Getting Active in La Palma
La Palma is a paradise for outdoorsy types, with excellent hiking, diving, paragliding and cycling all available. Many outfitting companies operate island-wide, so regardless of where you’re based you can enjoy the activities La Palma has to offer.
Don’t come to La Palma without allowing a generous chunk of time to explore its wondrous landscapes on foot. La Palma is said to be the world's steepest island and while this may not be strictly true, expect lots of healthy gradients, aching calf muscles and long, long views. And with 850km of trails, this is the ideal place for a walking holiday – you'll see a lot of hikers exploring the island on foot.
Several companies offer guided hikes; the best is Natour, a company operating island-wide. Popular routes include the walk around the Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente, the Ruta de los Volcanes and the ‘Enchanted Forest’ walk through forest land in the north. The company will pick you up at your hotel or a central meeting point.
Another reputable guide service is Ekalis, which also offers hotel pick-ups.
However, it’s not necessary to hike with a guide; La Palma offers safe walking conditions for anyone who’s prepared and carries a good map. The beauty of having a guide, other than the history and anecdotes they can share, is enjoying a long one-way trek with transport arranged at either end.
If just plain walking seems too tame, try rock climbing or caving. Ékalis offers a variety of climbing and rappelling experiences as well as a two-hour spelunking expedition. It also offers bike rental and guided mountain-biking trips, another popular activity on the island. If you’re in shape, La Palma’s endless climbs and dips will be thrilling, but if trudging uphill isn’t your thing, guide services like those offered by Bike’n’Fun offer transport to the top of a peak followed by a mostly downhill ride. Other recommended cycling outfits included Atlantic Cycling and Bike Station, both in Puerto Naos. All operators can pick you up at your hotel or a central meeting point.
In recent years, paragliding has really taken off and the island is now considered one of the world’s best places to glide. Try it in Puerto Naos with Palmaclub.
Diving & Kayaking
For those wanting to get out on the water, diving outfitters in Puerto Naos and Los Cancajos will hook you up with tanks, wetsuits and fins. Sea-kayaking expeditions are also available at both locations; contact Ékalis for more information.