Tourist photographing the shrine of San Sebastián in Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands

What cultural activities does La Palma have to offer?

La Palma

Movie backdrops, a star-studded sky, impressive volcanoes...there are so many reasons to visit La Palma! Once on the island, you must take the opportunity to learn about its cultural heritage and participate in its traditions. You will discover another of the authentic and unusual facets of "La Isla Bonita".

  • It's party time!

    In La Palma you can experience some of the most original and fun festivities on theCanary Islands. From small neighbourhood festivities to large-scale popular celebrations, the joyfulness and upbeat atmosphere is contagious. Pilgrimages are one of the biggest features of festivities in La Palma, with music all day long and people dressed in traditional costumes. It is common practice for the people on the floats to share food and drink with the public. 

  • A very original carnival, and much more!

    Two of the most characteristic festivities on the island take place in Santa Cruz de La Palma. The first festival is called Los Indianos, a big talcum powder fight, to the sound of Cuban music, which takes place on Carnival Monday and symbolises the island's past, in which emigration to Latin America played an important role. The second is theDescent of the Virgen de las Nieves, which is held every five years, mainly in the first two weeks of July (Semana Chica and Semana Grande, as they are known), and which is followed by a number of events, including the famous Dance of the Dwarfs that winds around the streets of the city all night of Thursday of Semana Grande. Although the main events take place during these two weeks of July, there are other religious events that culminate on 5th August with the Ascent of the Virgin. The next one will be in 2025. La Palma is also home to other local festivities including the Caballos Fufos horse parade, el Diablo (the appearance of the Devil), the Cruces de Mayo (festival of the cross) and the Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi.

  • Left: Silk preparation process/Centre: Close-up of silk thread/Right: Making a La Palma cigar, the Canary Islands

    Admirable craftwork

    When it is time to look for gifts and souvenirs from your trip, look no further than La Palma craftwork. Silk, ceramics, basketry, embroidery, cigars, objects made from wood, stone, brass or will find unique, delicate pieces with beautiful finishes, true works of art. The secret to their quality? Raw materials that are indigenous to the island and respect for traditional manual procedures and techniques handed down from generation to generation. If you visit the Workshop of Las Hilanderas de El Paso, for example, you will learn about the exceptional silk-making process from La Palma, which has been admired by renowned fashion designers. Or if you want to know why La Palma cigars are so famous, you can go to the La Palma Cigar Museum or to one of the tobacco shops that are open to the public. 

  • Close-up of Casa Salazar in Santa Cruz de la Palma, Canary Islands

    Architecture and Flemish art in La Palma

    Did you know that the architecture of La Palma reflects the different cultural influences that have passed through the island? As you stroll around the streets, you can see their legacy imprinted on the buildings, wooden balconies, patios, town squares and artesonados. Examples of this cultural wealth include Salazar House, the Royal Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, the Church of El Salvador and the Castle of Santa Catalina, in Santa Cruz de la Palma. It is also evident in religious architecture elsewhere, for example, the Church of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, in Tijarafe, the Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, in Barlovento, and the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Luz, in Garafía. A special mention must be made of the Flemish art introduced by settlers after the island was joined to the Crown of Castile, including works that can be seen in the Churches of San Francisco and Santo Domingo in the capital city, and the Church of San Andrés Apóstol, in San Andrés y Sauces.

  • Main entrance of the Benahorita Archaeological Museum in Los Llanos de Aridane, La Palma, Canary Islands

    The history of the island and its museums

    There are several places you can visit to delve into the history and culture of the first inhabitants of La Palma: the Benahorita people. A good place to start tracing their footprints is the Benahorita Archaeological Museum. You can continue the journey at various sites around the island, such as the Belmaco caves and the archaeological sites of El Tendal and La Zarza y La Zarcita, where you can discover their engravings and ancient traditions. There are also other museums where you can learn more about the cultural wealth of La Palma, such as the Island Museum, the Banana Museum and the La Palma Embroidery Museum, among others. 

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