Visit La Palma's new volcano

Andy Montgomery, 12 January, 2023
After a long time closed to visitors, La Palma has reopened, and there has never been a better time to discover this special island.
 

“The volcano hit us hard,” says Carlos Deniz, “but we are not defeated. We will be back.”

When lava from the 2021 eruption destroyed his family-owned bar/restaurant on La Palma’s pretty Playa Guirres, Carlos lost his livelihood. Now he sees new natural rock pools on Playa Guirres, formed by the solidified lava, and intends to build a new business. “The volcano won’t beat us,” he vows.

And it’s that indomitable spirit of survival that has seen the Palmeros (people who come from La Palma) working together and supporting each other throughout this devastating period in their history. Now it’s helping the Isla Bonita rebuild its future.

Eruption of Cumbre Vieja
Walking in vast volcanic landscapes like Tenerife’s Teide National Park, we can only imagine the fury and destructive forces that must have rained down during their creation. But on 19 September 2021, that power became all too real for the people of La Palma when Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted. Over the course of almost 86 days, plumes of smoke and ash spiralled into the air and rivers of fire cascaded towards the coast, destroying buildings, roads and banana plantations.

When the eruption ended, La Palma had a new volcano.

As life settles back into its tranquil norm, the Palmeros are hoping that the new arrival may bring some level of compensation.

When, in 2011/2012 neighbouring El Hierro witnessed a submarine eruption just off its coast, it attracted visitors in their droves. The lava discharged during the eruption now provides home for a rich variety of marine life and visitors still flock to the little island to dive to the site of the new volcano which lies 400 metres below the sea off the coast of La Restinga. La Palma is hoping their new volcano will have the same effect, particularly as it can be seen in full without the aid of diving equipment.
Rising from the volcanic ash
The first priority for La Palma was ensuring that all those people who were displaced by the volcano were re-housed as quickly as possible.

To help with that process, intense activity has gone into re-establishing the roads that were destroyed by the eruption. As soon as the authorities gave the all-clear on the total cessation of eruptive activity, bulldozers sprang into action, clearing volcanic fallout, lava rocks and thick ash to carve a road that snakes through this new, surreal landscape.

Raquel Hernández of La Palma Tourist Board is very clear about the best way forward for the island’s recovery: “Bringing people to the island is the best way to help us,” she states. “Tourism is very important for our economy.”

The Spanish government has given La Palma increased budgets to help re-establish tourism to their pre-eruption levels, but more importantly, the island has been working hard itself to recover. They too believe that tourism will help revive the island’s fortunes and get their lives back on track.
Visit La Palma’s new volcano
Undoubtedly the most beautiful of all the Canary Islands, the vast majority of La Palma’s lush, green landscape is untouched by the recent eruption which makes the contrast between the new black, solidified lava and the green of the Aridane Valley all the more stark.

For many years, Islabonita Tours have provided guided hiking across La Palma, taking visitors along some of the island’s most magnificent hiking trails (some of the best in the Canary Islands in our opinion), escorted by professional and experienced guides, most of whom speak excellent English. Recognising that, since the eruption there has been interest from visitors in seeing the new volcano, they now provide a 5.2km guided hike (2/2.5hrs) which takes groups to vantage points affording amazing views into the crater and over the extensive lava flows of the Aridane Valley.

Inntravel have provided holidays on La Palma for a long time, and our Spanish expert, Raquel Lamazares, has been waiting to visit the island since pandemic restrictions were lifted. But then the eruption struck, and we had to wait more than a year longer until we were absolutely certain everything was safe, and the island was once again ready to receive visitors. 

At the end of 2022, Raquel travelled to La Palma to satisfy herself that everything was ready for our holidays to resume and while there, she met with Islabonita Tours who took her on the new volcano tour. She was blown away by what she saw:

“It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen… to stand by the top of a signpost that should have been far above my head, and beside the tips of pine trees that used to stand 30 metres tall, was so surreal.”

Raquel was also impressed by the way the island is using its misfortune to gain back what it lost. “This is such a great example of the good that tourism can do,” she concludes. “Tourism offers hope for recovery and future prosperity to this less-visited Canary Island, while the new volcano affords visitors an opportunity to witness first hand, the power and splendour of the eruptive forces of nature.”

We are delighted to share the news that, from January 2023 our La Palma holiday is once again available and now includes a guided tour of the new volcano with Islabonita Tours.

It has been far too long since our customers visited La Palma. This is a very special island and there has never been a better time to discover it.
 

Winter offer

To celebrate the resumption of holidays to La Palma, we are offering a £50 discount per person on holidays starting up to and including 30 April 2023.
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