The route includes the history of hydraulic providing of Santa Cruz de La Palma, and other uses of the water of a religious nature (the propitiatory rites practiced by the indigenous society or the cult of the image of Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves, protective against droughts) and industrial (mills and electricity production).
Starting from the square of the sanctuary, the route begins with the ascent to the Morro de las Nieves, where there is a station of cups and gutters that should function as a place of worship of the auaritas natives, a natural vantage point from which you can see the four cardinal points and where in the ancient times had to hold animal sacrifices and offerings of milk and honey very similar to which describes the chronicler fray Juan de Abreu Galindo to the aborigines of El Hierro.
Back to the plaza de Las Nieves, whose central fountain is one of the oldest fountains of circular pile preserved in La Palma and which was formerly located in the area known as Tanquito of the Council (current Acera Ancha).
Continues in the interior of the shrine, where discussed the main Catholic cults related to water and this image, patron of La Palma (work of sculptor Lorenzo Mercadante of Britain, brought by the evangelists): from the own name, which alludes to the water in the solid state, until the ritual of baptism, which has own place (the baptistery, in which is the baptismal font) , through the miracles of snowfall occurring through the intercession of Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves: San Martín Volcano (1646), San Antonio Volcano (1677), etc.
The route follows along the lp-101 road till the monument to the water carrier, sculptor Jorge Beda, which recreates the work of collecting water in public fountains performed by women. Then is directed by the Barranco del Rio till the «El Electron» hydroelectric, opened in December 1893, which turns to Santa Cruz de La Palma in the first Canarian town to have electric street lighting in the streets.
Returning for our steps, the next stop is “El Remanente”, where the first concentration of watermills in this sector, and continues on the road lp-101 to the hamlet of Las Tierritas (in the barrio de Velhoco), from where you take the trail of Los Molinos, which leads to the road of Bellido and, there, to homonyms hydraulic mills and large water-sharing box.
This tour continues the first layout of hydraulic network established in Santa Cruz de La Palma after the conquest, which has survived intact until today (with slight variations), from the mother of the water (in Barranco del Rio) to boxes cast catering to the north areas (in the Huerta Nueva) and South (in the Cajita Blanca) of the city. Continues up to the La Quinta Verde, a model of finance, irrigation that retains the main elements of architectural and engineering related to the administration of the water: the network of canals or tarjeas, distribution boxes and ponds (all in masonry). And ends in the Plaza de España, in which it has survived one of the most important fountains of the Canary Islands: its artistic value (Renaissance work of the master Mason Cristóbal de La Serna) and seniority (dating from 1588).
Approximate duration: 4 hours.
Starting point: Plaza de Las Nieves (Santa Cruz de La Palma).
Distance: 4 km.
Arrival point: Plaza of Spain (Santa Cruz de La Palma).
It´s required appropriate shoes, sunscreen, water, energy food and reflective vest. In general, it does not present great difficulties, although there is considerable climbs by its slope (Morro de Las Nieves, rise of the Barranco del Rio) and some points that do not have security systems at the sides (in the Barranco del Rio, in the area of the Electron and in some sections of the road of Bellido). It will also be influx of traffic area. Despite these drawbacks, it is suitable for all ages (except for persons with reduced mobility).