Wildlife in the Caldera

Little Perez's frog in the Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma
October 1, 2018

La Palma popped up out of the ocean only 3 million years ago, so the wildlife either flew here by itself, floated here by itself, or hitched a lift with humans. Consequently there are no bears or wolves or deer. For all that, there are some interesting insects in the Caldera. For example, there are the blue dragonflies, pictured above. They’re really quite common, although they zip around so fast…

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Pillow lava

Pillow lava in the Caldera de Taburiente
March 31, 2018

Pillow lava is formed underwater, on the sea-bed. When the lava comes out and hits the sea water, the outside cools and freezes pretty much immediately, while the inside keeps on flowing. That means that it forms tube, which lengthens and widens until the pressure at the inlet end breaks open the tube and starts a new one. So you get the tubes interlocking. This is how La Palma grew…

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The Coloured Waterfall (Cascada de colores)

September 28, 2016

On Monday I hiked up into the Caldera de Taburiente to finally see the famous Coloured Waterfall. By my standards it was a long hike since it’s 5.5 km each way, although it’s pretty level. (That is, A Dutchman wouldn’t consider it flat, but you only climb about 200 m in 4.5 km. If you carry on to the camp site, that’s another 350 m climb in 3.2 km) The…

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The Caldera

The Caldera de Taburiente, near the campsite
March 7, 2016

Most people say La Palma is the most beautiful of the Canary Islands. And practically everybody agrees that the most beautiful part of La Palma is the Caldera de Taburiente. In 1825, the German geologist Leopold von Buch studied the Caldera de Taburiente and concluded that the crater was formed by the emptying of a magma chamber below. He was sufficiently impressed with it that he gave the name “caldera”…

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The highest point of La Palma

June 26, 2012

Looking east towards Tenerife. The highest point of the island is the Roque de Los Muchachos, at 2,426m (8,000 ft) above sea level. Most days of the year, the view is spectacular. Even when it’s raining at sea-level, the summit is nearly always above the clouds. In fact, you can often look down on a sea of clouds surrounding the island. Of course that’s one reason why the observatory is…

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