I had never hiked around Roque de Los Muchachos during my visits to La Palma. Of course, I had taken the summit road for a short walk leading to the stunning viewpoint overlooking the Caldera de Taburiente, but that was it. However, for this new stay on the island, getting good weather on the heights seems challenging. So, I seize the first opportunity, which is on my first day here!
The weather is indeed beautiful when I arrive at the Mirador de Los Andenes, one of the magnificent viewpoints overlooking the eroded basin below. I passed large patches of snow on the road and around the observatory. It has also snowed here, and not just on Teide! It’s worth noting that La Palma is high, with Roque de Los Muchachos standing at just over 2400 meters above sea level.
From the Mirador de Los Andenes, the peak is hidden by the various folds of the Caldera de Taburiente. However, it’s evident that there’s calima in the air, the suspended sand coming from the nearby Sahara. The light is characteristic, slightly veiled, and the horizon isn’t very distant. Regardless, I embark on the trail that circles the caldera, taking the section from Los Andenes to the summit.
It’s a relatively short hike, and I’m delighted to have done it. I believe I’ll do it again someday, perhaps in a longer version, as it offers extended views of the caldera and a closer look at the countless variations of shapes and rock types that make up its jagged edges.
The sometimes-phantasmagoric silhouettes gradually reveal themselves in the sandy light. The massive walls of Roque de los Muchachos finally appear, along with the observatory. The whole area is sprinkled with snow; it’s magnificent! I descend to a nearby saddle and climb up to the observatory.
The trail leading to the Roque de los Muchachos viewpoint is still officially closed due to snowfall, but many footprints are visible. So, I cautiously proceed to see if it’s genuinely reasonable to continue. The answer is “yes,” as most of the snow has melted.
However, one must remain cautious in two or three spots to avoid a bad fall. No significant danger, but it’s clear that a few days earlier, the area wouldn’t have been accessible without specific equipment, unless one wanted to end up at the bottom of the caldera! I never tire of these views and am delighted to revisit this vast basin that I missed so much during my previous stay.
The return is via the same path, as the hike is a round trip. I head back down to Puntagorda and then to its little port, hoping for an end-of-day swim! The ocean is rough, and the tide is rising; it’s a close call, but there won’t be any swimming today. I’ll get my chance another time.
Photos from the hike between Los Andenes and Roque de Los Muchachos: