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.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Traditional houses, Bergen, Norway.
Architecture & Design
Bergen, Norway

The Great Hanseatic Port of Norway

Already populated in the early 1830th century, Bergen became the capital, monopolized northern Norwegian commerce and, until XNUMX, remained one of the largest cities in Scandinavia. Today, Oslo leads the nation. Bergen continues to stand out for its architectural, urban and historical exuberance.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Apia, Western Samoa

Fia Fia – High Rotation Polynesian Folklore

From New Zealand to Easter Island and from here to Hawaii, there are many variations of Polynesian dances. Fia Fia's Samoan nights, in particular, are enlivened by one of the more fast-paced styles.
Casario de Ushuaia, last of the cities, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Ushuaia, Argentina

The Last of the Southern Cities

The capital of Tierra del Fuego marks the southern threshold of civilization. From Ushuaia depart numerous incursions to the frozen continent. None of these play and run adventures compares to life in the final city.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
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.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Native Americans Parade, Pow Pow, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Albuquerque, USA

When the Drums Sound, the Indians Resist

With more than 500 tribes present, the pow wow "Gathering of the Nations" celebrates the sacred remnants of Native American cultures. But it also reveals the damage inflicted by colonizing civilization.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Casa Menezes Braganca, Chandor, Goa, India
Chandor, Goa, India

A True Goan-Portuguese House

A mansion with Portuguese architectural influence, Casa Menezes Bragança, stands out from the houses of Chandor, in Goa. It forms a legacy of one of the most powerful families in the former province. Both from its rise in a strategic alliance with the Portuguese administration and from the later Goan nationalism.
Male Maldives

The Maldives For Real

Seen from the air, Malé, the capital of the Maldives, looks little more than a sample of a crammed island. Those who visit it will not find lying coconut trees, dream beaches, spas or infinite pools. Be dazzled by the genuine Maldivian everyday life that tourist brochures omit.
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.
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.
The Gran Sabana

Gran Sabana, Venezuela

A Real Jurassic Park

Only the lonely EN-10 road ventures into Venezuela's wild southern tip. From there, we unveil otherworldly scenarios, such as the savanna full of dinosaurs in the Spielberg saga.

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.
Ijen Volcano, Slaves of Sulfur, Java, Indonesia
Natural Parks
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
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.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

The conflict with Pakistan and the threat of terrorism made filming in Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh a drama. In Ooty, we see how this former British colonial station took the lead.
conversation at sunset
Boracay, Philippines

The Philippine Beach of All Dreams

It was revealed by Western backpackers and the film crew of “Thus Heroes are Born”. Hundreds of resorts and thousands of eastern vacationers followed, whiter than the chalky sand.
Police intervention, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jaffa, Israel

Unorthodox protests

A building in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, threatened to desecrate what ultra-Orthodox Jews thought were remnants of their ancestors. And even the revelation that they were pagan tombs did not deter them from the contestation.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.