About host city
Breña Alta is a Spanish municipality belonging to the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands). It is located in the east of the island of La Palma.
Breña Alta is a pioneer municipality in sports, like many other towns on the island. Some of the sports practiced, mostly by the municipal youth, are Basketball, Soccer or Athletics, but as in all the Canary Islands, traditional sports or activities of the islands are carried out; some of these are Hiking, or Salto del pastor, among La Palma, like the rest of the Canary Islands, is an island of volcanic origin.
With a geological age estimated at two million years, it is one of the youngest in the archipelago.25 It emerged from an underwater volcano located 4,000 meters below sea level. The volcanic edifice of the island has an altitude of 6,500 m from the Atlantic abyssal platform and all types of volcanic rocks are found there. The island is divided into two well-differentiated climatic zones by a chain of volcanoes called Cumbre Vieja.
The last eruption began on September 19, 2021 in Las Manchas. On October 26, 1971, an eruption took place from which the Teneguía volcano emerged on the southern tip of the island, in the municipality of Fuencaliente, which continues to be in the spotlight of scientists for remaining hot. The northern area is dominated by the Caldera de Taburiente, an
underwater caldera created by eruptions and erosion that emerged up to a height of 3,500 m above sea level. This caldera is the largest emerged crater in the world. The interior of the caldera was emptied in the geological past by a rapid emission of lava through a breach that opened near the current Balcón de Taburiente, in what is today the Angustias ravine. The traces ofthis lava emission can be seen inside the caldera, since these traces (ravines on the internal walls) are oriented towards the center of the crater and not towards the outside, as would have happened in a crater with explosive eruptions (as happened in Mount Saint Helens).26 The caldera measures 9 km in diameter, 28 in circumference and 1500 meters deep. The only exit it presents is the Barranco de las Angustias, the only Canarian River course, 27 a place that can only be accessed on foot. Only two people in charge of the water intakes reside in it. In1954 the Caldera de Taburiente National Park was created.It is surrounded by peaks between 1,700 and 2,406 m high, where the highestpoint on the island is located, Roque de los Muchachos, at 2,426 m above sealevel. On this peak is the Roque de los Muchachos observatory.
Tourism in the island
Roque de los muchachos
The best-known natural area of La Palma is the Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente, one of the fifteen national parks that exist in Spain. This protected area, shaped like a giant caldera, occupies 10% of the island and can be enjoyed in many ways and from different places. But something that should not be missing on any trip to La Palma is a visit to the Mirador del Roque de los Muchachos, located at the highest point of the island (2,426 m). It can be reached by road and the views that it gives us are amazing, both towards the interior of the island (where we will see the park and some adjacent volcanoes) and towards the outside (where the telescopes of the astrophysical observatory and the Atlantic Sea are located).
La Palma, recognized as a Starlight® Destination, offers one of the best skies in the world for stargazing (and the Sun, if done with the right instruments). Throughout the island there are almost twenty Astronomical Viewpoints with interesting information panels to learn how to interpret the sky. But if you are interested in astronomy, you should not miss the guided visit to the Roque de los
Muchachos Observatory, where you can see the insides of the famous Isaac Newton telescope* and they will teach you what the work of astrophysicists consists of, among other things.
Forest of Los Tilos
La Palma, which is also recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, is home to one of the oldest and most extensive laurel forests in Europe: the Los Tilos Forest. Its spectacular vegetation, dotted with tiles and giant ferns, can be admired thanks to different trails, although the most popular and fun route (but also the most complicated and most expensive) is the so-called route of the Marcos y Cordero springs (15km, about 6 or 7 hours, moderate difficulty). This
fantastic walk, among other things, will take us through 13 tunnels where a raincoat and a flashlight are highly recommended.
Route of the Volcanoes (22km)
Between the Refugio del Pilar and Fuencaliente or make some variant. We made the descent between the San Antonio Volcano and the Fuencaliente Lighthouse (6 km), passing through the Teneguía Volcano and returning by bus (see our route). If you prefer something more relaxed, you can go around the crater of the San Antonio Volcano (for a fee, only during visiting hours).
Although La Palma is not exactly known for its beaches, it does have some highly recommended bathing spots. Perhaps the best known is the Charco Azul, a set of natural pools located in the municipality of San Andrés y Sauces. A small paradise for tourists, with a children's pool, parking, a solarium, showers, changing rooms, access stairs to the water, etc.
The salt flats and the Fuencaliente lighthouse
The southern end of the island of La Palma is home to a very interesting heritage complex. On the one hand we can admire the Fuencaliente Lighthouse, which actually consists of two lighthouses: the old one, from 1903 and with a height of 12m, and the new one, which reaches 24m and has been active since 1985. They cannot be visited, although there were plans for the old lighthouse to host an
exhibition on its history and operation. What can be visited (free access) are the nearby Salinas de Fuencaliente, a 35,000 m2 space dedicated to the extraction of sea salt since 1967 and which was declared a Natural Area of Scientific Interest in 1994.
Cubo de la galga
We said that you came here to walk, so here we go with another hiking suggestion: Cubo de la Galga. This laurel forest, where we can also see giant ferns, is located in the municipality of Puntallana, within the Las Nieves Natural Park. From the visitor center you can choose the short route (or self-guided trail), 2km and low difficulty, or the long route, which leads to the Somada Alta viewpoint.
Other places you can visit:
- Porís de Candelaria. Tijarafe
- Nogales beach. Puntallana
- Cueva Bonita. Tazacorte
- Puerto Naos. Los Llanos
- Puerto de Tazacorte. Tazacorte
- Los Cancajos. Breña Baja
- Marcos y Cordero. San Andrés y Sauces