Paragliding on La Palma is an amazing way to explore the breathtaking nature of the island, where thousands of meters high volcanoes meet the Atlantic Ocean. La Palma aka Isla Bonita is often referred as the steepest island of the world, one of the best places for stargazing, the lushest and the least urbanized among the other Canary Islands.
La Palma, The Beautiful Island of giant slumberous volcanoes, lush forests, waterfalls, and breathtaking night sky
La Palma, like the other Canaries, is a volcanic island which means that its geography sprouts from volcanic activities of the past millions of years. Cumbre Vieja, the “Old Summit”, is dormant but far from being inactive. Several eruptions have occurred on the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge since the Spanish occupation and two of them in the 20th century. The recent eruptions on La Palma have not been enormous, but in the early 2000s a much-hyped BBC documentary film predicted that there is a risk of a giant landslide on the western half of the island, creating a mega-tsunami that could drown the coastal swathes of the east coast of America and even the beaches of southern England. This worst-case scenario was highly criticised by many scientists among others experts of the TU Deft University in the Netherlands who noted that “the section of the western flank of the Cumbre Vieja was both too small in mass and volume, and far too stable to break away within the next 10,000 years.” Most of the volcanoes on La Palma have not spit fire for a long time and the seven outbreaks in the past 500 years are classified as moderate by experts. There have never been deaths because the lava has flowed really slowly. All in all spending time on La Palma is way far from being risky.
La Palma is not exclusively dependent on tourism
Unlike its neighbouring islands, La Palma is not exclusively dependent on tourism. Even though the island does not have as many nice beaches as the other Canaries, the traffic of the local airport has doubled in the last decade, thus tourism plays a more and more important role in the economy. La Palma is inclusively resistant to the influx of the globalizing trend of mass tourism. As the tropical semi-arid climate and the fertile soil of the island perfect for banana cultivation, many of the inhabitants are farmers. Because of its equitable temperatures, Canaries are often called the islands of “eternal spring”. In the real springtime, the exotic tropical wildflowers of La Palma turn the island into a subtropical paradise.
The Caldera de Taburiente National Park
The Caldera de Taburiente National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the centre of the island of La Palma, is one of the best places to visit, especially if you love hiking. The magical Cascadade Colores, a six meters high semi-natural waterfall is one of the main attractions of the natural park. The wall of the waterfall is like a rainbow, painted by nature in tones of green, yellow and orange. At more than 2000 metres above the sea level, the famous Roque de los Muchachos Astrophysics Observatory, with its 12 great telescopes, is also located on the territory of the Taburiente National Park. The particular geographical position and climate cause clouds to form below the peak of the volcano, thus leaving the observatories with a clear sky. The complex is now a UNESCO Astronomy Heritage Site.
The volcanoes are safe
As the volcanoes are safe, La Palma is famous for its countless trekking routs which take you to waterfalls, prehistoric deep forests and up to the peaks. Hiking on the island is an unforgettable experience when you can make direct connection with the untouched nature. While experiencing the complete geography of La Palma by trekking takes a long time, paragliding above the breathtaking landscape of peeks, slopes, forests, and the endless ocean could reveal the full natural complexity of our Beautiful Island in a condensed time frame.
(This article was not written by the owners and managers of Tandem Fly La Palma thus they cannot bear the responsibility of its content.)
Special thanks for the photos to Daniel Gómez Acosta.
- The Guardian (2008): La Palma: Top banana for winter sunshine
- Independent (2018): Why you should head to La Palma before its active volcano blows
- The Telegraph (2016): The heavenly Canary island you'd never thought to visit
- The Telegraph (2013): Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami?, BBC Two, review