sanandres

San Andrés

san_andres_map

Highlights:

  • Small traditional town
  • 16th century church
  • Natural salt water pools

San Andrés is a very charming, well-kept little town with a real unspoilt La Palma feel to it. Situated in the north east of the island, it offers an ideal stop for a couple of hours if you are touring the island by car, coach or on foot. Strolling around the charming cobbled streets, soaking up the quiet atmosphere and viewing the fine but simple architecture is a delight.

It’s a good starting point from which to walk or explore and the surrounding area is good for hiking with many major trails accessible by foot. This is a definite bonus as in other areas of the island, the trails are not within walking distance and you need transport to get to them.

The area itself is lush and green compared to some parts of the island, with its volcanic history set way in the past. The community consists both of the town of San Andrés and Los Sauces, which together house some 5,500 inhabitants.

The beautiful church is the 16th century Iglesia de San Andrés Apóstol which is situated near to the centre of San Andrés in a street of date palms and typical examples of Canary balconies. The church was one of the first temples to be built in the islands by Spanish conquerors and the patron saint of Nuestra Señora de Monserrat is celebrated with a festival in the first week of September each year.

Los Sauces is around 2.5 kilometres north west of San Andrés and can be accessed by the newly constructed bridge of Los Tilos. This spans the Barranco del Agua which at 357 metres is said to be the longest arched bridge in Spain. The town is busier than San Andrés and is wrapped around the road which passes through it.

Close to this area are the springs of Marcos y Corderos, set in the hills above San Andrés and the forest of Los Tilos. This area is considered to be a place of outstanding natural beauty and is therefore under the protection of UNESCO.

If you are visiting this area, we also recommend a visit to Charco Azul (see below).

Honest Reviews by Outdoor Views

We visited San Andrés on one of the Natours Walking Tours and loved it. It was a beautiful, quiet little town full of character and charm with cobbled streets and beautiful palms. The exterior of the church was lovely. We also saw two papaya trees, one male and one female which have different shaped fruits and you can guess which one is which! At the end of the tour, the group met up at the Bar Miami, a basic but quaint little bar in the town for a quick drink before heading home.

Don’t expect to be wowed here but it’s a nice little traditional town to stop off at and enjoy at your leisure and is worth a visit.


charco_azul

Charco Azul

Highlights:

  • Natural salt-water sea pools
  • Swimming (seasonal)

Charco Azul is located slightly north of San Andres and offers a unique swimming experience with natural sea pools set in the rocks. The pools have been slightly modified to make them safer for swimming but the seabed is still visible at the base. The protection offered by the rocks gives the impression of being in the ocean but without the danger of being swept away.

The area was originally a well-kept secret and just used by islanders but is now a popular tourist attraction and a regular stop-off point for coach trips. Due to this, the area can be quite busy in the summer months.

Charco Azul also has restaurants, showers and sunbathing areas for visitors to use.

The town itself has a rum distillery which prospered until a short time ago because of the plentiful water supply and sugar cane grown in the nearby area. They principally produced Ron Aldea.

Honest Reviews by Outdoor Views

We visited Charco Azul during one of the Natours excursions and although it was a rather gloomy day in February and too cold for swimming, it was well worth the trip and is something that we have never seen before. The colours in the pools were amazing and offered a great photographic opportunity. Our visit was quite brief but enjoyable all the same and I can imagine it must be gorgeous on a hot summers day. A unique experience to remember.