THE ISLAND OF LA PALMA
The heart island. The green island. The beautiful island.
Our home is the island of La Palma,the farthest to the west in the Canary Islands, and geologically speaking one of the youngest.
We are located in the state of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which, together with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, make this small and wonderful volcanic archipelago, so close to the African Northwestern shore and bathed by the Atlantic ocean waters.
WARNING: If you want to visit the island and go into adventures with us, be aware! Many people get confused with the main city of the island of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas. We are a whole island instead! 😉
La Palma is a very young volcanic island.
So young, that whales and dolphins were already around to bear witness of her birth, and the dinousars had disappeared long before. So young, that she’s still alive and growing, from her broad North to the sourthern point.
The North is the oldest region, with huge and breathtaking cliffs on the coast and luscious laurasic forests inland, where heathers grow as trees.
In the middle, and way up from Tazacorte, our harbour, the Barranco de las Angustias opens wide, being the Taburiente riverbed, and taking us to the open circus of La Caldera, the island’s National Park.
And from there to the South, still building itself, Cumbre Vieja ridge shows up, with the Aridane valley and the banana plantations to the west, and going all the way down through lavas and pine forests to the farthest point, where Fuencaliente lighthouse and its marine salinas.
This is a place where the four elements merge: fire, earth, water and air; a place that sprinkles them with local wines and great goat cheeses.
A place to know on foot and by the sea.
A Biosphere Reserve in its entirety.
A welcoming and hosting place. Like a heart.
IN THE WATERS
This island was born from the depths of the Atlantic ocean about four million years ago.
From then on, the ocean has witnessed her growing and craddled her with tides, and all the sea beings have beheld her evolution, and either got closer or farther away from her shores.
The Atlantic ocean depths are nearby here: the way down is really fast as we get far from the shore. More so on the western side, where we usually sail.
Having almost no oceanic platform grants this spot some peculiar characteristics, favoring that cetaceans, mainly different species of whales and dolphins, come by to visit and make these subtropical waters their home, no matter for how long.
And it’s not just them. A huge variety of sea life hides and blooms beneath all this blue.
Maybe La Palma is the green-and-blue island? A heart-shaped jewel set in the Atlantic ocean?
You better come and decide by yourself.
Be warned, though. You will want to stay here afterwards.
IN THE SKIES
Close your eyes. Now open them again.
Can you see those tiny bright spots in the sky?
Yes, they are what we call stars. And what looks like a cloud, it isn’t so. It’s the Milky Way. Your cosmic home. Our HOME, in caps.
The Observatorio Astronómico del Roque de Los Muchachos has its telescopes in La Palma, at the highest peaks. This is one of the three hot spots, together with Hawaii and Chile, in which we nowadays humans ask ourselves the classic questions about where we come from and if there’s life out there.
The atmosphere is so clear, due to our location and the high mountains, and helped by special sky protective laws, that stargazing and more is improved, whether if you are a professional astronomer or you’ve just discovered there’s something up there.
That’s the reason why, some years ago, here in La Palma, the Declaración Starlight was signed. That’s why here we learn to take photos at night with lights that don’t come from buildings and the like. That’s the reason why some people also know La Palma as Stars Island.
Maybe it’s time to put aside GPS and smartphones and Google Maps for a while and learn to do as the wayfinders and sailors of old, knowing the most brilliant stars up there that can act out as guides. And learn to enjoy the night, again, in a different way. Are you in?