through one more obstacle: the river runs through an approximately two-meter wide gap between the rocks and the water is often quite high here. This part is particularly difficult because the rocks protrude inwards, making it difficult to find a foothold. Depending on the height of the water, you may get wet feet.
  • But once you get through this obstacle you will finally be at the colored waterfall! A beautiful place to take a break and enjoy this special waterfall. The water itself is not colored. But due to the high iron levels in the water, the stone wall behind the waterfall has red, yellow and orange colors. Part of the waterfall is also covered with green moss, which also leaves its color behind. This is why this waterfall is called Cascada de Colores.
  • After the break you will start the return journey again: this is the same as the outward journey.

An adventurous walk to the Lomo del Escuchadero

This beautiful 5-hour walk is tough. Due to the narrow paths along which the abyss descends steeply, this walk is absolutely not suitable for people with a fear of heights. If it is raining or has rained you cannot take this walk. The narrow paths are then slippery and you can fall into the abyss if you make a mistake. Landslides also occur in this area during showers and stones (sometimes as big as a skippy ball!) fall down. In short: this walk can only be done in nice clear weather after a number of dry days.

  • The starting point of this walk is at the Cumbrecita. At the wooden information kiosk, follow the path on the left. After about 50 meters turn left and descend. After a short while you will come to a sign that says ‘Mirador de los Roques, Lomo de las Chozas’. Do not follow this sign, you turn right in the direction of the ‘Zona de Acampada’. If the road here is closed you cannot do this walk, there have been landslides and it is too dangerous.
  • You follow the same path for about an hour and a half. This path is narrow, be careful not to make a mistake! The path hardly rises or descends. This part of the walk is not difficult; unless you are afraid of heights. During this entire road you have fantastic views of the Caldera.
  • After about an hour and a half you will arrive at Galería la Faya. This tunnel cut into the rocks is not accessible to the public and is therefore closed. Shortly after the Galería la Faya you will come to an emergency hut. Shortly after this the path begins to ascend. The slope you walk on is strewn with rubble. So walk carefully!
  • After a short time you walk around a protruding rock. After this the path goes downhill for a short time. This path is dangerous, there are chains for you to hold on to. Even after this, the road remains full of rocks, so stay careful!
  • Finally you come to Hoyo de los Pinos. Here too there is a sign in the direction of ‘Zona de Acampada’. Follow this sign. You walk through a stream bed that is full of large stones. It is difficult to find a good path, take your time. When you reach the top you will see another sign with ‘Zona de Acampada’.
  • Once at the top, follow the path you see again. This occasionally runs along trees and occasionally along rocks. Eventually the path goes steeply up again. Winding steeply uphill you finally reach the Lomo del Escuchadero. This point is indicated on a sign.
  • You can still walk to a beautiful natural viewpoint. To the left of the information board you can walk up and after about fifteen minutes you will reach the viewpoint.
  • The road will then continue to the ‘Zona de Acampada’. It is not recommended to do this. You need permission to camp. This must be arranged in advance at the centro de visitantes in El Paso. The road from the Lomo del Escuchadero to the campsite is extremely dangerous. The paths are even narrower than the paths you have now walked on, the paths may be partly blocked by large rocks that have fallen and it takes about 3 to 4 hours before you reach the campsite. Because this route is so terribly difficult, accidents could happen due to fatigue. Anyone who really wants to go to the campsite should take a completely different route for safety reasons. So it is better to turn around at this point and walk back to the starting point.

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