Parque Ecológico de Belmaco

La Palma

The first ancient petroglyphs found on the archipelago were discovered at this site in 1752. A 300m trail that winds around various cave dwellings (complete with animal sound effects!) once inhabited by Benahoare tribespeople is the heart of this archaeological park; the highlight is the squiggling etchings, which date back to AD 150. There’s also a two-room museum with reproductions and information regarding the history of the discovery.

There are four sets of engravings, and experts remain perplexed about their meaning, though they speculate that the etchings could have been religious symbols. You can't actually enter the caves but at the entrance to one of them the engraved stones are clearly visible. You can climb up beyond this on the path for a short hike, at one point through a very narrow fissure in the rock.

Bus 201 from Santa Cruz (€2.40, 25 minutes) to Fuencaliente runs down this way nine times daily Monday to Friday, with four buses on Saturday and Sunday. The nearest bus stop is about 400m south of the Belmaco archaeological site.

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