La Palma, The Canaries - Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Information to plan your trip
When is it best to go? Well year round is good here because of the climate, though spring and autumn are pleasant. The Carnival held in late February is lively, particularly the Fiesta de los Indianos on Carnival Monday. The Almond trees blossom January to February and look very photogenic. Getting there simple as a number of low-cost carriers fly from the UK to La Palma multiple times per week with one way fares from around £40. The other way to arrive is to fly to Gran Canaria or Tenerife and make a connection with Binter Canarias.
Getting around is simple as Transportes Insular La Palma buses serve most of the island. It’s handy to remember that route 500 links the airport with Santa Cruz every hour for €3 while a taxi will cost around €15. Hiring a car offers most flexibility and using the link at the top of this article should get you the best price and extra insurance cover. The question of where to stay and where to eat will depend on how much you want to spend. The Hotel San Telmo is a friendly place in old Santa Cruz with doubles from €70 and has a minimum three-night stay. Its sister lodging, Hotel Benahoare in Los Llanos has doubles from €65. Parador de La Palma is a grand faux historic hotel with fabulous gardens and sea views; doubles here are from €110. As with most places if you go out of high season then there are deals to be had. There are so many places to eat that it warrants an article of its own. However there are two suggestions; in Santa Cruz there is a fine option which is La Lonja at Ave Marítima 55. This serves classic dishes in a quaint courtyard. You can also try Enriclai at Calle Doctor Santos Abreu 2, this is a tiny, quirky restaurant near La Recova market if you want to try something different.
Now you are here how do you spend your time? Well on the first day I would check out the old part of Santa Cruz.
Start in the heart of the old town at Plaza España, this is dominated by the 16th-century Ayuntamiento, town hall, and black-lava tower of Iglesia de el Salvador. The latter’s interior boasts very bright altar decorations and a carved mudéjar style ceiling. After this stop in at the El Café de Don Manuel courtyard for the best barraquito in town, if you don’t know this is coffee with cinnamon, lemon, condensed milk and Licor 43.
Now head north east along Calle O’Daly to Plaza de Vandale where there are stalls laden with hand rolled cigars and African crafts, then continue to Los Balcones, a row of colourful merchants’ houses. These might seem familiar as this is the style that was exported to Havana. In nearby Plaza de la Alameda, a replica of Christopher Columbus’ ship the Santa Maria is housed in a maritime museum.
At lunch time grab an arepa, which is stuffed corn cake, at El Encuentro café. Afterwards go into the cloisters of the Museo Insular, a former convent, that now shows some works by local artists.
If you feel like walking more in the afternoon then tackle the 7. 5km loop North West of town. You go along the Ruta de los Molinos, Watermills Trail, to the ornate Santuario de la Virgen de las Nieves and its fine virgin statue. Finish up at Los Balcones by sipping mojitos at the Cuban style Cuarto de Tula.
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