Are you going to Santa Cruz de La Palma on holiday? A very good decision! In addition to being a beautiful town, full of history and things to see and do, it is an excellent base of operations to tour La Palma from end to end.
La Palma’s nickname is “the beautiful island”, and they haven’t been fooled by it, as it has unique natural attractions. A small example is La Palma’s colourful waterfall. We strongly recommend that you take advantage of your stay to take a walk around and get to know some of its charms.
The capital, which is what we are going to talk about in this text, does not detract from the place where it is located. If the island is one of the great unknown of the archipelago, its capital is one of those hidden treasures that dazzle those who find it. Let’s go! 😃
Let’s locate ourselves…
Santa Cruz de La Palma is located on the eastern coast of the island, on the edge of the old volcanic caldera of La Caldereta, where the cave of Bentacayce, the last Benahoarite chief of the canton of Tedote, was (and is) located. It is the headquarters of the Cabildo de La Palma.
It has about 15,000 inhabitants and although the weather in La Palma (as in the whole archipelago) is calm and mild, the city is often cloudy, like the trade winds, which meet here almost in front of the coast.
The European city was founded in 1493. And we say European because, from its origins, it was a cosmopolitan town, with a lot of population from all over the continent (especially Portuguese), who had a perfect springboard in Santa Cruz to deal with America.
Without being rich, the city was always flourished. It was the port of departure for the cherished sugar and fragrant wine of the island; the pirates of Pata de Palo were well aware of this when they assaulted it in 1553. Its open and pictorial nature was confirmed in 1773, when the first democratic town hall in Spanish history was established.
Like almost the entire archipelago, La Palma has found its latest economic engine in tourism. Today it is not difficult to find flights to La Palma from several European airports, nor to find hotels in La Palma. However, the island and the city have managed to maintain a specific idiosyncrasy, alien to mass tourism.
What to see in Santa Cruz de La Palma.
Architectural monuments, charming neighbourhoods, peaceful landscapes and some other surprises await the visitor who comes to Santa Cruz de La Palma:
- The Plaza de España, a good example of traditional Canarian architecture, in which the town hall (one of the oldest, most elegant and well-preserved Renaissance civil buildings in the archipelago) stands out, is the epicentre of the city.
- The Calle Real, or rather the concatenation of streets that takes us from the Plaza de la Constitución to La Alameda, is a good exponent of palaces and stately homes that give Santa Cruz those colonial airs.
- In the Avenida Marítima (La Marina) the large and colourful balconies overlooking the ocean follow one another. One of the most photogenic points of the village.
- The neighbourhoods of the historic centre are perfect for wandering around its cobbled streets, stopping at the little squares and churches of Salvador, San Sebastián, Santo Domingo, San José, San Francisco, San Telmo…
- The Castle of Santa Catalina is the defensive bastion par excellence of the place and an example of its kind. You can visit it and walk through it from top to bottom.
- The Virgin’s Boat is a wonderful replica of the Holy Mary, and houses the city’s Naval Museum. At the foot of the castle, every five years they sound like cannon shots in the Lustral Festivities (see below).
TRAVELLER TIP: The Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Snows (in the Velhoco district and next to the homonymous ravine) is an emblematic place for the saintly cruisers because it houses their patron saint. The building is simple, but the Gothic carving of the Virgin has a captivating history.
What to do in Santa Cruz de La Palma.
But of course, in addition to seeing things, you’ll have to do things, won’t you? These are our proposals:
- Visit the Junonia Interpretation Centre, in the heart of the historic centre, to learn more about the history and culture of the island, from its volcanic geography to migratory flows.
- Go shopping on O’Daly and Pérez de Brito streets and, when you get to La Alameda, have a drink on a terrace. That’s the good life here in Santa Cruz, in a peaceful way.
- The Maroparque is a sure hit if you are going to Santa Cruz de La Palma with children. It is a park and rescue centre for exotic animals (although it is located in Breña Alta, it is just a stone’s throw from Santa Cruz). 7000 square metres and animals from the five continents.
- Continue up La Cuesta (or the Timibúcar road) to the Mirador de La Concepción for an unparalleled view of Santa Cruz de La Palma and its surroundings.
- Going up the winding LP-4 road we can reach Fuente Olén, the Pico de la Nieve and the ravines that lead to the city to make some excursions and breathe fresh air. And look out at the Caldera de Taburiente…
REMEMBER THAT: Attending the Lowering of the Virgin of the Snow is more of a privilege than a choice, because it only happens every five years… In the last two weeks of July 2020 you have a chance! The Pandorga and the Dance of the Dwarves are just some of the most famous of their numerous acts.
Santa Cruz de La Palma is not limited to these recommendations, but this city can not be described in a thousand words…
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Don’t miss everything the island of La Palma has to offer! 😍
If you want to know one of the most famous parties in the Canary Islands do not miss our post: Guide to enjoy the indianos
Get ready to have fun like never before in a very white environment! 😀
Especialista en escapadas
Viajar, compartir, aprovechar cada minuto. El tiempo vuela, y la vida está esperando a ser vivida con la energía y la pasión que merece.
Por esto, me esfuerzo en aprovechar cada oportunidad haciéndole una trampa al calendario y encontrando la forma de llenar mi vida de las mil aventuras que aún están por llegar.
Quédate y déjame enseñarte los trucos que sólo una experta viajera sabe.
Specialist in escapades
Travel, share, take advantage of every minute. Time flies, and life is waiting to be lived with the energy and passion it deserves.
For this, I strive to take advantage of every opportunity by making a trap of the calendar and finding a way to fill my life with the thousand adventures that are still to arrive.
Stay and let me show you the tricks that only an expert traveler knows