Guide to Los Llanos
The municipality of Los Llanos de Aridane is home to the largest city on the island, Los Llanos, often referred to as the second capital and which has approximately 21,000 of the 85,000 inhabitants on the island.
The municipality is bordered by Tazacorte to the west, El Paso to the east, Fuencaliente to the south and Tijarafe to the north. The city itself is at a height of 350m above sea level and so enjoys a very pleasant climate. However, although it is a busy and important city, Los Llanos only has a short stretch of coastline to call its own - 6.3km at Puerto Naos.
The beaches are of course never far away although thanks to its flat plains, most of the economy comes from agriculture rather than tourism. In fact the name ‘Los Llanos’ means ‘The Plains’ in Castilian and ‘de Aridane’ is pre-Hispanic for ‘The Plains’ (again!). The main crop these days is bananas.
Los Llanos was a town until 1899 when it was re-classified as a city. The development of the town is thanks to the Llano de Argual which is where fresh water was captured from the Caldera to irrigate the fields of sugarcane. The sugar cane was predominantly turned into rum which was then the main export of the island. Today, only one rum distillery exists on La Palma and that is in San Andres in the north east of the island. (But you can still buy La Palma rum – Ron Aldea - in all the supermarkets).
Things to see and do from Los Llanos:
- Museo Arqueologico Benahorita, Los Llanos
- The banana museum, Tazacorte
- Boat trips from Tazacorte harbour
- Silk museum at El Paso
- The Visitor’s Centre above El Paso
- The Visitor’s Centre at the San Antonio Volcano
- The Salt Museum, Fuencaliente
- The Plaza Glorieta in Las Manchas
- El Pilar - Zona de Recreativo
- Fish restaurants at Tazacorte and El Remo, near Puerto Naos
- Coffee in the Plaza de España, Los Llanos
- The fruit and vegetable market in Los Llanos
- The flea-market at Argual
1. Museo Arqueologico Benahorita – this is one of La Palma’s newest museums and has rather wonderful displays and information on how the pre-Hispanics lived, caves and all. It is located in Los llanos in Calle de las Adelfa (a road off the dual carriageway, to the left if you are walking uphill.) Best to park first and then find it.
Hours of opening – Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 to 14:00 hrs. and from 17:00 to 20:00 hrs.
2.Never been to a banana museum? Now is your big chance! Everything you always wanted to know about bananas – history, cultivation, exportation and the biology of the banana. The grounds and little road down to it are interesting even if the museum is closed. It is located in Camino San Antonio, el Charco, which is down a cobbled road just below the church and town of Tazacorte.
3. Boat trips – Yey! If you have the time (and the money) you are in the perfect spot for taking a boat trip with a chance to see the dolphins. In fact, Tazacorte is the only place on the island that offers boat trips. There are two to choose from – the Fancy II and the Bussard. The Fancy II is the cheaper option as it takes more passengers and it also offers the dreaded banana ride. The Bussard is a restored motor-sailing vessel which has bags of old-fashioned character and takes just 12 passengers. There are links on our website for more information.
4. Silk Museum, El Paso. This is a surprisingly interesting working museum where you can learn about the whole process of silk. During the guided tour, a guide will explain about manual silk production, silk worm breeding, spinning mills, weaving mills, finished silk products and their natural pigments – among them, the typical red, gained from the blood of the Cochineal which live on fig cactus trees. Address: Calle Manuel Taño 6 , El Paso Opening hours: Mo – Fr 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Tue and Thu also 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
5. The Visitor’s Centre, El Paso has a short video of La Palma and exhibition centre. I really like the relief map in there as it helps you understand why the island is just so incredibly awesome. If you plan to go up to the Cumbrecita, you must get a ticket at the Visitor’s Centre first as the car park at the Cumbrecita is limited for space so you have to take your turn. It is strictly regulated and you can’t go up without a ticket – ask for a ticket at the reception desk as soon as you go in as there may be along wait.
6. Centro de Visitantes del Volcán Antonio, Fuencaliente. Visitors centre with short film, exhibition centre, café and gift shop. You get to see the seismographs in action and other such hi-tech stuff. However, if you don’t find that interesting, look out for the painted white lines across the lava fields – any movement and the lines don’t join! You can also walk around the crater of the San Martin volcano but there is a charge for the visitor’s centre and car park. Opening hours every day – Summer 09.00 to 21.00 hrs, winter 09.00 to 18.00 hrs.
7. Salt Pans and Lighthouse of Fuencaliente. This is a working operation and the salt from here is sold to the supermarkets and Artesenia shops on La Palma. It’s quite a sight!
8. The Plaza de Glorieta (also called Plaza de los Cuatro Caminos) in Las Manchas is a beautiful plaza with the floor, benches and columns made of colourful mosaics depicting the flora and fauna of La Palma. It took four years to make – when you see it, you’ll realise why.
9. El Pilar Zona de Recreativo is a picnic and BBQ site in the pine woods. From Tazacorte, head for El Paso and just before you go into the tunnel heading east, you will see a sign which leads you up to it. It is a tranquil place at 1500 metres above sea level with a camping area and toilets and visitor’s centre. If you fancy a BBQ, wood is provided but you will need matches and firelighters. Also individual BBQ cabins with washing-up facilities, tables and benches. Weekends in summer are busy.
10. Fish restaurants at Tazacorte – from the apartments, just walk round the corner to enjoy some excellent fish meals. Fish is sold by the kilo and although it weighed with the head and tail still on, one kilo is usually enough for two people.
11.The Plaza de España, Los Llanos – one of the best places on La Palma for relaxing with a coffee or cold beer and people watching. The trees in the plaza are ancient Japanese laurel trees so quite spectacular.
12. The market at Los Llanos – this is the place to get your fresh La Palma produce – cheese, vegetables, fruit, Canarian Mojo sauce, etc. It is located at the lower end of Los Llanos near the bus station. Open Monday to Saturday, 08.00 to 14.00 hrs.
13. Argual Market sells Artesenia (handmade) goods, such as leather shoes, clothing, etc along with second hand goods/antiques. It’s a great atmosphere as often there is impromptu live music provided by New Age people who live on La Palma. Note the aqueduct and the mansions that surround the square which were built thanks to water which was used to irrigate the highly profitable sugarcane fields. It is located on the road going out of Los Llanos towards Tazacorte.
This is located underground in the middle of Avenida Dr. Fleming, just below the Plaza de España. It is also about the only place that has public toilets. There is also a Tourist office in Tazacorte behind the church in the town and one in Puerto Naos in the main car park.
Puerto Naos is the main resort in the municipality of Los Llanos and also tends to be the most touristic of the three resorts, including Los Cancajos and Tazacorte. However there are many local people who choose to live there because of its good climate.
Although it is small, it has a couple of beach-type shops and gift shops along the promenade along with a good selection of restaurants. In 2012/13, the promenade was completely redesigned and rebuilt changing it from a narrow road with one way traffic to a wide, traffic-free boulevard.
In terms of accommodation, there are various apartment blocks plus the Hotel Melia Sol. The hotel sometimes has live entertainment on in the evening.
There is a Tourist Information office located in the main car park area on the drive into Puerto Naos, a couple of streets from the beach.
A few kilometres beyond the beach of Puerto Naos there are several other beaches (no bus service and a very long walk on a long straight road) which are worth checking out such as El Remo and Playa Nueva. These two beaches in particular became ‘shanty towns’ with all manner of wooden and breeze block cabins being built and rough streets formed. Some of the dwellings were lived in full time whilst others were used for weekends and holiday homes. Around the year 2000, the Palmeran Government took exception to the shanty towns and decided they had to be cleared. There was huge opposition and in the end, it was agreed that the small ones would be cleared and the more established ones could remain.
Los Llanos in the Plaza de España (plus others).
La Laguna by the junction with traffic lights, opposite the fuel station.
Puerto de Tazacorte near the mini-market and Luz y Mar apartments.
For chemists out of hours, there is a list on every door of the chemist.
The main Health Centre (Centro de Salud) is downhill from the Plaza de España to the left of the indoor market in the street Angelica Luis. There is also the private health clinic called ‘Semerva’ on the main road (dual carriageway) of Avenida Carlos Francisco Lorenzo Navarro on the left, heading uphill. If you go to Semerva, you will most likely have to pay.
There is also a Health Centre in Tazacorte town, just to the right and rear of the Town Hall which is the colourful building by the roundabout in the town.
The hospital is situated on the east of the island on the LP3 road, which runs between Santa Cruz and Los Llanos.
The centre of Los Llanos is now completely pedestrianised so you can wander from shop to shop without having to worry about traffic. If you have mobility problems or are just fed up of hills, this is a great place to wander. Most of the clothes shops are small, individual shops but if you are looking to grab a bargain to top up your T-shirt selection, then try El 99 which is just near the tourist office near the main Plaza.
Most shops on La Palma observe the siesta time – in other words, they close between approximately 13.30pm and 17.00hrs.
There are several large supermarkets in Los Llanos – a convenient one with underground parking is on the right of the dual carriageway going uphill immediately after the petrol station. Plus there are some mid-size Spar supermarkets dotted about. Don’t forget the daily week-day market near the bus station!
La Laguna has a handy little supermarket packed with groceries and fresh bread – it’s by the crossroads/traffic lights.
Most restaurants in Los Llanos and Tazacorte accept credit cards, but in smaller less touristic places, they don’t. The Spar and all large supermarkets also accept credit cards but you must show your passport and this is checked against your card. Small businesses are reluctant to accept 100 euro notes. If you have a 500€ note this can be very difficult to get changed, even in some banks – however, the Santander bank are better than most at changing notes.
Banks close at 14.00 hrs and of course on fiesta days and weekends. All banks have ATM’s, often located in the entrance vestibule of the bank.
Many restaurants and bars now have WiFi. In Los Llanos, at the libreria (paper shop) in the main street of Los Llanos near La Caixa bank there are a couple of internet terminals.
The centre of Los Llanos is now a WiFi zone.
SCUBA diving – Casa de Buceo in Los Llanos www.casadebuceo.nl
Bike rental – Hire a bike from 12 – 16€ per day www.bikenfun.de
Paragliding – La Palma is one of the top spots in the world http://www.palmaclub.com You can watch them landing by the beach at Puerto Naos.
Observatory tour – this is held day-time and needs to be booked in advance –
Star gazing at dedicated look-out points – more info here
Boat trips with snorkelling, dolphin watching from the marina in Puerto de Tazacorte
Los Llanos has a large and busy bus station which acts as a hub for all buses to and from the west. Situated in the lower part of town, it can be reached in less than five minutes on foot from the central square of Plaza de España. You can access it from two roads, one side being where the buses come and go and the other side being the under-cover waiting room, toilets and digital information boards.
0 – 10 km Price: 1.50€
10 - 20km Price: 2.40€
20km+ Price: 2.60€
If you are looking for a bus timetable, you can usually get one at the tourist office near the Plaza de España, if the bus station doesn’t have one.
Bus timetable – www.tilp.es
Los Llanos Town Hall (weather, what’s on, etc) http://www.aridane.org/inicio/index.php
Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands www.iac.es
Weather for Los Llanos http://www.eltiempo.es/los-llanos-de-aridane.html