La Palma, Canary Islands

The "Isla Bonita" of the Canary Islands

Bananal do Vale
Road meanders through one of El Valle's banana plantations.
Cactus House
Casa e cactus, a gaudy set by El Tablado.
Los Tiloes Waterfall
Visitors to the Los Tilos Special Reserve admire the waterfall of the same name.
the great dragon tree
A large dragon tree shades some homes in El Tablado.
Crest of El Tablado
El Tablado occupies part of a rare flat "platform" on the abrupt north coast of Las Palmas
road to a banana plantation
Vertiginous road below El Tablado
El Faro, the Lighthouse
The Fuencaliente Lighthouse above the southern volcanic coast of La Palma.
Florida Lava
Flowers blaze on the rocky summit of Roque de Los Muchachos.
Space Muchachos
Space Observatory domes on top of La Palma de Roque de los Muchachos.
Bath (Fuen) Caliente
Bather savors the last afternoon sun on the beach next to Fuencaliente Lighthouse.
Visitors to the Los Tilos Special Reserve admire the waterfall of the same name.
Salinas and the Lighthouse
The salt pans and, in the distance, the Fuencaliente lighthouse, at the southern end of La Palma.
El Valle de Aridane
Casario de El Valle, the largest town in La Palma, even bigger than the capital Santa Cruz de la Palma.
San Juan Volcano
Pine trees rise from the volcanic soil around Vulcan San Juan.
Playa Nogales (down there)
Bathers walk on the black sand of Playa Nogales.
Home Sweet Home of El Tablado
El Tablado roof, terrace and chimney.
San Antonio slope
Passerby crosses a steep, picturesque and deserted street of San Antonio.
Tunnel to Los Tilos
Figure walks along the levada that leads to the Los Tilos waterfall
In 1986 Madonna Louise Ciccone launched a hit that popularized the attraction exerted by a island imaginary. Ambergris Caye, in Belize, reaped benefits. On this side of the Atlantic, the palmeros that's how they see their real and stunning Canaria.

Jonas Pérez appreciates speed.

We wouldn't say as much as your native island, but it gives you special pleasure to wind through the curves of La Palma with your tires in torment.

We soon realized that he was doing it with the experience of years up and down the island, at one point in charge of his own tour company, a position that linked him to us and our visit.

In response to the challenge of where we wanted to start exploring it, we headed north, with Los Tilos National Park as our destination.

The Prodigious Laurisilval Redoubt of Los Tilos

Los Tilos is special for concentrating one of the oldest and best preserved areas of Laurisilva forest in the canary archipelago and all of Macaronesia.

Verdant, humid, with assorted vegetation, mossy and, in its own way, mystical, Los Tilos is crisscrossed by countless trails that attract walkers from all over.

On hot summer days, one of them, accessible and much shorter, proves to be a case apart.

Los Tilos Tunnel, La Palma, Canary Islands

figure walks along the path that leads

As we found it, we wouldn't classify it well as a conventional trail.

In the vicinity of a river named Barranco del Água, a canalized levada follows a tunnel dug into the slope.

We left it for the entrance to a tight, winding, fetus-swelled throat.

There, a generous waterfall supplied the Barranco del Água and delighted a small crowd of visitors.

Cascada Los Tilos, La Palma, Canary Islands

Visitors to the Los Tilos Special Reserve admire the waterfall of the same name.

There were a few tourists, occasional photographers and a bathing minority of teenagers delighted with the freshness and eccentricity of the afternoon shower. We were left with the will to join them.

If it were up to Jonas, this would never happen: “a special place like this should be closed to these invasions. Now it's these three, but sometimes it's five times more, you see?”

Of course we understood.

Jonah was from the island. And, in a way, the island was Jonah's. We didn't have much to add. We let him guide us to a marine equivalent of the Cascata de Los Tilos.

We revert south. We leave the main road for a spin-off full of these steep and scary things.

A final slope leaves us facing a parched promontory, full of yellow cacti, in season, studded with prickly pears, hygopics or tunos as, depending on the islands, they are called the Canaries.

Nogales: a Raw and Stunning Black Sand Beach

A wooden fence protected anyone who ventured there to peer into the abyss to the north, from a long and fateful fall.

Nevertheless, the view of Playa Nogales below, of unusual marine and volcanic splendor, invited us to prolong our contemplation and renew the clicks of the cameras over and over again.

Playa Nogales, La Palma, Canary Islands

India figs on top of the cliff of Playa Nogales.

Its black sand, over 500 meters long and, depending on the tide, up to 25 meters wide, fits into the bottom of cliffs that, in the rainy months, become verdant and contrast with the oil blue of the Atlantic Ocean.

In such an extreme scenario, it is not surprising that the bed undergoes sudden changes in depth susceptible to currents.

So, baths have to be done with extra care.

In any case, the few privileged bathers we glimpsed in the depths, all safe, were playing rackets, playing with a dog, dozing just before the edge of the surf.

Vacancies in Playa Nogales, La Palma, Canary Islands

Bathers walk on the black sand of Playa Nogales.

From San Andrés to the return to the capital Santa Cruz

Between Los Tilos and Nogales, we saw a good part of the relief of La Palma colonized by hillside banana groves, already of considerable size. At that time, little did we know that, on the scale of La Palma, these were mere samples.

This initial section of the tour occupied us until lunchtime.

Jonas Pérez entices us to agree to a visit to a restaurant by his family member from town de San Andrés, homonymous, endowed with an esplanade shaded by large palm trees and blessed by the Parish of San Andrés Apostle.

There we sat and enjoyed grilled fish, with wrinkled potatoes and, of course, a good dose of gofio, a yellowish porridge made from a mixture of grains and cereals that, it is said, was already consumed by the natives of the Guanche Canary Islands, long before the arrival of the Europeans.

Jonas urges us to taste it with the genuine pride of a lesser-old native. To your delight, we love the snack. We abused to taste it until we realized its weight and digestive complexity.

And, soon, the consequent difficulty in exploring the colorful and picturesque seaside village planted with San Andrés.

That afternoon, we were on our own to wander around the capital Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Roque Los Muchachos Misty and the Enchantment of El Tablado

Early the next morning, we left once in rally mode, with the end of the stage on the roof of the island of Roque de los Muchachos (2426m), the second highest peak in the canaries

Roque de los Muchachos became a privileged vantage point of space, reason for being of the various Space Observatories and the huge antennas that we saw pointed towards the sky.

Space Observatory, Roque Los Muchachos, La Palma

Space Observatory domes on top of La Palma de Roque de los Muchachos.

And yet, by the time we completed the ascent of the mount, instead of hovering below, clouds of altitude would surround us, which frustrated us with a decent contemplation of the crater and the surrounding panoramas.

Okay, we took less time than we expected.

Jonas enjoys the road sequence.

Flowers in Roque de Los Muchachos

Flowers blaze on the rocky summit of Roque de Los Muchachos.

It takes us to one of his favorite parts of La Palma, the northern coast, set back in time, isolated by the whimsical shapes of mountains and valleys and by a certain attachment to an ancestral way of life.

A region crisscrossed by dizzying trails where Jonah and his wife Sarai have accumulated great experience guiding outsiders.

Road, North Coast, La Palma.

Vertiginous road below El Tablado

The speedy and gentle guide shows us, in particular, the village of El Tablado, named for the traditional wooden structure of the roofs, culminating in older and humbler houses imposed on the slopes.

El Tablado, La Palma,

El Tablado roof, terrace and chimney.

Most of the recent, colorful ones, with shallow tops, somewhat Moorish chimneys.

The Atlantic to the north and the plant company of a few dragon trees, much older than any inhabitant.

From El Tablado, we wind our way to Santo Domingo.

The village revealed the structure and look of a village, with its square, church and stately building.

We found it almost deserted.

Despite the roads far less extreme than those leading to El Tablado, the event of the day was the misfortune of a driver who had broken into and destroyed a commercial establishment.

At the wheel of your car, you have to say it.

Down the west coast of La Palma

By a new zigzag slope, we come within sight of the Roques de Santo Domingo and Las Tabaidas.

Even if more hidden, we can also see Praia de Bujarén, of the same volcanic streak and retreat at the foot of the cliffs, that of Nogales.

Betting on completing the circum-conduction of the island, Jonas forced an additional stretch, now along the top of its west coast, long enough to convince us of the dimension of La Palma that the maps do not allow us to understand.

We are once again startled by the Canarian drama of the Beautiful Island of the Canary Islands when we reached the top of El Valle de Aridane.

Fertile like few others on the island, El Valle is home to immense agricultural production, to the point of hosting one of the most important banana plantations in the Canary Islands.

El Valle de Aridane, La Palma, Canary Islands

Casario de El Valle, the largest town in La Palma, even bigger than the capital Santa Cruz de la Palma.

As we descend to its core, the meanders of the LP-1 road, Barrancos Tenisca and Las Angustias drive us into a forest of walled banana trees, Jonas explains that they were protected from the wind and better matured.

Bananal de El Valle, La Palma, Canary Islands

Road meanders through one of El Valle's banana plantations.

So many kilometers of curves, ups and downs, so much unveiling of new panoramas, already justified a new gastronomic experience.

Higopicos or Tunos à Mesa and the Volcanic Fund of La Palma

at the table of gastrobar El Duende del Fuego, from Los Llanos we are delighted with Chef Pedro Castillo peeling a prickly pear by hand. And with its risotto and ice cream from hygopic, among other delights.

Os tunos continued to abound.

From El Valle down towards the finisterre pointed south of La Palma, where the Fuencaliente lighthouse warns of the imminence of the island for navigation.

Fuencaliente Lighthouse, La Palma, Canary Islands

The Fuencaliente Lighthouse above the southern volcanic coast of La Palma.

Once again, on these sides, we find ourselves in a realm of dark earth and lava, speckled with amazing volcanoes: San Antonio and San Juan.

Both are the last craters of a long volcanic crest, which also includes the controversial Cumbre Vieja, which re-erupted on September 19, 2021.

reason for a apocalyptic and viral theory that its collapse over the Atlantic would trigger a gigantic tidal wave that would destroy part of the coast of Americas and even some European coastlines.

San Juan Volcano, La Palma, Canary Islands

Pine trees rise from the volcanic soil around Vulcan San Juan.

Less intimidating, the San Juan volcano overlooks the lighthouse, the contrasting salt marshes of Fuencaliente.

And on the beach with large pebbles where, despite the geological rawness of the scenery, we see bathers enjoying the last afternoon sun and the warm sea, to the torment of a duo of fishermen, saturated with their toil.

Playa de Fuencaliente, La Palma, Canary Islands

Bather savors the last afternoon sun on the beach next to Fuencaliente Lighthouse.

The night did not take long to announce itself.

With almost ten hours of laps around Isla Bonita, it was time to collect the Santa Cruz, the capital palm tree. 

Its second largest town.

Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

The Romans knew the Canaries as the lucky islands. Fuerteventura, preserves many of the attributes of that time. Its perfect beaches for the windsurf and the kite-surfing or just for bathing, they justify successive “invasions” by the sun-hungry northern peoples. In the volcanic and rugged interior, the bastion of the island's indigenous and colonial cultures remains. We started to unravel it along its long south.
El Hierro, Canary Islands

The Volcanic Rim of the Canaries and the Old World

Until Columbus arrived in the Americas, El Hierro was seen as the threshold of the known world and, for a time, the Meridian that delimited it. Half a millennium later, the last western island of the Canaries is teeming with exuberant volcanism.
La Graciosa, Canary Islands

The Most Graceful of the Canary Islands

Until 2018, the smallest of the inhabited Canaries did not count for the archipelago. Arriving in La Graciosa, we discover the insular charm of the now eighth island.
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
Tenerife, Canary Islands

The Volcano that Haunts the Atlantic

At 3718m, El Teide is the roof of the Canaries and Spain. Not only. If measured from the ocean floor (7500 m), only two mountains are more pronounced. The Guanche natives considered it the home of Guayota, their devil. Anyone traveling to Tenerife knows that old Teide is everywhere.
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Fogo Island, Cape Verde

Around the Fogo Island

Time and the laws of geomorphology dictated that the volcano-island of Fogo rounded off like no other in Cape Verde. Discovering this exuberant Macaronesian archipelago, we circled around it against the clock. We are dazzled in the same direction.
Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
Corvo, Azores

The Improbable Atlantic Shelter of Corvo Island

17 km2 of a volcano sunk in a verdant caldera. A solitary village based on a fajã. Four hundred and thirty souls snuggled by the smallness of their land and the glimpse of their neighbor Flores. Welcome to the most fearless of the Azorean islands.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
lagoons and fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
portfolio, Got2Globe, Travel photography, images, best photographs, travel photos, world, Earth
Ceremonies and Festivities
Cape Coast, Ghana

The Divine Purification Festival

The story goes that, once, a plague devastated the population of Cape Coast of today Ghana. Only the prayers of the survivors and the cleansing of evil carried out by the gods will have put an end to the scourge. Since then, the natives have returned the blessing of the 77 deities of the traditional Oguaa region with the frenzied Fetu Afahye festival.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Islamic silhouettes

Istanbul, Turkey

Where East meets West, Turkey Seeks its Way

An emblematic and grandiose metropolis, Istanbul lives at a crossroads. As Turkey in general, divided between secularism and Islam, tradition and modernity, it still doesn't know which way to go

combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
DMZ, South Korea, Line of no return
DMZ, Dora - South Korea

The Line of No Return

A nation and thousands of families were divided by the armistice in the Korean War. Today, as curious tourists visit the DMZ, many of the escapes of the oppressed North Koreans end in tragedy.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Thingvelir, Origins Democracy Iceland, Oxará
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

The Origins of the Remote Viking Democracy

The foundations of popular government that come to mind are the Hellenic ones. But what is believed to have been the world's first parliament was inaugurated in the middle of the XNUMXth century, in Iceland's icy interior.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Preikestolen, Pulpit Rock, risky throne
Preikestolen - Pulpit Rock, Norway

Pilgrimage to the Pulpit of Rock of Norway

The Norway of the endless fjords abounds in grand scenery. In the heart of Lyse Fjord, the prominent, smooth and almost square top of a cliff over 600 meters forms an unexpected rocky pulpit. Climbing to its heights, peering over the precipices and enjoying the surrounding panoramas is a lot of revelation.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Serra Dourada, Cerrado, Goiás, Brazil
Natural Parks
Serra Dourada, Goiás, Brazil

Where the Cerrado Waves Golden

One of the types of South America savannah, the Cerrado extends over more than a fifth of the Brazilian territory, which supplies much of its fresh water. Located in the heart of the Central Plateau and the state of Goiás, the Serra Dourada State Park shines double.
Tiredness in shades of green
UNESCO World Heritage
Suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Santa Marta, Tayrona, Simón Bolivar, Ecohabs of Tayrona National Park
Santa Marta and PN Tayrona, Colombia

The Paradise from which Simon Bolivar departed

At the gates of PN Tayrona, Santa Marta is the oldest continuously inhabited Hispanic city in Colombia. In it, Simón Bolívar began to become the only figure on the continent almost as revered as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Vegetables, Little India, Sari Singapore, Singapore
Little India, Singapore

The Sari Singapore of Little India

There are thousands of inhabitants instead of the 1.3 billion of the mother country, but Little India, a neighborhood in tiny Singapore, does not lack soul. No soul, no smell of Bollywood curry and music.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.