Walking on La Palma: Roque de los Muchachos

The Roque de los Muchachos, with a height of 2426 meters, is the highest mountain peak on the island. The roads leading here are long and winding, but the views are fantastic! From the Roque de los Muchachos you have a beautiful view of the Caldera de Taburiente in clear weather. There is an observatory near the Roque de los Muchachos. Please also note that it can be very cold at this altitude and that there can be an icy wind. Warm windproof clothing is therefore recommended.

Short walk to the Roque de los Muchachos

The starting point of this easy three-hour hike is at the Mirador Degollada de Franceses viewpoint. You get here if you first drive from Los Llanos de Aridane to Puntagorda and past Puntagorda follow the LP-4 towards Roque de los Muchachos. From Santa Cruz you immediately follow the LP-4 towards Roque de los Muchachos. This viewpoint is located near kilometer marker 32. From the viewpoint, follow a red-white marked road to the right. Here you will immediately have to deal with a short climb. In clear weather the view here is great. After 10 minutes you walk through an opening in a rock wall. You follow the route over a rocky terrain in the direction of the observatory. Now you go down again via hairpin bends. The path takes you along wind-shaped rock walls. You continue following the marked path and get closer to the observatory. You will pass these strange buildings a short distance away. Entering the site is prohibited, so please do not do so! Shortly after the observatory you will come to a viewpoint. From here you have a beautiful view and in clear weather you can also see the surrounding islands. The path then descends again for a short time and you pass another telescope from the observatory. You follow the road past rocks, mountains and peaks and eventually arrive at a parking lot. Here is also an information board of the Caldera de Taburiente national park. From the information kiosk you walk down a short road and you will come to a number of rocks and a sign that says: Roque de los Muchachos. Here you can enjoy a beautiful view and possibly take a short break before starting the return journey. The way back is the same route.

A beautiful walk at a lonely height

This walk is tough with about 600 meters of elevation gain. At this altitude it is necessary that you are at least in reasonable condition. This five-hour walk starts at the Roque de los Muchachos itself. There is a parking lot here. Again, drive up the LP-4 from all directions and drive to the indicated parking lot under the Roque de los Muchachos. You can park your car here. From the parking lot, follow the GR-121 with a sign: ‘Torre del Time, Puerto de Tazacorte’ towards the top of the Roque de los Muchachos and pass it on the right. A little further on the route starts on the right. Here you go down and arrive at a paved road. Follow this for a short distance. You pass a telescope and leave the road in the bend to the right that you come across. Here you will follow red and white markings. You walk on an unpaved road that quickly bends to the right. You pass a transmission installation and come to a junction where you turn right. You follow this road for some time and pass a barranco. After about an hour you will reach a rounded rocky top. Right in front of you you will see three peaks that are almost the same height. From here you just follow the path and have a beautiful view of the Caldera de Taburiente. You are approaching the foot of the Roque Palmero. From here the path winds upwards. Five minutes after passing the foot you will see a side path to the left. This side path will take you to the top. If you want, you can also skip this extra detour. From the main path you continue walking in a south-westerly direction. You will pass a sign that says ‘Barranco de Tajodeque’. Just behind this sign is a natural viewpoint. Continue following the path and you will notice that you are descending faster and faster. Eventually you will arrive at the first pines. Shortly afterwards you will come to a rock ridge: Pinos Gachos. From here you can also see Tijarafe. The path takes you further and further down past boulders and pine trees. The road continues to descend for the time being and you will reach the Hoya del Estrabito. From here you can have a good view of the Barranco de las Angustias. After this the path goes up again. You will eventually pass through a pine forest.

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