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March 9, 1731

Home Spotlight on the Canary Islands Many descendants of the Canary Island families have never visited the Canary Islands.  This Spotlight is intended to provide a brief overview of many of the Islands favorite sites.  Please check back frequently as it will change.

THE ISLAND OF LAS PALMAS


La Palma, nicknamed "La Isla Bonita" (the beautiful island) is the most northwesterly and the fifth largest of the seven main Islands.  Although one would think it belongs to the province of Las Palmas due to its name, it actually is a member of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.  


It is located 53 miles (85 km) from the coast of Tenerife and is considered the greenest and wettest of the archipelago with lush green forests, such as Los Tiles.  La Palma, like the other islands, is of volcanic beginnings and was formed three to four million years ago.  It is currently the most volcanically active of the Canary Islands.  The Caldera de Taburiente is the largest erosion crater in the world.  (Caldera de Taburiente, the word "caldera" meaning "cauldron" in Spanish and refers to the very large volcanic crater; Taburiente derived from the Guanche language and means "plain, level".)  At its highest point, it is 8,350 feet (2,545 meters) above sea level and drops to about 3,937 feet (1,200 meters) in the center down to sea-level where the river-bed runs out into the sea.  The deep canyon leading to the inner area of the caldera is the deep Barranco de las Angustias, meaning Valley of Fear.  Santa Cruz de la Palma (Spanish for the Holy Cross) is located on the eastern part of the island.  It is the second largest city, after Los Llanos de Aridane, and is the capital of the island.