El Roque de los Muchachos is located at the top of the island of La Palma, one of the places with the best sky in the world for astronomical observation. It is the highest point on the island at 2,426 metres in an incredible place where nature and astronomy come together to house the Roque de Los Muchachos Astrophysical Observatory (ORM), one of the most important telescope complexes in the world thanks also to its clean and dark skies that are even specially protected.
From El Roque de los Muchachos, there is a privileged view of La Caldera de Taburiente National Park, an enormous volcanic caldera about 1,500 metres deep covered with pine trees and traversed by convoluted ravines, which was declared a National Park in 1954.
This is a must for all those who come to the island. Its panoramic views and the leafy picturesque vegetation of the place, mainly broom and codeso, create a picture difficult to forget for the visitor who is not used to such contrast, especially during the flowering period.
If there are no clouds, you can easily see the other islands in the province: Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro, which look out over the sea giving us an image that we will never forget. If you also love hiking, El Roque de los Muchachos is connected to several trails that you can take and then link up with one of our regular transport lines to return to your starting point.
Once at El Roque de Los Muchachos there are several connections to the La Palma Footpath Network:
Once in El Roque de Los Muchachos, you can take the GR-131 and hike through the most emblematic points of El Roque de Los Muchachos, such as its own viewpoint, El Mirador de Los Andenes, El Pico de la Cruz and El Pico de La Nieve.
Leaving El Roque de Los Muchachos, in an hour and a half you will be at El Mirador de Los Andenes, which is less than 4 kilometres away, from which on clear days it is possible to see the other three islands of the province (El Hierro, La Gomera and Tenerife).
As you go along the path, you will get closer to the western walls of La Caldera National Park, which you can see almost from a bird’s eye view over the Los Cantos and El Ataúd ravines.
Cedar trees, codesos and peak thoughts are some of the few survivors that have managed to prevail here over the extreme hostility of the environment. A little further on, we find the so-called Pared de Roberto, which legend attributes to the hand of the devil. At El Mirador de Los Andenes, where the road is once again within reach, the sensation of floating in the void is almost unreal.
If you want to continue along the path, the small ascents and descents are continuous in this section until you reach El Pico de La Cruz which is about 5 kilometres from the start (about two hours).
You can continue the route to El Pico de la Nieve, which is about 9 kilometres from the starting point. It will take you about 4 hours to reach this point. From El Pico de La Cruz, the path winds along the ridge and heads towards El Pico de Piedra Llana, although it does not go up to it, to pass into the municipality of Puntallana. The gorges along the route are increasingly lower, such as the Barranco Seco (2,186 m).
Not far from here, you will reach the final point of this route, Pico de La Nieve (2,232 m). Bear in mind that you have to turn off a few metres to reach the top. Afterwards, you will have to go down to the crossroads of the main road, where our transfer will be waiting for you at the indicated time.
If you take this path, when you reach El Mirador de El Time, you will be able to enjoy wonderful views of El Valle de Aridane while you wait for the regular line (line 110) in the direction of Los Llanos or Puntagorda. (Consult timetables at www.tilp.es).
You can also follow the route to El Puerto de Tazacorte where you have the option of taking a bath on the beach or having a drink at one of the many establishments the place has to offer and then returning on our regular transport lines. (Consult timetables at www.tilp.es for lines 27, 29 and 110 to Los Llanos or Puntagorda).
The option of going up in your own vehicle, parking it at El Pico de la Nieve crossroads and hiring our transport service to El Roque de los Muchachos, is a good option to enjoy the trail back to El Pico de la Nieve, the GR-131, with a beautiful landscape and the views that La Caldera de Taburiente offers.
Another, longer, option on this route takes us to El Refugio del Pilar (without regular transport service) or to the El Paso Visitor Centre, where we have the alternative of taking the regular line to the summit (Check timetables for line 300 at www.tilp.es). This option is ideal for those who want to leave their vehicle at the El Paso Visitors Centre, take our transfer on the way and go down the trail from El Roque de Los Muchachos.