The Harbour Route

Description:

This path, used since the conquest of the island in 1492, is the route which has had the greatest economic and social significance in the island’s history. The reason is that it connects the two main economic centres located on the east and west sides of Cumbre Nueva. The island’s main source of wealth during the 16th and 17th centuries, which came from the sugar mills, was mainly located in the Aridane valley, and the sugar was exported via the harbour of Santa Cruz along this path. For livestock breeders with herds around Llano de las Cuevas (El Paso), this was also an important route.

From the Plaza de España square in Santa Cruz, the path begins its steady ascent, overlapping with the GR 130 as far as Buenavista de Arriba. At this point it crosses the road for the last time and continues uphill along the Camino de Las Vueltas, as far as Cumbre Nueva (1,450 metres). This is the highest point on the route. On the way up, as altitude increases, the path crosses farming areas, where chestnut trees predominate, then myrtle-heather woodlands, and finally laurel forests.

Once on the much drier leeward side of the island, the route descends rapidly through the pine-forests of Cumbre Nueva to the Virgen del Pino hermitage (900 metres). The descent is much more gradual beyond El Paso (600 metres), and leads first to Los Llanos de Aridane (370 metres), and then to Tazacorte (250 metres). The finishing point is in Puerto de Tazacorte, nestling on the west coast.

 

Approximate duration: about 8h 30 min,.

 

Departure point:  Puerto de Tazacorte (5 metres a.s.l.).

 

Distance: 33 kilometres.

 

Arrival point:  S/C de La Palma (15 metres a.s.l.),

 

Recommendations:

 

Very hard route.

 

Carry water, wear a hat, and use sun-block. Wear comfortable footwear. Take some food (dried fruits, fruit, sandwiches, chocolate,…because we stop for lunch along the way). Take a waterproof jacket and a mobile phone.