La Palma is one of the worlds most mountainous islands. It has the highest rainfall of all the Canary islands so they can grow avocados, bananas and tobacco. Most of the population are involved in agriculture but there are plenty of taxis willing to take you round the island.
We found a taxi to take us to to the Caldera de Taburiente a volcanic crater in the National Park surrounded by high peaks in the north of the island.
There are no roads in the park but this is a fantastic place to walk on the wide well signposted paths and take in the amazing views of the pine trees and blue skies. If you have plenty of time and don’t mind heights you can walk all the way round the caldera.
We got the driver to take us back to Santa Cruz but on the way, before the road goes down to the coast, we came to the village of Las Nieves. This is the most religious site on the island. The church belongs to Our Lady of the Snow (Virgin Mary) Church. Every five years the virgin is taken from the church and paraded through Santa Cruz before she is returned to her church for another five years.
From Las Nieves the road winds steeply down to the coast and the town of Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz was once a major port of La Palma trading with the Spanish colonies in the Americas. Now the main street Calle O’Daly is a cobbled pedestrianised shopping street while the Avenida Maritima runs along the waterfront with pretty painted houses with wooden balconies covered in flowers.
Unbelievably there is a concrete reproduction of the Santa Maria, the ship Christopher Columbus took to the West Indies in 1492. This is really a museum filled with ancient maps and examples of sailing knots but it looks surprisingly real.
After all that walking luckily there are plenty of coffee shops.