Fuencaliente; volcanoes, salt fields and a lighthouse

16th of December, 2020

Our trip today brings us to the southern tip of La Palma, to the village Los Canarios, situated in the community of Fuencaliente. Such a difference with the northern side of the island, where frequent rainfall encourages the lush growth of ferns and trees. The south is dry, warm and windy!

Fuencaliente derives its name from “fuente caliente”, that means “hot source”. Once there was a medicinal sulphur source, Fuente Santa, which disappeared under lava during an outbreak of Volcán San Antonio in 1677. Over the years the soil became fertile and winegrowers discovered the area. Nowadays, the Malvasía grapes are famous!

We drive from Los Canarios, via a small and curvy road, all the way down to the huge parking place close to the lighthouse. We leave the car behind and walk to the bus stop. According to the local time table, the bus should arrive soon. The plan is to go all the way up again by bus, grab a coffee in Los Canarios, visit the information centre and walk all the way down to the lighthouse. The only problem is that there is no bus! There are only four other vehicles on the parking lot. We see three young ladies, who are walking in our direction. Have they seen a bus during the last half an hour? No, no bus, but why don’t we hop in their car and we all go up together? I look at one of the girls, who is twice the size as her girlfriends, and try to imagine how we all five will fit in the very tiny vehicle. My partner and I are squeezed in the back of the car with the enormous lady. The girls are from Gran Canaria and very familiar with driving on small curvy roads. They go fast! By the time we arrive in the village, my face mask is soaked!

Finally, we are on our way down again. We pay our fee at the visitors centre and my partner is going up to see the crater of Volcán San Antonio. The climb is pretty high and crowded with people, so I decide to stay down. Beyond the entrance, the path downhill starts towards Volcán Teneguía and the Lighthouse.

It is a spectacular hike over fields of old lava with amazing views. Definitely, not recommended to challenge in windy or rainy conditions! Volcán Teneguía is 493 high and its last eruption was in 1971.

While having lunch, the blue-bearded lizards are begging for food!

At some points the views go all the way to the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro.

We finally arrive at the salt fields, the Salinas Marinas. The contrast of the white from the salt, the blue from the ocean and the black from the volcanic earth is one of a kind.

We end the day at restaurant Jardin del Sal, where you can sip your drink on a terrace with on one side the old and new lighthouse and the salt basins on the other side.