Declared a national park in 1954, this beautiful park is at the heart of La Palma, both geographically and symbolically. Extending across 46.9 sq km, the park encompasses thick Canary pine forests, a wealth of freshwater springs and streams, waterfalls, impressive rock formations and many kilometres of hiking trails. Although you can reach a few miradors by car, you’ll need to explore on foot to really experience the park at its best.
The morning, before clouds obscure the views, is the best time to visit (although if you want to see the classic view of clouds spilling over the caldera lips, the afternoon is the best time).
As you explore the quiet park, all may seem impressively stoic and still, but the forces of erosion are hard at work. Landslides and collapsing roques (pillars of volcanic rock) are frequent, and some geologists estimate it will finally disappear in just 5000 years. See this fast erosion near the Mirador de la Cumbrecita, where a group of pines stands atop a web of exposed roots, clinging miraculously to the hilltop. These trees were once planted firmly in the ground, but metres of soil have been lost during their lifetime.