Walking on La Palma: El Paso

El Paso is the most central municipality of La Palma. Because this municipality is easily and easily accessible from all sides, it is a nice place to start a walk. The area surrounding El Paso is partly green (towards the Caldera de Taburiente) and partly volcanic with pine forests (towards the south). There are small picturesque towns around El Paso where beautiful walks start.

To a deep crater

This walk with a tough, steep climb takes you to a deep crater: the Hoyo de la Sima. This volcano never became clogged after the eruption, which normally happens. This left an immensely deep pipe open. You can’t see the bottom, no one knows how deep this pipe is. The walk starts in the town of Jedey. From Los Llanos de Aridane or Los Canarios take the LP-2 motorway to Jedey. The starting point of the walk is in the center at a street called Calle Campanario. This street starts next to the bus stop which has a waiting booth. You will see a sign that says ‘Romanciaderos en Hoyo de la Sima’. You will take this road. You walk straight ahead past a small school building. At the next fork, turn left. The road turns increasingly steeper and further up the slope of the Montana Marcos. You will see a yellow-white marked walking route going to the right, which you can ignore. You enter a stony forest road and follow the sign ‘Romanciaderos, Hoyo de la Sima’. You also do not follow the green-white marked route that you see, you will walk over it on the way back. You follow the road and ignore side paths. You cross a barranco that is partly covered with lava. Then you go through a dense pine forest. Once you have left this forest behind you, you will pass a vineyard. At the end of the vineyard there are two side paths to the left, ignore these as well. Continue walking along the path and at the next junction follow the sign ‘Hoyo de la Sima’ and turn right. From here the path only gets steeper. You ignore all the narrower side paths you come across. Only at the intersection in front of a round crater do you take the path to the left. Shortly afterwards you will arrive at the Hoyo de la Sima. After a short break, continue along the wide path to the right; if you allow yourself to face the Hoyo de la Sima. After about a mile you will see a path with green and white markings on your right. This is the path you ignored earlier on this walk. This well-marked path takes you back down, largely through pine forest, to the junction where you ignored this path on the outward journey. From that point you follow the same route as on the outward journey to the starting point. If you wish, you can of course also follow the same route back.

From El Paso to El Pilar and the Llano del Jable

This tough walk of about five hours starts at the visitor center above El Paso. If you drive east from El Paso towards the tunnel, you will automatically come across a sign with Centro de Visitantes. Here you can park your car and the walk begins. From the visitor center, take the street towards the Cumbrecita. Follow this street until you see a sign to the right with the text ‘Ermita Virgen del Pino’. You are now walking towards a small church in the middle of the forest. This used to be a place of pilgrimage, but nowadays a procession is only held once every three years. Behind the church a wide forest road starts upwards. This is marked yellow-white. Here begins a climb of more than 500 meters. You ignore marked side paths. After about fifteen minutes you leave the forest road and continue on the old king’s road: a paved old mule path. Your view becomes more and more beautiful as time goes by. After about half an hour you will reach a junction and turn right here. The road is still marked. Eventually you come to the Reventón Pass, which is one of the lowest and oldest connections between the west side and the east side of La Palma. From the Reventón Pass you take the red-white marked hiking trail. This road takes you towards the picnic area ‘El Pilar’ without any significant ascent or descent. The road you walk on offers you fantastic views in clear weather. Ultimately this road ends at a paved road. Here you turn right and after a few minutes you will arrive at ‘El Pilar’. From this point we continue to Llano del Jable, an immense sand/ash plain surrounded by volcanoes. From El Pilar follow the yellow-white marked route. You first walk a bit across the picnic area, where you may be able to take a break. After a break, continue along the yellow-white marked route. This yellow-white route takes you to the Llano del Jable in just over half an hour. At the Llano del Jable the road is a bit more difficult to follow. Here, several marked roads intertwine and paths are difficult to distinguish, except for a few wide ones. It is important that you try to keep to the left, then you will automatically find a marker stone. Eventually you will reach a motorway and follow it downhill for a while. You walk through a forest and later pass a stone hut. Eventually the road ends and you turn right onto a narrow path that runs between stone walls. You follow this narrow path and further downhill and regularly cross a road. Eventually the narrow path no longer continues and you continue along the road. You pass large houses and villas and then you walk back into El Paso and reach the main road. This will take you back to the starting point in a few minutes: the visitor center.

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