Walking on La Palma: Puntagorda

Puntagorda is located in the north-west of La Palma, above the municipality of Tijarafe. This rural region is incredibly beautiful. The houses are spread far apart and many dragon trees grow in this region. In winter it can be a bit chilly here, so taking a jacket with you during a walk doesn’t hurt. The extensive slopes and barrancos are a pleasure to stroll through.

A beautiful walk in Las Tricias

The start of this two-hour easy walk is at the church in the hamlet of Las Tricias. To get here, from Los Llanos de Aridane follow the LP-1 towards Puntagorda. Just past Puntagorda you will see the exit to Las Tricias. Follow the road until you reach the small town near the church. Here you can park your car and the walk begins. From the church you walk down the road. After about 200 meters you will come to a bend to the left. A paved path with green-white markings begins in this bend. After about 30 meters this path bends to the left and around the bend you enter a paved path that becomes wider. After some time you will come to a paved road and an old farm. Just after the farm you leave the paved road and take a concrete road down in the middle of the road. This path is steep and returns to the paved road you walked on earlier. The path becomes narrower and wider again. Follow this path until you come across a sign that says ‘Gr 130 Las Barucas. From this moment on the path is marked red and white. The path goes down for a while and then up again. At an intersection, follow the small road to the right and then change back to a path with red and white markings that runs through the vast landscape until you reach a farm. Follow the road from the farm and at the next bend to the right at an old threshing place you take a footpath to the left. You walk past a large dragon tree. Then you come to a small road to the left and turn into this. Then you come to a farm again and immediately turn right and go up a hill with an old mill. From the mill you can walk onto a paved road. Follow this road, with your left side facing the sea. You walk along the road lower and lower into the barranco, and below you you will see beautiful houses. You should pay attention to a group of dragon trees. Here you follow the sign with the text ‘Buracas, Dragos’ and the red arrows. The other path goes onto private property, so it is best not to follow it. Follow the road until you can see a water reservoir at the top left. Here you turn right and continue downhill. The path continues between a group of dragon trees and then rises to a junction. You turn left and then come to a small and unique cafe. You can pause here if you wish. Past the café, the path makes a sharp turn to the right and you enter a barranco where you can find caves with ancient rock carvings. You can follow the path through the barranco until it reaches a dead end, then return to the cafe and continue straight up towards a house. Eventually you will come to a group of dragon trees. The path continues straight ahead here. At the next two large dragon trees, the path splits at a natural stone wall. Here you go straight ahead and continue to follow this road for some time, ignoring intersections and side paths. Eventually you will return to the old threshing place that you saw on the outward journey. From here you walk the same way back to the starting point.

From El Fayal to the Barranco de Izcagua

The four-hour walk is not too difficult, but it does involve some climbing. The walk passes through beautiful farm landscapes, pine forests and beautiful small houses. The starting point of the walk is a parking lot at the El Fayal exit on the main road from Puntagorda to Santa Domingo de Garafía (LP-1). You can park your car at the El Fayal exit. From here you follow the main road south for a short distance (towards Puntagorda). After 100 meters you will see a paved road to the left. This is where you enter. This road is marked yellow and white. The roads run steeply uphill. You pass some houses. After five minutes the road turns left and you pass a campsite. You can take a look around here if you want. After visiting the campsite, leave the road in a bend to the left. You walk straight ahead on the Camino de la Rosa. You go uphill for a while and arrive at a wide forest road, which you follow uphill to a signpost. Here you follow the road with the sign: ‘Monana de las Tricias, Briestas por la Traviesa’. The markings here are green-white. In a bend to the right you leave the pine forest behind you and come to a signpost again. You take a wide path to the left with the sign ‘A la Traviesa’. Shortly afterwards you will pass a large water reservoir. On the left side of the path you will see the Barranco de Izcagua. You follow the path along valleys and fields. Shortly afterwards the path runs close to the barranco. You leave the wide path at a fork and follow the sign ‘A la Traviesa’ again. You are now walking on an old mule path. After a long climb up, the path runs downhill for a short time. Now you are at the bottom of the Barranco. On the other side of the barranco the mule trail continues. The path goes back into a forest with many bends. Once again you have to climb uphill. When you reach the top you will come to a dirt road and turn right here. This road is also marked green-white. You will pass old huts made of natural stones. these belong to the hamlet of Mataburros. The path you are walking on goes back into a forest. Before you reach the next almond orchard you will see a junction. Here you turn left. This path ends on a dirt road. Follow the road to the left towards Briestas. Here the road is marked yellow and white. Eventually you come to a signpost and turn left here and walk down a narrow paved road. At the next intersection go straight ahead. At the next signposts you come across, head towards Montaña de las Tricias/Las Tricias. This road is again marked green-white. When you come to a junction with an x-shape, you can make an extra detour to the right to the top of Mount Tricias. After the detour, turn diagonally to the left following the green-white markings. You pass a house and keep right at a fork. You follow the road and pass a house with a strikingly beautiful garden. A long descent begins here. After this descent you go up again briefly and come to a junction. Here turn left, following the markings. You can now see Las Tricias in front of you. Walk straight ahead and follow the markings. You walk through a valley and at the end of it is a wide path. This path becomes narrower later, but you continue to follow it. Walk straight ahead until you reach the church in the center of Las Tricias. Here you walk a short distance uphill along the road. You follow a bend and then go down a steep concrete-paved road. This road turns into a mule trail. You walk past some houses and a water pipe. You go down four wide steps and come to an intersection. Here you turn left and you will soon see a red-white marking. Continue to follow this path for a while. You pass a house and then the path becomes a bit wider again. You come to a concrete street and follow it for about 20 meters. Here is a sign with the text: El Fayal, Puntagorda. You go in this direction. You walk back into the Barranco de Izcagua. You cross the stream bed and continue on a mule trail. You follow this marked mule path steeply downwards. You pass a gate and must leave it as you found it. After this, the red-white marking follows for a short distance and then you reach the main road. Turn right until you return to the El Fayal exit where your car is parked. Tip: A market is held in El Fayal on weekends. Here farmers sell their fresh goods, but art is also for sale. To get to the market, follow the road to El Fayal. This road meanders downwards and will automatically take you to the parking lot near the market.

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