Walking the Island of La Palma

8 days
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5 / 5 from 2 reviews >
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Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Walking & Trekking Holidays
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Fantastic walking across La Palma's dramatic volcanic terrain

The entire island of La Palma (known as the Pretty Isle) was classed as a Biosphere Reserve back in 2002, and is home to over 900 endemic species. This walking trip takes in the incredibly diverse scenery in the north and the centre of the island taking advantage of the islands well waymarked paths. Days range from dramatic coastal hikes and walks through the lush National Parks before culminating in arguably the most classic walk on La Palma; La Ruta de los Volcanes.


  • Fantastic walking across dramatic volcanic terrain
  • Spectacular views reaching as far as Mount Teide on Tenerife
  • Local delacies such as miel de palma (palm honey)
  • The famous 'Ruta de los Volcanes'
  • Free airport transfers for any flight

Key information

  • 5 days point-to-point walking
  • Altitude max 2426m, average 800m
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16yrs
  • 7 nights accommodation in guesthouses and hotels
  • All breakfast, 5 lunches and all dinners included

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and all dinners included.
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughoutFlights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations



Varied; many days can be rocky and steep as you cross gorges and ravines. Ground can be loose underfoot as the landscape is volcanic.

Day by day breakdown
Day 212.0km/7.0miles
Day 311.0km/6.0miles
Day 415.0km/9.0miles
Day 621.0km/13.0miles
Day 720.0km/12.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
  • Day 1

    Fly to Santa Cruz de La Palma; transfer to hotel

    After arrival at the airport we take a 10 minute private transfer to the hotel in Santa Cruz, the islands capital. Please note that if you are arriving on a Sunday many of the shops will be closed but the restaurants, cafes, the church, and other sights remain open. The local leader will give an evening briefing before dinner.

    Overnight Hotel El Galéon

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    After a short transfer hike through a prehistoric forest to Barlovento and your next hotel.

    After breakfast we transfer (approx. 40mins) to the starting point of our hike in the lush north-east of La Palma.The walk begins in the town of Los Sauces with a short but steep climb up some 500 or so steps to a viewpoint, ‘Mirador de Las Barandas’ offering views down to the densely forested ravine of Los Tilos. From here the trail undulates through laurel forest, and we walk through prehistoric vegetation until the path emerges at Laguna de Barlovento, a manmade reservoir above Barlovento, where our next hotel is located.

    Distance approx. 12km (7.5mi) / 4hrs walking, 750m ascent, 350m descent

    Overnight Hotel La Palma Romantica

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Transfer to Franceses; trek along the steep coastline, through deep gorges with spectacular ocean views.

    After a 20 minute transfer this morning, we will walk north along the dramatic coastline towards Barlovento. The hike along the steep coastline with deep gorges abd breathtaking views over the ocean, and passes Dragon Tree populations and picturesque villages. On arrival in Barlovento we can visit a local bar for a drink, before walking back to our hotel for dinner.

    Distance approx. 11km (7 miles) / 5 hours walking, ascent 900m, descent 700m

    Overnight Hotel La Palma Romantica

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Take a transfer to Pico de la Nieve (2350m); walk from the Caldera rim through the subalpine landscape. Overnight Los Cancajos.

    Today we trek to the highest point on the island! After a transfer (1hr) to Pico de la Nieve at an elevation of approx. 2239m, we begin the spectacular hike around the caldera rim, one of the largest craters in the world. The beautiful subalpine landscape combined with sweeping views over La Palma and towards the neighbouring Canary Islands make this walk an unforgettable experience! Although it cannot be guaranteed, this trek is above the usual cloud level and on a clear day it is possible to see as far as Mount Teide on Tenerife.

    There are glimpses into the caldera and of colourful red and yellow rock surfaces on the colossal caldera sides. Continuing on past Pico de la Cruz, we walk right by some of the world’s most powerful telescopes and observatories to finish at Roque de Los Muchachos, at 2426m, the top of La Palma. Our bus will pick us up from here for the 1hr 30 min transfer to our final base in Los Cancajos.

    Distance approx. 15km (9.3mi) / 5hrs 30 – 6hrs walking, ascent 1000m descent 490m

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day. Opportunity to discover the old town of Santa Cruz, or spend the day at the beach.

    Today is a free day and there are numerous activities nearby you can enjoy, ranging from a boat trip in search of dolphins and whales (seasonal/weather dependant), a massage, or diving trips. It is also possible to take advantage of La Palma's famously clear skies on a stargazing trip after dinner (subject to availability and weather conditions). Alternatively you could spend the day discovering the old town of Santa Cruz, or relaxing on the nearby black sand volcanic beach or by the pool within the apartment complex.

    Overnight Apartamentos La Caleta

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    After a transfer, a magnificent hike through the National Park Caldera de Taburiente with its endemic flora.

    After a transfer (1hr 30) up a windy road to Los Brecitos at an elevation of 1050m we begin a magnificent journey through the National Park, with its endemic flora. There is an initial gradual descent (1.5-2hrs) on a trail cut into the steep gorge sides, which winds through pine forest all the way down to the ever running River Taburiente. The rocks along the river banks make for a perfect perch for a picnic lunch and there’s also time to visit the small information centre here which houses a model of the caldera. After lunch we cross the river and have a short uphill climb before dropping down into a spectacular neighbouring gorge which we follow for the rest of the afternoon. After the walk, transfer back to Los Cancajos.

    Distance approx. 21km (13.6mi) / approx. 6 hours, ascent 144m, descent 950m

    Overnight Apartamentos La Caleta

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Short transfer to Refugio del Pilar before walking arguably the most classic and scenic trail on La Palma: Ruta de Los Volcanes.

    Today we walk arguably the most classic and scenic trek La Palma has to offer; La Ruta de Los Volcanes. After a transfer (30 mins) to Refugio del Pilar the trail begins, walking across the youngest part of the island with countless volcanic craters along the path down to Fuencaliente. Lava landscapes and Canary pine forests make for unique scenery throughout the walk. Transfer back to Los Cancajos.

    Distance approx. 20km (12.6mi) / approx. 6 hours 30 mins, ascent 780m, descent 1470m

    Overnight Apartamentos La Caleta

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Santa Cruz; fly to London.

    After breakfast you have the majority of the day to relax or explore Cancajos at your own pace before transfering to Santa Cruz de La Palma for your flight back.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info



No visa required for British passport holders.



There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and all dinners included.

Breakfasts are generally a simple buffet affair at your hotel, usually including a selection of bread, jam, pastries and cold meats and cheese. Lunches will be a picnic prepared by your hotel, usually consisting of bread, meat & Cheese, with nuts, fruits, chocolate and water. Dinners are taken from a set menu at a local restaurant or at your hotel and offer a variety of mouthwatering local specialities and international cuisine. Wine is not included with dinner but the average price of a bottle is €12.


La Palma enjoys a relatively balanced climate year round due to the trade winds that affect all of the Canary Islands. These winds from the north east carry moisture and can mean that two different sides of the island can be experiencing completely different weather patterns simultaneously. The winds provide a lovely natural cooling system which is perfect for hiking. However you should be prepared for rain at any time, La Palma is a lush, green island and the weather systems can be quite unpredictable. We offer this trip year round, but please be aware that there can be significant increases in temperature in July and August and this may lead to cancellation of some walking days if the weather is too hot. The best time to trek is from October to May, when the island is a little cooler.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level 4 - Moderate/Challenging.

Please see the introductory pages of the trekking holidays brochure, or our website for more important information on classification and grading.

This is an 8 day walking holiday based out of three different hotels with daily transfers to the walk start/end points. The transfers are not far in terms of distance but the roads are steep and windy in parts; the longest transfers are the return from Roque de Los Muchachos on day 4 and the transfer to Los Brecitos to being the walk on day 6. Average altitude is 800m, maximum is 2426m on day 6 (the Caldera de Taburiente walk).

The walks on this trip vary between moderate and challenging and each day involves a fair amount of ascent and descent (for more details please see the daily itinerary). The trip requires a reasonable amount of fitness, ideally with previous trekking experience. The most challenging walks of the week are on days 6 and 7.

The terrain and type of path will vary but many of them can be rocky and steep, especially on the gorge walks on days 4 and 6. Good quality walking boots and poles are highly recommended for the type of walking you will be doing. All of the paths walked are approved and monitored by the Federación Española de Montañismo and are well signed.

Due to the nature of some of the walks we would not particularly recommend this trip to anyone who suffers from severe vertigo. Some of the walks traverse steep-sided slopes on relatively narrow paths cut into the hillsides (particularly the morning of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park walk on day 6). There is also a section of the walk around the caldera rim on day 4 that may not be suitable for vertigo sufferers.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf



7 nights are spent in a mixture of 3-star hotels and apart-hotels.

El Galeon is located within walking distance to the pretty capital Santa Cruz.

Hotel Palma de la Romantica is 1km from Barlovento, in the north of La Palma. Views from your balcony or terrace will be over the mountains or ocean, and the hotel comes with an inside and an outside pool and spa.

La Caleta is an apartment-style hotel is located in the seaside town of Los Cancajos and is set just behind the rocky seafront and has a dramatic cliff backdrop in the distance. All rooms have a balcony or terrace and there is a large outdoor swimming pool in the centre of the complex. The resort is approximately a 5 minute walk to a black sand beach and is located close to a small strip of bars and restaurants where you will generally take your evening meals. All hotels have en suite rooms and come with free WiFi. Please note that in the apart-hotel the rooms will be cleaned every two days.

Please be aware that the availability of accommodation in La Palma is limited, so the hotels and apart-hotels listed above are subject to change.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Phil Risdale

    Great walking variety on a small island.

    Very enjoyable walking trip in a lovely destination, reasonable accommodation & food and a good variety of walks.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The caldera rim walk to Roque de Los Muchachos was pretty impressive and most enjoyable, but the walk in the gorge of the Taburiente river was probably even better. A shame we missed the Ruta de Los Volcanes due to bad weather!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jonas Perez - The most informative, helpful, knowledgeable and entertaining tour leader you will ever meet! He obviously loves his Island and his 'job' and wants everybody else to share this with his enthusiasm and humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walks are tough without being too hard if you're reasonably fit, but don't believe the trip notes - days 6 & 7 are not the most challenging, they are just long but quite simple walks, the most challenging day is day 4 around the caldera rim, thankfully followed by the rest day!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Carry everything with you all of the time - sun hat & cream with waterproofs & a fleece. The weather constantly changes and can be completely different on one side of the island to the other.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    ian barton

    An excellent winter break for active people

    Good walks in amazing scenery. A weeks winter holiday felt like a month of discovery in summer weather

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    walking above the clouds

    What did you think of your group leader?


    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    be ready for all seasons in one week - bright sun at high altitude, so bring sun cream and warm clothes

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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