Whether you are planning your trip to La Palma or you would like to be inspired to discover other islands in the Canaries this is your complete guide with everything you should know before you travel to La Palma.

In this travel guide you will find what to do in La Palma, the best places to see, how to get there and around and all our travel tips for visiting La Palma.

This blog is written by Ella and Geert, Traveltomtom guest writers eager to share their passion for traveling to the lesser known Canary Islands through a series of guest blog post. They also wrote a La Gomera Travel Guide and a El Hierro Travel Guide.

La Palma is a large volcano that rises from the sea with several craters/volcanoes. The island has two large crater/volcano areas, one in the north and one in the south. Whether you arrive by boat or plane, you can immediately see this mighty division. Both volcano areas tower high above the sea.

In between, in the middle of the island, are the lower areas along the coast. With Santa Cruz on the east coast and the large valley with the town of Los Llanos on the west coast. Most people live in these areas and valleys on the coast.

How to get to La Palma

La Palma is easily accessible both by boat and by plane. There is a boat from Tenerife to La Palma every day and it takes 4 hours. You arrive by boat in the port of Santa Cruz de La Palma and by plane just south of Santa Cruz.

You can also fly directly to La Palma from Amsterdam, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Madrid and a couple other European airports. From Tenerife there are several flight daily with Binter Canarias.

How to get around La Palma

The best way to explore La Palma is by four-wheeler. This could of course be a rental car, but you also see many people with their own camper or campervan on La Palma. If you aspire to bring your own campervan to La Palma then you have to drive to Huelva in southern Spain and take the ferry to Tenerife and from Tenerife you take the ferry to La Palma.

It is quite a journey, but you do have your own vehicle with you. This for example can be ideal for campervans who want to spend the winter in the warm Canarias.

The convenient thing about La Palma is that there are a few main roads that make getting around very easy. The LP-1 makes a tour around the north side of the island and the LP-2 does the same along the south side of the island. Via the LP-3 you can also cross from east to west from Santa Cruz to Los Llanos and vice versa.

Below we will take you on a virtual tour of the island with the four-wheeler and we will show you the best places to visit in La Palma.

The North side of La Palma

Caldera de Taburiente National Park

pico de la nieve la palma

On the north side of the island, from Santa Cruz you drive the LP-1 counterclockwise along the east coast, north coast and west coast and start a tour around the Caldera de Taburiente national park. This Caldera is a large crater that covers the entire north side of the island.

The LP-1 meanders along the coast and provides majestic views of the sea, the cliffs and the Caldera. In the north you can visit the small picturesque village San Andres with the Charco Azul nearby. This is one of the many natural sea pools that you can find on most Canary Islands.

Los Tilos Rainforest and natural pools

From San Andres you can also visit Los Tilos, a tropical rainforest. Due to it’s location, the rain and the wind, this forest was created on the “green side” of the island. In addition to visiting the beautiful Cascades de Los Tilos waterfall, you can take some great walks in the forest.

A little further you can take the exit to the Piscinas de la Fajana on the north coast, another partly natural swimming pool that is popular among locals. The small road to get there is a challenge but more than worth it.

The section along the north coast is a beautiful stretch to drive with several stops, including the Mirador de la Tosca, and you have views of the Caldera ridge or the Atlantic Ocean.

Mirador de las Mibreras

Nice alternatives on the route are the more mountainous and winding roads such as LP-109 from Barlovento to Roque del Faro, which takes you to the beautiful Mirador de las Mibreras viewpoint. Or at Llano Negro you can take the LP-112 to Santo Domingo, mountainous but definitely worth it. From Santo Domingo you can continue on the LP-114 to reach the LP-1 again in Las Tricias.

Roque de los Muchachos

roque de los muchachos la palma

The north coast of the island is quite rugged and there are a few small towns that are accessible via small roads. If you do not take the exit to Santo Domingo in Llano Negro, but if you continue on the LP-1, you will come across the exit with the LP-4 a little further in Hoya Grande. Here you go via the LP-4 to the summit of the Caldera ridge and you can visit the highest point of La Palma, Roque de los Muchachos at an altitude of no less than 2426m.

In winter, snow can 'normally' fall here and remain on the ground. You are not always in control of the weather and the weather is unpredictable, especially on islands like these. But if you can plan it, make sure you visit Muchachos on a clear day. When you reach the top, walk a few hundred meters to the Mirador and look across the entire island from the north.

Just in front of you you will see a 2 kilometer (1.25 miles) deep crater and in the distance is the large valley and the southern part of the island with several other volcanoes and craters. Definitely one of the most beautiful views in Europe, where in clear weather you can see both La Gomera and Tenerife in the distance as well.

Observatorio Astrofisico

Next to the Roque de las Muchachos is the Observatorio Astrofisico at an altitude of 2396m. This is one of the areas with the largest number of telescopes in the world and definitely worth a visit. And yes, you understand correctly, you can do some serious star gazing here.

Puntagorda and Poris de Candelaria

After the descent back towards the west coast you eventually arrive in the small village of Puntagorda. From here there is a small road to Puerto de Puntagorda. Here you can do some top walks. But the most bizarre thing about this place is that there are a few fishermen who actually live in huts on and in the rocks and sea caves. Do not bother them too much, respect their space.

In addition, the views over the ocean and along the coast are beautiful. A little further south on the coast you will find a similar place, which is Poris de Candelaria. This can be reached both by car and on foot from Tijarafe. In terms of sea caves and fishermen living in the rocks, it is more impressive than Puntagorda, but it is also more touristy.

Mirador del Time

About 10 km south of Tijarafe you arrive at the Mirador del Time. The drive along the coast is sometimes impressive, but when you "go around the corner" at the Mirador you will not believe what you see. The valley between the northern part and southern part of the island containing the towns and villages such as Los Llanos, El Paso and La Laguna looms up and in clear weather this view is phenomenal. Stop in time to enjoy this view at the Mirador and skip the souvenir shop.

From here the road winds along the mountainside of the Caldera down to Los Llanos. This is a nice town to spend an afternoon or do some shopping, but don't forget the Siesta, which is sacred here. Los Llanos is the base to visit the Caldera de Taburiente national park.


From the Balcon de Taburiente restaurant, with a super beautiful view, there is another (narrow) road into the Caldera. This winds down for a few kilometers to the lowest part of the crater. There is a parking lot here where you can park, you are not officially allowed to park your campervan there, but hey... From here you can do various hikes in the Caldera. Yes, in the Caldera.

This crater is now completely overgrown and from deep in the Caldera the river Barranco de las Angustias flows to the sea. This river is often dry and you can explore it by walking upstream. But if it has rained heavily, the river turns into a swirling mudstream and the area is closed off.

From the parking lot the road continues, but it is only accessible to the few people who live there or to taxis that want to take you further. The road goes up along the inside of the ridge to the Mirador de los Brecitos. This is a beautiful viewpoint in the Caldera and from here you can also take the hike along the "inside" of the Caldera, after which you will end up at the parking lot below.

For all walking and hiking information, we refer you to Senderos de la Palma, here you will find all the routes of La Palma with all useful information and the latest warnings.

If you have the time, allow at least a few days for the Caldera as there are so many top hikes and every viewpoint is different. And if you walk all the way deep into the Caldera, at a certain point you will look straight up and see the “other side” of Roque de los Muchachos looming over 2 kilometer (1.25 miles) high in front of you.

For the adventurers, there is also a small campsite here. But it can only be reached on foot, so you have to carry all your belongings with you.

The South Side of La Palma

Return to Los Llanos to explore the southern part of La Palma island from here. You do this by taking the LP-2 and continuing the tour counterclockwise. The LP-2 winds largely along the coast and once again provides great views.

Realize that you are driving around the Cumbre Vieja national park with a considerable number of volcanoes and craters. A number of these volcanoes were active in 2021 and this has caused considerable destruction. Therefore, check in advance whether any roads or hiking trails are closed as a result of volcano eruptions.

Tazacorte and Puerto Naos

Of course there are also some beautiful stops on the southern part of the island. Immediately south of Los Llanos you can take the exit to the coastal towns of Tazacorte and Puerto Naos. Tazacorte is a nice fishing and beach village. From here you drive along the coast through the banana plantations to Puerto Naos.

On this side of the island you will find enormous banana plantations because the location and climate on this side of the island are optimal for this, this is the dry and warmer side of the island.

Puerto Naos could be called the beachtown of La Palma and is therefore popular among sun lovers. The southern side of the west coast is home to the most beautiful beaches and the climate on this side of the island is the best for sun lovers.

Our favourite beaches on this coast are undoubtedly Playa de Charco Verde, Playa Zamora and Playa Echentive. Keep in mind that these are largely lava beaches, but that is not surprising on a volcanic island.

El Remo

Somewhere halfway along the southwest coast is the small village of El Remo, a world in itself. Seriously authentic residents live here and there is also a small hippie community, absolutely worth the half-hour detour drive.

Centro de Interpretacion de Fuego

la palma lava tubes

South of La Laguna and north of Jedey you will find the Centro de Interpretacion de Fuego just off the LP-2. This is an information center where a lot of information is shown about the volcanoes on La Palma and volcanism in general and there are a few viewpoints where you can look out over the lava fields that have flowed into the sea.

When we were there in early 2021, you could descend into the lava tubes underground with a guide. These lava tunnels are created naturally after volcanic eruptions. After the last eruptions in the autumn of 2021, these tours are no longer possible.

Faro de Fuencaliente

The LP-2 road takes you further, but not to the southernmost point of the island, to do so you take the LP-207 at Las Indias. At the southernmost point you will find the lighthouse, the Faro de Fuencaliente. The LP-207 goes straight through raw volcanic landscape and you have a view of the Teneguia and San Antonio volcanoes. If you continue the LP-207 you will come across again on the LP-2 heading north towards Santa Cruz on the east coast.

Los Canarios and Los Quemados

But don't forget to go back a bit and visit the villages of Los Canarios and Los Quemados along the LP-2. In Los Canarios you can visit the San Antonio volcano and it’s information center and you can partly walk the volcano. From Los Canarios it is also possible to walk through the volcanic landscape to the lighthouse and back, highly recommended. Make sure you plan the whole day for this.

Ruta de los Volcanos

ruta de los volcanos la palma

This walk is also part of a longer route, the Ruta de los Volcanos. You can start this at the lighthouse and it is 23.7 kilometer (15 miles) long and goes straight up and leads you past a number of super beautiful volcanoes right through the national park.

You can also start this Ruta on the other side in El Pilar (the official route) and then most of the way down to the lighthouse. In Los Canarios you can also take a nice tour at the Bodegas Teneguia vineyard. The special thing is that the grapes are grown on the slopes of the volcanoes, but that has absolutely no negative influence on the quality. And of course don't skip the tasting and purchasing.

The LP-2 back along the east coast again provides a number of top views and eventually you return to the more inhabited area around Santa Cruz. You can also take several top hikes from the entire route around the Cumbre Vieja national park on the southern part of the island. They all go from the coast up into the mountains and volcanoes and some of the hikes are really tough, but they are all more than worth it and almost always provide great challenges and views.

Central La Palma

Have we had all of La Palma then? No absolutely not! As mentioned earlier, the LP-3 goes straight across the island from east to west and vice versa. It is the road that gives you the best access to the Cumbra Vieja, the national park on the southern part of the island.

If you come from the western part of the island, after a few kilometers south of Los Llanos you will see the exit to the LP-3 on the LP-2 heading east. That is near the villages of Tayuja and El Paso. Here you can take a great walk to the church Ermita de la Virgen del Pino. This can also be reached by car, but walking from El Paso is much more fun.

Cumbre Vieja National Park

hiking la palma

Back to the LP-3 heading east. Part of this road is a tunnel under the mountain ridge and just before the tunnel is the exit to the LP-301 which takes you to Cumbre Vieja. There are a number of beautiful Miradors along this road and after about 8 km you arrive at the El Pilar recreation area. Here you can park your car and start a number of top hikes, including the aforementioned Ruta de los Volcanos. The great thing is that you don't have to walk this entire route from El Pilar. You can also choose to walk a few km’s uphill. After about 5 km you are actually on top of the Cumbra Vieje plateau and you have almost a 360 view of the entire island. Returning to El Pilar is a good option, especially if the car is parked there. But if you are fit and feel like hiking, walk the entire Ruta de los Volcanos and be picked up on the other side in Los Canarios or at the Faro de Fuencaliente.

The LP-301 that you brought to El Pilar goes even further and is a nice alternative to the LP-3 for getting back to the east coast. Here you can take the ferry or plane again, back home, or to your next destination.

La Palma is a fantastic island and actually has something for everyone. For sun lovers, there are certainly some nice beaches on the west side and there is even a resort. But the island is a small paradise on European soil, especially for hiking and nature lovers.

Although we have paid little attention to it in this blog, La Palma also offers a huge choice in culinary terms. But we always believe that the best thing for the real (explorer) traveler is to find their favorite coffee shop, bar or restaurant themselves.

Enjoy your trip to La Palma!