Current as of: December 5, 2023 - 05:36

La Palma

Walking the Island of La Palma Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Spain
  • Programmes: Walking & Trekking
  • Activity Level:

    4 out of 7 - Moderate / Challenging

  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: TSK
  • Carbon Footprint: 45.3kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Walk across the dramatic volcanic terrain of La Palma

Home to more than 900 endemic species, the entire island of La Palma (known as the Pretty Isle) was classed as a Biosphere Reserve in 2002. Discover the many natural highlights on this walking trip, which takes advantage of well-waymarked paths to explore the diverse scenery in the north and centre. Days range from hikes along dramatic coastlines to walks through lush national parks, before culminating in arguably the most celebrated trail on the island: La Ruta de los Volcanes.

At a Glance

  • Five days of walking; one free day
  • Altitude maximum: 7,959ft (2,426m); average: 2,625ft (800m)
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus local leader. Minimum age: 16
  • Seven nights between a three-star hotel and aparthotel
  • All breakfasts and four dinners included


  • Hike fantastic walks across dramatic volcanic terrain
  • Experience spectacular views reaching as far as Mount Teide on Tenerife
  • Sample local delicacies such as miel de palma (palm honey)
  • Walk the Ruta de los Volcanes
  • Take advantage of free arrival and departure transfers for everyone

Is This Trip for You?

This trip has been rated Activity Level 4 (Moderate/Challenging).

It is an eight-day walking adventure based out of two 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 on Day 6.

Average altitude is 2,625ft (800m), maximum is 7,959ft (2,426m) on Day 6 (the Caldera de Taburiente walk).

The walks vary between Moderate and Challenging levels 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 are on days 6 and 7.

The terrain and path type vary but many can be rocky and steep, especially on the gorge walks on days 4 and 6. Good walking boots and poles are highly recommended. All paths we take are approved and monitored by the Federación Española de Montañismo and are well signposted.

Due to the nature of some of the walks, we would not 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.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 16



Land Only

  • Start City: Santa Cruz
  • End City: Santa Cruz

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Barlovento; transfer to hotel

The adventure starts at the hotel in Barlovento, our home for the first three nights. The local leader will host a welcome briefing before dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel La Palma Romantica (or similar)

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2
Hike through a prehistoric forest to Barlovento

After breakfast, we transfer (approximately 15 minutes) to the starting point of our hike in the lush northeast of La Palma. The walk begins in Los Tilos rainforest, close to the town of Los Sauces, with a short but steep climb up some 500 steps to a viewpoint, Mirador de Las Barandas, with 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 human-made reservoir above Barlovento.

Accommodation: Hotel La Palma Romantica (or similar)

Distance covered: 6mi (9km)

Ascent: 2,133ft (650m); Descent: 1,148ft (350m); Activity hours: 4hr 30min

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3
Transfer to Franceses; trek along the steep coastline, through deep gorges with spectacular ocean views

After a 15-minute morning transfer, we walk north along the dramatic coastline towards Barlovento. The hike along the steep coastline and deep gorges offers breath-taking ocean views, and passes dragon trees and picturesque villages. On arrival in Barlovento, we can visit a bar for a drink before walking back to our hotel for dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel La Palma Romantica (or similar)

Distance covered: 9mi (15km)

Ascent: 2,953ft (900m); Descent: 2,297ft (700m); Activity hours: 5hr 30min

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
Transfer to Roque de Los Muchachos; walk from the caldera rim through the subalpine landscape. Overnight Santa Cruz

Today we trek from the highest point of the island. After a transfer (1hr 30min) to Roque de Los Muchachos, at an elevation of approximately 7,959ft (2,426m), we begin a 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. After walking right by some of the most powerful telescopes in the world, we stop for a picnic in Pico de la Cruz (7,713ft/2,351m) before heading to Pico de la Nieve (7,346ft/2,239m). Our bus picks us up from here for the one-hour transfer to our final base in Santa Cruz.

Accommodation: El Galeon (or similar)

Distance covered: 7mi (12km)

Ascent: 3,281ft (1,000m); Descent: 1,608ft (490m); Activity hours: 5

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Free day. Opportunity to discover Santa Cruz old town or spend the day at the beach

Today is free and there are several activities nearby you can enjoy, including a boat trip in search of dolphins and whales (seasonal/weather dependent), a massage, and diving trips. It is also possible to take advantage of the famously clear La Palma skies on an after-dinner stargazing trip (subject to availability and weather conditions). Alternatively, spend the day in Santa Cruz old town, a site of both historic and artistic interest, with cobbled streets, Flemish altarpieces, the Insular Museum and theatres. Or relax on the nearby black-sand volcanic beach, just a few minutes’ walk from our hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel El Galeon (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Magnificent hike through Caldera de Taburiente National Park

After a one-hour transfer up a winding road to Los Brecitos (3,445ft/1,050m), we begin a magnificent journey through Caldera de Taburiente National Park. There is an initial gradual descent (1hr 30min to two hours) on a trail cut into the steep gorge sides, which winds through pine forest down to the ever-running River Taburiente. The rocks along the riverbanks are a great place to stop for lunch and there’s also time to visit the small information centre, which houses a model of the caldera. After lunch, we cross the river and have a short uphill climb before dropping into a spectacular neighbouring gorge, which we follow for the rest of the afternoon. After the walk, we transfer back to Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Accommodation: Hotel El Galeon (or similar)

Distance covered: 10mi (16km)

Ascent: 328ft (100m); Descent: 2,789ft (850m); Activity hours: 6

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Short transfer to Refugio del Pilar before walking La Ruta de Los Volcanes

Today we walk arguably the most scenic trek in La Palma: La Ruta de los Volcanes. After a 30-minute transfer to Refugio del Pilar, the trail begins, running 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. We then transfer back to Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Accommodation: Hotel El Galeon (or similar)

Distance covered: 11mi (18km)

Ascent: 1,804ft (550m); Descent: 4,265ft (1,300m); Activity hours: 6

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8
Transfer to Santa Cruz airport

After breakfast, we have the majority of the day to relax or to explore Santa Cruz de La Palma at a leisurely pace (depending on your flight time) before transferring to the airport.

Meals included: Breakfast

Ascents, descents and distances

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders, in many cases with satellite-based mapping software. Please note, different GPS measuring devices can give differing results, particularly on winding paths or in mountainous terrain. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter. Timings stated will vary depending on the pace of your group.


Barlovento and Santa Cruz

Walking the Island of La Palma

We spend seven nights split between a three-star hotel and an aparthotel.

Hotel Palma de la Romantica is 0.6mi (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 has inside and outside pools, plus a spa.

El Galeon is within walking distance of the pretty capital Santa Cruz. It features a terrace with lovely sea views.

The availability of accommodation in La Palma is limited, so the hotels listed above are subject to change.

Single supplement from £ 215

Food & Drink

All breakfasts and four dinners are included.

Breakfasts are generally a simple buffet affair at your hotel, usually including a bread selection, jam, pastries, cold meats and cheese. Dinners are taken from a set menu at a local restaurant or at your hotel and offer a variety of mouth-watering dishes and international cuisine, with lots of fish and meat options and always a couple of vegetarian alternatives. Local specialities include papas arrugudas (wrinkly potatoes), fresh goat cheese, lots of fish dishes, and copious amounts of mojo sauce.

Lunch options include ordering a packed lunch from the hotel, visiting a supermarket to buy provisions and enjoying lunch at a local bar. We recommend budgeting €25-€30 in total for lunches.

Wine is not included with dinner but the average price of a bottle is €12.


Depending on the group size, we use a small or large minivan for the transfers.

Weather & Seasonality

La Palma has a relatively balanced climate year-round due to the trade winds that affect all the Canary Islands. These winds from the northeast carry moisture and can mean that two sides of the island can be experiencing completely different weather patterns simultaneously. The winds provide a natural cooling system, which is perfect for hiking. However, you should be prepared for rain at any time – La Palma is a lush island and the weather systems can be quite unpredictable. We offer this trip year-round, but 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.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Start hotel: Hotel La Palma Romantica, Las llanadas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife ES, 38726 Barlovento
Phone: +34 922 18 62 21
Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: La Palma, Spain (SPC)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately a one-hour drive from the airport. Exodus provides free arrival transfers to the start hotel from the airport for all customers. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

Exodus provides free departure transfers for all customers to La Palma, Spain (SPC) from the end hotel.

Please note, unless specified otherwise, the transfers will be to the start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers should be booked with your sales representative at least two weeks before the tour starts.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Santa Cruz
Location end: Santa Cruz

Free Transfers

Exodus offers free airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance.

What To Take

Essential Equipment

As well as casual clothes for travel and days off, we recommend that you bring the following:

  • Day sack (30-40 litre capacity)
  • Large refillable water bottle
  • Good quality waterproof/windproof jacket and waterproof trousers (pants)
  • Walking boots with good ankle support and a strong sole
  • Warm fleece or lightweight down jacket
  • Sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Hat and gloves
  • Walking poles
  • Sit mat for picnic lunches

Water included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill or get burned. Both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip, we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles to reduce the plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout; all you need to do is bring a bottle to refill along the way. Please add this to your packing list.

Optional Equipment

  • Swimming costume/trunks
  • Beach towel

Practical Information



Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Spain. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia:
• Canada:
• United Kingdom:
• USA:

Vaccinations and Health


There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus and rabies. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Spain's time zone: Europe/Madrid (UTC +01:00)


Spain's electricity: Plug type F (two round pins) – 230V, 50Hz


Spain's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

ATMs are available in Santa Cruz, Los Sauces and Barlovento. Credit cards are generally accepted but it is advisable to have some cash for more rural areas.


Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a reasonable starting point, we suggest a contribution of €15-€20 per person for the leader. Smaller groups may wish to give a little more per person.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that have a positive impact on the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Learn more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:


How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • Local guides keep you well informed about local traditions and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises, and by championing locally produced food wherever possible.
  • La Palma has a structure of small hotels and family-owned accommodation. Staying in these establishments improves the local economies.
  • Read more about our other initiatives


How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively reduce waste; this includes eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles by providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • The payment of entrance fees to natural reserves and archaeological sites generates income which is used for upkeep and development of these important sites.
  • We rewild 1,075sqft (100sqm) per passenger to compensate for all trip and flight emissions.
  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration hereincluding our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels with us.


How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • We use public transport in some cases.
  • Walking trips like this have very little detrimental impact on the environment and the locals, as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively few resources to support.
  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring a reusable water bottle on this trip, also consider avoiding single-use hotel toiletries, which generate a large amount of plastic waste.

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.


Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.