Cancajos Salt Pans

The wind pumps that lifted seawater into the salt pans at Los Cancajos, Brena Baja, La Palma
The wind pumps that lifted seawater into the salt pans at Los Cancajos

You can visit a working salt factory on the southern tip of La Palma, but if you’re staying in Cancajos, in Breña Baja, it’s worth taking a peak at the ruined salt factory.

The old water channel at Los Cancajos, Brena Baja, La Palma
The old water channel

The sea front promenade runs south from the main beach along the top of a low cliff, and it’s a very pleasant walk. It’s smooth and flat enough for push chairs.

A couple of stone towers stand towards the southern end of the promenade. The one nearer the path looks as though it might have been a castle, or a watch-tower for whatever was behind the long stone wall on the landward side.

Actually, it’s a salt factory.

The tower nearest the sea used to have a windmill on top. This lifted the water up into the channel so that it ran to the tank in the second tower, and a second wind pump sent it further inland to the building on the other side of the modern path. There, it was poured
into shallow pools, where the sun evaporated the water, leaving salt.

The factory was built in the early 19th century, but I haven’t been able to find out when it stopped working. If anybody finds out, please let me know.

The shallow pans for drying out the sea water,  Los Cancajos, Brena Baja, La Palma
The shallow pans for drying out the sea water

This article has 1 Comment

  1. I wondered what that ruined tower was. I thought it must be a watch tower or something. I never considered salt.
    That coastal path in Los Cancajos is lovely, it is just a shame that the low level info boards (on swivel "things") are badly in need of repair. Most were unreadable in the summer this year.
    The view of the gorgeous blue ocean crashing onto the black lava there is spectacular however, as are the blow holes it creates. I spent ages there just waiting for the perfect photo opportunity.

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