About Caldera de Taburiente National Park
This National Park is on the island of La Palma, part of the Canary Islands, and was designated in 1954 because of its Canary Island pinewood forests. It is named for the Caldera de Taburiente, a mountain arch shaped like a crater, dominating the north part of the island. Although called a crater, it was actually formed by erosion of an adjacent volcano through landslides and water erosion. It features the highest peaks on the island and is in fact one of the largest erosion craters in the world. At its highest point, it stands at 2,545 m (8,349.7 ft) above sea level and drops to a depth of 1,200 m (3,937 ft) in the centre. There are open walking routes around the top, and with prior permission from the local Information Office, you can even enter and explore the crater itself.
For those interested in history, there is a wealth of well-preserved archaeology in the park. The Benahoaries, the original settlers of La Palma, were a pastoral people and have left their legacy in the form of Neolithic tools and intricately carved petroglyphs within their caves.
As well as the large Canary Island Pine forests on the island, there is also an important population of the Canary Islands Juniper. This shrub or tree, a species native to the islands in this area, became endangered due to overgrazing by goats and historical felling for its valuable wood, but populations are now recovering.
Streams and waterfalls criss-cross the rough terrain, and the site is valued by birdwatchers for its 25 different species of bird, including choughs, chiffchaffs and kestrels.