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La Palma with Kids

There’s a good reason why they call La Palma, “La Isla Bonita” (the “beautiful island“). As we were researching which Canary Islands to visit on our family vacation, we instantly knew we had to visit La Palma with our kids. Sure, it doesn’t have the theme parks or water parks like when you visit Tenerife with kids, but did you know the entire island of La Palma is a UNESCO biosphere reserve?!?

There are so many reasons to visit La Palma with kids, but the awesome volcanos may top the list. Home of the two most recent Canary Islands volcano eruptions (including the November 2021 eruption!), La Palma is full of volcanic attractions for the kids. If that’s not enough, La Palma features lush rainforests, a national park in a massive caldera and many natural swimming pools.

If you value natural beauty and adventure on your family vacations, don’t hesitate to visit La Palma with kids.

There are so many amazing things to do on La Palma with kids

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The 20 Best Things to do in La Palma with Kids

La isla bonita may not have Siam Park or Aqualand, but there are so many amazing things to do in La Palma with kids that it rivals Tenerife as the best Canary Island for a family trip. The following list of the best activities for kids on La Palma island is not listed from best to worst, but rather in geographical areas, allowing families to do many fun things on a single outing.

fun things to do on La Palma for kids

1. Charco Azul Natural Swimming Pool

The Canary Islands are renowned for their fun, unique natural swimming pools. One of the best natural swimming pools on La Palma island is the Charco Azul swimming pool.

a lone female swimmer in the Charco Azul swimming pool

Just a few minutes north of San Andreas, the Piscinas naturales del Charco Azul has a stunning setting, carved into natural black volcanic rock. Waves from the Atlantic Ocean crash into the shoreline near the pools, adding to the special ambiance.

Charco Azul is a must do with kids on La Palma

We tried visiting Charco Azul on our first full day in La Palma with kids, but were saddened to see the natural pools were closed. We suspect it was because the waves were so high, they were crashing well into the natural swimming pool area.

Our family wanted to swim in the natural pools at Charco Azul with our kids so badly that we tried again a few days later on a calmer day at mid-tide. This time the Charco Azul natural pools were open and it was amazing!

kids will love the thrill of swimming in chilling ocean water at the Charco Azul pools

You can get into the Charco Azul natural swimming pools via rock steps or traditional pool ladders. Your kids will likely use the steps, one of which leads into a shallow area where they can stand. The salt water from the Atlantic Ocean is extremely cold, but your body quickly adjusts. It also helps if you keep active in the water by swimming or treading water.

the natural beauty of La Palma island near Charco Azul

4 Tips for visiting Charco Azul with Kids:

  1. The recommended tide to visit Charco Azul is mid-tide. Check the La Palma tide schedule and try to time your visit at the halfway point between low tide and high tide. If anything, err on the side of being closer to low tide. We noticed the waves starting to crash into the natural pools within 2 hours of high tide.

  2. Make sure it’s not too windy as the waves will likely be high. If the waves are too high, there’s a good chance Charco Azul will be closed.

  3. Facilities at Charco Azul include toilets, changing rooms and umbrellas. There is also a lifeguard on duty in the summer months.

  4. If your kids are too put off by the freezing cold water, there is a smaller wading pool inland, but it’s nowhere near as fun as the natural swimming pools.
what to do with kids on La Palma? Try a natural swimming pool like Charco Azul

2. San Andreas

If you are visiting Los Tilos or Charco Azul with your kids, take a few moments to visit the nearby seaside village of San Andreas. This sleepy little village is very charming, with brightly colored houses, a beautiful town square and a stately church.

when visiting Charco Azul, stop at the nearby charming town of San Andreas

When we visited San Andreas on a Thursday in late April, not much was open, but we did have lunch at a Thai restaurant that had some of the best Thai food we’ve had since visiting Thailand with kids.

3. Seaside Walk from Charco Azul to San Andreas

If you are visiting the Charco Azul natural pools we recommend you take advantage of the excellent walking trail between Charco Azul and San Andreas. 

a seaside walk is a fun thing to do in la palma with kids

This beautiful walk along the La Palma coast is a well-maintained walking path built with stone pavers. There are outstanding ocean views along this stroller-friendly walking trail, with many banana plantations on the inland side. Filling in the gaps are many beautiful gardens, with benches to sit and soak in the incredible Canary Islands scenery that only La Palma can provide.

The map for the walking trail between Charco Azul and San Andreas can be found on AllTrails. You can ignore the inland part of this trail as it’s just on a road. The seaside part of the trail is the that is great for a family walk.

If you visit Charco Azul with kids, take a seaside walk to San Andreas for a treat afterwards

4. Playa de Puerto Espíndola

There’s a great kid-friendly black sand beach just minutes away from the Charco Azul natural swimming pools called Playa de Puerto Espíndola.

The sand at Playa de Puerto Espíndola is truly black sand, especially when it’s wet. Take a look at the sand on your kids legs after they’ve been in the water – it’s a deep black.

building sand castles with black sand is one of the most fun things to do on La Palma with kids

Black sand beaches have a special feel to them and kids find them a lot of fun, especially when it’s time to make black sand castles. I was unsure if black volcanic sand would be good for sand castles, but I was pleased to discover that this black sand makes excellent sand castles. It’s very good at keeping its shape, especially when it’s a little damp. 

Playa de Puerto Espíndola is a half-moon shaped beach with towering cliffs behind it. There’s a large wave break off to the left and one in the center of the bay, which helps keep the waves small, but takes away from the ambiance a little bit. Your children won’t notice though – they’ll be having way too much fun playing in the smaller waves and running around in the awesome black sand.

family beaches near Charco Azul - Playa de Puerto Espindola

Facilities at Playa de Puerto Espíndola include showers and a beach volleyball net. There’s a also a very popular restaurant at the entrance to the beach.

Don’t forget your travel beach towel and beach toys!

5. Pico Bejenado Hike (Mirador de la Cumbrecita)

We imagine that if you do some research on kid-friendly hikes in Caldera de Taburiente National Park that most people would recommend the easy and popular 3 km (1.9 mile) La Cumbrecita Viewpoint hike. With stops at two viewpoints (Mirador Lomo de Las Chozas and Mirador de Los Roques), this likely isn’t a bad recommendation for most visitors to Caldera de Taburiente.

But, if your family are regular hikers and have the ability, we highly recommend the Pico Bejenado hike in the Mirador de la Cumbrecita area of Caldera de Taburiente National Park. It is one of the best La Palma hiking trails we enjoyed during our family vacation.

family hikes in La Palma Caldera national park

The incredible scenery begins the moment you step out of your car. Before you even set foot on the hiking trail, Pica Corralejo (2,044 m) towers over you 700 m (2,300 ft) overhead.

The view of Pica Corralejo from the Mirador de Cumrecita parking lot is spectacular

The Pico Bejenado hiking trail begins uphill and stays that way pretty much until you reach Pico Bejenado 4.1 km (2.5 mi) later. Along the way your family will be rewarded with a beautiful forest of Canarian pine trees sprinkled with wildflowers and incredible views of the rock walls all around the caldera – some of the peaks across the caldera are over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) higher than you are. A humbling and mighty impressive sight.

the Pico Bejenado trail was one of our favorite La Palma hikes

Along your family hike to Pico Bejenado, your family will also enjoy views of villages (bravely situated outside the caldera) and the Atlantic Ocean. There’s also a good chance that at some point, you will hike into the clouds. Hiking in the clouds is such a thrill for kids – it’s something they’ll be dying to tell their friends when they get back home from their family vacation to the Canary Islands.

La Palma hiking trails in the clouds

As you near the summit of the Pico Bejenado trail, there are plenty of spots to stop and have lunch, take family pictures, etc. and simply soak in the incredible scenery that makes Caldera de Taburiente national park so special.

La Palma hiking trails with incredible scenery

Tips for Hiking the Pico Bejenado Trail with Kids

  1. When hiking in the Mirador de la Cumbrecita area, keep in mind you are starting your hike around 1,300 m (4,300 ft) above sea level, so it will be colder than at sea level. The volcanic peaks also create their own weather, with clouds appearing and disappearing all day long. It’s very important that you dress in layers and have a day bag big enough to store your layers if you don’t need them.

  2. Due to a very small parking lot, you require a reservation to park in the Mirador de la Cumbrecita area.

  3. The Pico Bejenado is a challenging hike. Be sure to have proper hiking shoes and a hydration pack to ensure everyone has enough water.

  4. Download the Pico Bejenado trail map before leaving your La Palma hotel.

  5. Read our 26 tips for hiking with kids.
hiking with kids in La Palma

6. Los Tilos Espigón Atravesado Hike (LP 6)

One of the many natural treasures on La isla bonita is Los Tilos, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Los Tilos is a magical rainforest filled with a great variety of wildlife and beautiful plants.

There is an excellent kid-friendly hike within Los Tilos called the Espigón Atravesado trail. This 6.5 km (4 mi) Los Tilos hiking trail follows an old dirt road on the upper slopes of a river valley to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the Parque Natural de Las Nieves.        

La Palma hiking through a unesco biosphere reserve

The Espigón Atravesado hiking trail is not very rocky and the incline is quite gradual, so the walking is pretty easy. The best part is that the Espigón Atravesado trail is wide enough for family members to hike side-by-side. This is perfect for a family hike as it allows easier conversation, etc…

La Palma hiking trails for families

Very early in the Espigón Atravesado hike, the trail enters a long tunnel. It’s short enough that you can see light on the other end, but it’s long enough that it gets pretty dark inside. Kids LOVE hiking through tunnels and this one will be a great thrill. If you can, bring head lamps to help you see, but a minimum, use your mobile phone flashlight to illuminate the ground beneath you.

hiking through a tunnel is a fun thing to do on La Palma with kids

The rainforest surrounding the Espigón Atravesado hike is magical – it’s easy to see why it is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Moss covers every surface, vines hang down from the trees, lush ferns and wildflowers are growing everywhere. The hike is along one of the ravine walls, but you can often hear the sound of the river flowing below.

The views of the Los Tilos UNESCO biosphere reserve from the viewpoint at the end of the hike are incredible. You can truly see how dense and lush this rainforest really is.

La Palma hiking trails for kids

Espigón Atravesado Hike Safety

There is a sign at the trailhead which warns hikers about the “extreme dangers” of this hike. The sign was scary enough that we almost turned back. But we decided to give it a try with the intention of turning back if we thought it was too dangerous.

There are two dangers to be aware of on the Espigón Atravesado hike:

  1. The tunnel. You should bring a torch with you, but realistically you can likely make it without one. There is a tripping hazard if you don’t have adequate lighting.
  2. The drop-offs. Occasionally, there are some extremely dangerous drop-offs on the side of the trail – high enough to likely be fatal. That said, the trail is about 10 feet wide and it’s very easy to stay far away from the extreme danger.
Walking through a tunnel was the best part of this kid-friendly La Palma hiking trail

We are not guaranteeing your safety – the decision to do the Espigón Atravesado hike rests with you, but in our opinion, the sign is much scarier than the reality.

Tips for Hiking in Los Tilos with Kids

  1. It’s a very lush laurel forest and will feel more damp and cooler than outside the biosphere park.

  2. If you have time after the Espigón Atravesado hike, head on down to the Los Tilos visitor center, where you will find a surprising amount of excellent information and displays about the Parque Natural de Las Nieves.

  3. Download the Espigón Atravesado trail map before leaving your La Palma hotel.

  4. Ensure you have the right gear for hiking with kids.
When hiking in Los Tilos with kids, be sure to read the safety warnings at the trailhead

7. Cascada de Los Tilos Waterfall Trail

If you are visiting the Los Tilos park with your kids, take some time to enjoy the family-friendly hike to the Los Tilos waterfall. The trailhead is just before the Los Tilos visitor center.

This very popular, short hike to the Cascada De Los Tilos follows the path of a canal filled with flowing water from the waterfall just ahead. Your kids will love sticking their hands in the surprisingly cold water. It’s not potable drinking water, so make sure they keep their fingers out of their mouths!

Another reason why the Cascada de Los Tilos hike is such a fun thing to do in La Palma with kids is the long tunnels they get to hike through. There’s just something about hiking through tunnels that make kids go crazy, and the lit tunnels along the Los Tilos waterfall trail are super fun for the kids.

the Los Tilos Waterfall trail is a fun family walk in La Palma

The Los Tilos waterfall itself is quite beautiful. Unlike most waterfalls, the Los Tilos waterfall sprays outwards, instead of falling straight down. This makes for a beautiful effect and causes the entire valley floor to be very moist and damp. There are stairs up to an excellent viewpoint of the waterfall for a great family picture.

the Los Tilos waterfall trail is a fun thing to do in La Palma for kids

Best Family Hiking Songs

8. Cumbre Vieja Volcano Viewpoint

On September 19, 2021 the Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge began erupting. This was the first volcanic eruption on La Palma since Teneguia in 1971. The 2021 Cumbre Vieja eruption went on for 85 days, destroying over 3,000 buildings (including the entire town of Todoque).

see the path destruction from the Cumbre Vieja 2021 eruption

When the Cumre Vieja volcano finally stopped erupting on December 13, 2021 it left a 3.5 km (2.2 mi) wide and 6.2 km (3.8 mi) long lava flow, ultimately reaching the sea and creating a new peninsula.

It’s illegal for anyone to get close to the Cumbre Vieja cone or lava flow, but thankfully, there’s an excellent Cumbre Vieja volcano viewpoint which also gives views of the massive lava flow. The Mirador de Tajuya viewpoint is an excellent vantage point to witness the massive destruction of the 2021 Cumbre Vieja eruption, and it’s just minutes south of Los Llanos.

the Cumbre Vieja cone in early 2022 after its eruption

When we were there in April 2022, the cone of the Cumbre Vieja volcano was still smoking! If you like teaching your kids about nature, the Mirador de Tajuya viewpoint of the Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption is a must-do thing to do in La Palma with kids.

9. Playa de Santa Cruz de La Palma

Playa de Santa Cruz de La Palma is the main beach in the town of Santa Cruz. We typically find that city beaches can be a bit dirty, but Playa de Santa Cruz de La Palma was clean and in really good condition.

Playa de Santa Cruz de La Palma is a really beautiful beach in a captivating setting. There are many interesting and colorful buildings lining the beach from behind, while off in the distance you can see the Risco de la Conception volcanic crater. I mean really… how many beaches in the world feature a volcanic crater as part of the scenery?!?

kids will love the huge volcanic crater at this kid-friendly La Palma beach in Santa Cruz

The sand at the Playa de Santa Cruz de La Palma is a deep black sand with golden flecks in it. If it’s wet, it is excellent for building sand castles, etc. with your kids.

In the water, the sand beneath your feet can get a little pebbly in spots and my kids were complaining about their feet hurting a bit. Water shoes would solve this problem.

black sand beaches on La Palma

Facilities at the Playa de Santa Cruz de La Palma include bathrooms, lockers, showers and a small playground. There is a large number of angle parking spots along the main road behind the beach, but due to its proximity to central Santa Cruz, it may be hard to find a spot.

10. Cascada de Colores Hike in Caldera de Taburiente

Another super-fun kid-friendly hike in Caldera de Taburiente national park is the Cascada de Colores trail. This beautiful hiking trail follows the shores of the Barranco de las Angustias stream into the heart of the famous La Palma caldera.

The river valley along Cascada de Colores trail is very interesting and beautiful to walk through. At times the rock walls tower above you, while other times you’ll be walking through fields of massive volcanic boulders. When you get far enough along the Cascada de Colores hike, you can start to see the jagged rocky peaks from the caldera itself.

views of the Taburiente caldera from below

Kids always love hikes like the Cascada de Colores trail where you simply hike along the shores of a gentle stream, hopping over it from time to time as the walking path dictates. Kids love the challenge of finding the best spots to jump over the stream and then actually jumping over the water.

our kids thought the Cascada de Colores hike was one of the best things to do in La Palma

The payoff at end of the Cascada de Colors hike has an interesting waterfall, where the water flowing downstream is a different color.

Cascada de Colores Safety

If you look at it from above, the Caldera de Taburiente is basically one giant bowl, where all water drains down into the middle. This water escapes the caldera via a single stream – the Barranco de las Angustias. One of the main reasons hike is beautiful as it follows the shores of the Barranco de las Angustias, but it can also be dangerous because if it.

If there is any rain in the forecast, be very cautious about how far you hike, if at all. Remember, all the rain which falls in the caldera will come out via this creek. We turned back before reaching the final waterfall as there was rain in the forecast for the afternoon. Better safe than sorry!

the river can get dangerous on this popular La Palma hiking trail

Tips for Hiking Cascada de Colores with Kids

  1. Budget more time than you think for this La Palma hike as the unstable footing along the riverbed and the time required to find ways to cross the stream will likely slow you down.

  2. Follow your progress using the Cascada de Colores trail map on AllTrails. There are several spots on the hike where you can bypass a dangerous area by going around on a side trail. AllTrails helps identify these safer trails, which most people on the trail missed.

  3. Alternatively, you can see the Cascada de Colores waterfall on this guided tour of Caldera de Taburiente National Park.
what to do with kids on La Palma

11. San Antonio Volcano Crater Walk

Hiking along the rim of a volcano cone is such a fun thing to do with kids in La Palma. One of the best places to enjoy this kid-friendly activity is at the San Antonio Volcano in southern La Palma.

volcano activities for kids on la palma, canary islands

There are many displays in the visitors centre which teach you all about the geological history of this volcanic island. We were very happy to see a video display has been added to the San Antonio Volcano visitor centre which has captivating footage of the November 2021 volcanic eruption.

The easy hiking trail to the rim of the San Antonio volcano begins through the visitors centre. Be sure to stop at the earthquake simulator with your kids – they are guaranteed to have a ton of laughs!! (Parents will too!)

The trail to the lookout point atop the San Antonio volcano is only 500 m (0.3 mi) long. It doesn’t take long to be able to see down into the crater of the San Antonio volcano, which last erupted in 1677. It’s amazing to see life continuing on as a forest of Canarian Pine trees is thriving below.

an easy family walk to see a massive volcano crater on la palma

From the San Antonio crater hike, you’ll also enjoy outstanding coastline and ocean views. The agricultural fields below are primarily Llanos Negros vineyards – a grape which makes a famous regional wine.

12. Hike from the San Antonio Volcano to the Teneguia Volcano

Prior to the November 2021 volcanic eruption on La Palma, the most recent eruption was from the Teneguia volcano in 1971. If you are already visiting the San Antonio volcano, we recommend adding on the very scenic and enjoyable hike to the Teneguia volcano.

a fun full day family activity on La Palma is this fun volcano hike

There are many hiking trails in the area between the San Antonio volcano and the Teneguia volcano, so we recommend downloading a hiking map from AllTrails to help guide you there and back. This Tenguina Volcano trail map isn’t perfectly accurate, but it’s close (the visitor center has put up fences to ensure people don’t sneak in).

The hike from the San Antonio crater to the Teneguia volcano is mostly downhill, through a forest of Canarian pine trees with many beautiful flowers. Along the way you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the coastline, including views of the new black lava which flowed into the sea from the 1971 eruption.

hiking is one of the best outdoor things to do with kids on La Palma, Canary Islands

As you approach the lower slopes of Teneguia volcano, the black and red lava rock surrounding the trail is amazing and gives an otherworldly feeling to the hike. If you look closely at some of the volcanic rocks, you can see the ripples of the lava which cooled as it was flowing towards the sea.

Aloing the hiking trail to the Teneguia volcano, you’ll see a small, but very well formed volcanic cone to your left. There’s an amazing variety of colors in the volcanic rock along this stretch. Let your kids spend some time looking for interesting rocks – they’ll have a great time.

kids love volcano hiking in La Palma

You can no longer hike to the summit of the Teneguia volcano as the trail has been closed by park authorities.

From the trailhead to the Teneguia volcano, you can either walk back up the way you came, or you can continue on to make a full circumnavigation of the San Antonio volcano. We did the full loop and really enjoyed the return walk through some vineyards, and past a beekeeper’s hives.

enjoy amazing views while hiking with kids on La Palma

13. Puerto de Tazacorte

After a very rainy morning on La Palma, we decided to drive down to Puerto de Tazacorte as it has a reputation for always being sunny – and it was!

Visiting Puerto de Tazacorte is a fun thing to do with kids while in La Palma. This colorful seaside town offers a beautiful black sand beach with a dramatic, towering rock cliff as a backdrop. There are plenty of little shops and restaurants and a beachside playground for little kids.

kid-friendly black sand beach on La Palma

Puerto de Tazacorte has a very nice promenade which stretches from the black sand beach all the way to one of the most interesting architectural structures we’ve ever seen – the Port of Tazacorte breakwaters.

best places for La Palma family pictures

The amazing curved concrete ribs along the inside wall of the Port of Tazacorte breakwater simply must be seen. A family walk beneath these massive concrete ribs should be on your list of must do activities with kids on La Palma. You will get the most interesting family pictures here.

Parents will marvel at the size and beauty of the structure and the incredible light-play from the shadows, while kids will be compelled to just run, and run and run. It’s a great place to take your kids in La Palma to tucker them out!

best La Palma instagram spots for families

While you are enjoying your family walk through the beautiful Tazacorte breakwater, take a moment to notice a few interesting things:

  1. Looking south down the coastline, you’ll notice a band of deep black lava running downslope into the ocean. This is the endpoint of the lava flow from the 2021 Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption.

  2. Looking inland across the harbour, you’ll notice a giant concrete sculpture of a man leaning forwards, resting on his arms. Apparently, this sculpture operates as a lighthouse as there is a light in the man’s hands.
fun things to see in Tazacorte

14. Fundación Maroparque – Animal Rescue Zoo

For our first afternoon on La Palma island, we wanted to start with a bang and do a fun activity for kids on La Palma. The non-profit Fundación Maroparque animal rescue zoo fit the bill perfectly.

Located just behind the Risco de La Concepción caldera in Santa Cruz de La Palma, the Fundación Maroparque is a great thing to do with kids in La Palma. Built on an impossibly steep piece of land, just walking through and seeing how they managed to overcome the challenging landscape and design the animal rescue zoo is pretty amazing.

family activities la palma canary islands

Of course, your kids won’t notice that – they just want to see the many exotic animals at the rescue facility, many of which were former exotic pets who now need a good home.

The Fundación Maroparque has a ton of crowd-pleasers within its collection of exotic animals. Your tour through the exotic animal rescue facility will include an eagle, turtles, a massive owl, turtles, countless tropical birds (parrots, cockatoos, etc), fluffy bunnies, tortoises, meerkats, porcupines, guinea pigs, several species of monkeys, kangaroos, emus, goats, a donkey, guinea fowl, peacocks (including a beautiful white one!), ferrets, lizards, snakes, frogs and a tarantula.

kids love the exotic animals at the La Palma animal rescue zoo

As you can see, the Fundación Maroparque animal rescue facility has a surprisingly large collection of animals on display. The cages are a little small, but given the circumstances, they all seemed healthy and well taken care of.

15. Mirador de La Concepción

As mentioned, the Fundación Maroparque is near the Risco de La Concepción caldera, so when you are done looking at the exotic rescue animals, take a short drive to the Mirador de La Concepción viewpoint.

From the Mirador de La Concepción viewpoint, you’ll get an excellent viewpoint of the crater of this ancient volcano. In addition, you’ll enjoy an outstanding view of Santa Cruz de La Palma and the beautiful La Palma coastline in both directions.

the ancient volcano Mirador de La Concepción is a fun viewpoint near Santa Cruz, Canary Islands

16. La Palma Playground – Área Recreativa Los Galguitos

Travel is hard on kids. It disrupts their daily routines, they don’t sleep as well, the food is different, etc. When our kids start to get a little cranky during family vacations, we make an effort to find them a decent playground. No matter where you go in the world, kids can have fun in any playground, no matter what it looks like or what equipment it has. A chance to just play does wonders for your kids state of mind while traveling.

After spending time in Tenerife and Seville with kids, we had been traveling in Spain for two weeks and we could tell our children were getting a little tired of the travel grind. We were happy to find an excellent La Palma playground halfway between Santa Cruz de La Palma and Charco Azul. The playground is called Área recreativa Los Galguitos.

la palma playgrounds

The La Palma playground at Área recreativa Los Galguitos is excellent. The playground equipment is plentiful and new. There’s several types of swings, a slide, a fireman’s pole, a climbing web, a teeter-totter and so much more.

This fun La Palma playground is surrounded by beautiful gardens, with several benches you to sit and enjoy the sound of birdsong while your kids blow off some steam. There’s also several picnic tables if you are looking for a good place for a family picnic on La Palma.

a stop at a playground is one of the best things to do on la palma with kids

17. La Palma Playground: Parque De Los Álamos

We had a few hours to kill before heading to the airport, so we looked for a La Palma playground along the way. We lucked out and found an excellent La Palma playground, less than 10 minutes away from the airport and a gas station along the way to refill the rental car.

The Parque De Los Álamos playground featured a two-level plastic castle, with a climbing wall and a very fun spiral slide in a tunnel. It’s a big enough playground to keep your kids entertained for a decent amount of time.

best la palma playgrounds for tourists

For the parents, there’s a wonderful local café with great take-away coffee just down the block!

18. Los Cancajos

We had to abruptly leave the Parque De Los Álamos playground when a couple of outwardly sick kids arrived (during COVID). Wanting to stay healthy for our 2-days of Harry Potter attractions in London, we drove down to Los Cancajos, a beautiful resort town immediately next to the La Palma airport.

Los Cancajos is really beautiful, but is also very touristy. It features a black sand beach, tons of hotels, restaurants and stores to make your visit more enjoyable.

We were enjoying a walk along the scenic boardwalk along the ocean when a rescue helicopter made a close fly by. This was the beginning of a series of practice water rescues. It was captivating and we gave up our oceanfront walk to watch the open-water helicopter ocean rescues. The kids thought that was the coolest thing ever!

watching helicopter rescue training was a super fun thing to do with kids on la palma

19. Dolphin and Whale Watching

During our stay in Tenerife with kids, we went on a whale watching tour as the Canary Islands are famous for the abundant species of whales who visit their waters. The body of water between Tenerife and La Palma island are where many of the whale and dolphin species call home.

what to do in la palma with kids - whale watching

Although we did ours in Tenerife, we just as easily could have enjoyed a whale watching tour in La Palma.

20. Volcanic Cave Tour

I really wanted to go on a volcanic cave tour on La isla bonita, but I wasn’t able to find any information on it while we were there. Sadly, we didn’t find this 2-hour La Palma Volcanic Cave Tour until we got home and started writing this post.

Although we missed this activity, I’m very confident that a volcanic cave tour will be a very popular thing to do in La Palma with kids.

Volcanic lava cave tour in La Palma

7 Day Itinerary for La Palma With Kids

This 7-day La Palma itinerary is based on our recent family vacation to the Canary Islands. We focused on the eastern side of La Palma first and finished with the Caldera de Taburiente national park and the west coast.

Day 1 in La Palma with Children

A great activity for your arrival day in La Palma is to spend an hour or two at the Fundación Maroparque Animal Rescue Zoo in Santa Cruz de La Palma. Your kids will marvel at the wide variety of exotic animals on display.

the animal rescue zoo is a fun family activity on la palma

After your visit to the exotic animal rescue zoo, swing by the nearby Mirador de La Concepción viewpoint to get an amazing view of the Risco de La Concepción caldera from above. The views of Santa Cruz de La Palma and the beautiful eastern coastline aren’t too bad either.

views of the La Palma coastline from the volcano cone near Santa Cruz

Day 2 Family Trip to La Palma

A great activity for the first full day of your La Palma family vacation is to discover the natural wonders of this beautiful Canary Island at the Los Tilos UNESCO bisosphere reserve. The Los Tilos Espigón Atravesado hike is a beautiful hike through a truly beautiful laurel forest to a spectacular viewpoint.

kids love hiking in Los Tilos park in the Canary Islands

A quick add-on hike is the Cascada de Los Tilos Waterfall Trail which begins near the visitor centre.

A beautiful La Palma waterfall in Los Tilos

After your Los Tilos family hikes, reward your kids with an exhilarating swim in the nearby Charco Azul natural swimming pools, or if the tides are too high, the nearby black sand beach of Puerto Espíndola.

building a black sand volcano at a beach near Charco Azul on La Palma

Regardless of your choice, be sure to spend some time in the charming village of San Andreas, which is just a few minutes away.

have an ice cream in San Andreas after swimming Charco Azul with kids

Day 3 in La Palma with Kids

Get volcano fever on the third day of your family trip to La Palma. Drive south to the San Antonio volcano visitor centre which will be your base for the day’s activities. After learning about the history of this volcanic island in the visitor centre, have a ton of laughs with your kids on the earthquake simulator.

Then enjoy a short, yet amazing walk up to the rim of the San Antonio volcano crater. Then, if time and energy permits, continue hiking to the Teneguia volcano, the site of the second most recent La Palma volcanic eruption (in 1971).

fun Canary Islands hiking trails for families

We enjoy rewarding the kids after a good family hike. If you have time after visiting the San Antonio and Teneguia volcanos, swing by the large black sand beach in the city called Playa de Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Day 4 in La Palma with Children

For us, our fourth day in La Palma with kids was a bit of a do-over. After researching the proper time to go, we returned to the Charco Azul natural swimming pool – and were successful this time! Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves to a repeat visit to the amazing Thai restaurant in San Antonio.

be sure to include a fun swim at Charco Azul on your Canary Islands itinerary

If you don’t need a repeat visit to Charco Azul, why not try a whale watching tour or volcanic cave tour?

Day 5 – Family Trip to La Palma

Of all the amazing things to do in La Palma with kids, you can’t miss the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. If you can secure a parking reservation for the Mirador de la Cumbrecita area, treat yourself to some spectacular caldera views on the Pico Bejenado Hike.

Hiking is one of the best things to do on La Palma for kids

If the Pico Bejenado hike is a little too hard, the shorter and easier La Cumbrecita Viewpoint hike is a very popular trail to several caldera viewpoints.

Speaking of volcanic viewpoints, another must-do La Palma attraction for kids is the viewpoint for the Cumbre Vieja volcano. The Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted for three months in late 2021. It’s lava flow extended all the way to the sea, destroying thousands of houses in the process. The Mirador de Tajuya viewpoint (just south of Los Llanos) is an excellent viewpoint to see the scale of the massive destruction of the Cumbre Vieja eruption.

Kids will be in awe of the lava flow from the 2021 Cumbre Vieja eruption

Day 6 in La Palma with Kids

Due to a very rainy morning, Day 6 turned out to be a quiet morning of reading (The Epic! app is great for travel) in our vacation rental, with an afternoon walk in Puerto de Tazacorte. We loved discovering the incredible concrete artwork that makes up the breakwater for the port. It sounds odd, but the breakwater is a must-see if you are in Tazacorte with kids.

picture of the shadows created by the Tazacorte breakwater

Day 7 in La Palma with Children

On your last full day in La Palma, treat yourself to another kid-friendly hike in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park. The Cascada de Colores trail is in the lower valley part of the national park, giving you a much different perspective than the Pico Bejenado hike in the high-altitude Mirador de la Cumbrecita area of the park.

kids love the adventure of hikes like the Cascada de Colores hiking trail

Follow the shores of the Barranco de las Angustias stream into the heart of the massive La Palma caldera. Your kids will love the thrill of walking through a deep mountain ravine and needing to jump over the stream from time to time to keep hiking. Kids always love hikes like the Cascada de Colores trail.

kid-friendly activities on La Palma

Where to Stay in La Palma with Kids

To facilitate seeing all corners of La isla bonita, we stayed in two separate spots on La Palma. This strategy reduced our driving time, allowing more time to enjoy the best things to do on La Palma with kids.

For our first three nights, we splurged and rented a large house with a pool and hot tub just north of Santa Cruz de La Palma. From this La Palma vacation rental we enjoyed a short drive to Charco Azul, Los Ticos, the charming town of San Andreas and the San Antonio volcano crater hike.

stargazing is a fun family activity on la palma

This area of eastern La Palma has lots of beautiful old homes, and many of them have been converted into family-friendly vacation rentals. There are a few family-friendly hotels in Santa Cruz de La Palma, but if you want to stay outside the city (as we did), vacation rentals are the way to go.

where to stay in la palma with kids

For our final four nights on La Palma with kids, we stayed in another hillside vacation rental with a pool. This time it was in the north-east suburbs of Los Llanos and we had a great view of the still-smoldering Cumbre Ceija Volcano (which had just finished erupting about 4 months earlier).

kid-friendly accommodations on La Palma

We used our Los Llanos vacation rental for our excursions into the Caldera de Taburiente national park as well as a beach day down in Tazacorte.

When traveling with kids, we love staying at vacation rentals for the separate bedrooms, the full kitchen and laundry facilities. There are a few family-friendly hotels in the Los Llanos area, but mostly the accommodation choices near Los Llanos are vacation rentals.

La Palma places to stay with kids

How to Get Around La Palma with Children

Despite being a relatively small island, its volcanic nature means it is a very vertical island with many winding mountain roads. The distances may look short on paper, but it often takes a long time to get to your destination on La Palma.

Unless you are staying exclusively within the city of Santa Cruz de La Palma, you will need a rental car to enjoy all the best things to do on La Palma with kids. There is some public transit on La Palma, but a natural paradise like this requires a car to reach the many treasures this island has to offer.

we recommend a rental car for family vacations to la palma

When we rent cars, we prefer RentalCars.com. We often get frustrated by the sales tactics, etc. of the multinational car rental agencies and we appreciate that RentalCars.com makes a big effort to simplify the small print for us. This minimizes the number of surprises at the check-in counter at the car rental counter.

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in La Palma

We stayed at two different vacation rentals in La Palma, both of which had outdoor eating areas with outstanding views. We took full advantage of these decks by self-catering a lot of our meals and enjoying family dinners while soaking in the La Palma views. As such, we didn’t eat out as much as we typically do while traveling, but here are a few kid-friendly La Palma restaurants that we enjoyed during our family trip.

La Placita Food and Coffee

There’s a hidden gem in the sleepy, yet very charming coastal town of San Andreas. The La Placita restaurant makes some of the best Thai food we’ve ever had – and that includes when we spent a month in Thailand with kids!

La Placita has an excellent location in the square next to the beautiful church. We ordered the yellow curry and the green curry, and they were both outstanding. It’s a meal I’m going to remember for a very long time.

delicious Thai food at a kid-friendly restaurant in La Palma

Our daughter loves Thai food and really enjoyed her sweet (and not spicy at all) yellow curry. Our 6 year old son hasn’t taken to Thai food yet, so we simply ordered him a grilled cheese. We were surprised when his plate came out and it wasn’t a grilled cheese sandwich – it was two large pieces of cheese that has been grilled! We laughed so hard, and he loved it, especially when he made sandwiches with the fresh bread.

La Placita Thai restaurant in San Andreas near Charco Azul

Restaurante Sushi Y Mas

During our stay in Los Llanos, the kids did an excellent job on the challenging Pico Benejando hike in Caldera de Taburiente national park, so we rewarded them with their favorite dinner – sushi!

The highest rated sushi restaurant in Los Llanos was Restaurante Sushi Y Mas. With a central location in Los Llanos, it was easy to get to and find street parking nearby.

sushi restaurants in los llanos, canary islands

The sushi part of the menu was not in English, but the Google Translate app was a big help. The sushi itself was very good and the kids ate their fill. The fish was fresh and of good quality and the sushi rolls were prepared with skill.

We are picky sushi eaters, but we don’t hesitate to recommend a visit to Restaurante Sushi Y Mas for some well-earned, post-hike sushi.

los llanos sushi restaurants

Casa Kiko

The locals will probably hate me for including this place, but this little gem is found just a few minutes south of Los Llanos. When we arrived for lunch on our rainy day in La Palma, Casa Kiko was doing a bustling business with the locals.

At noon, we had the choice of the breakfast menu or the lunch menu. We each ordered a variety of hamburgers, sandwiches and French fries off the lunch menu. The hamburgers were huge, messy and very tasty – and quite affordable too at less than 4 euros each.

Casa Kiko was one of the best la palma restaurants for kids

It looked like there was a handwritten menu on a white board with more local specialties we could have ordered from, but there was a language barrier that was hard to overcome. Either way, the food at Casa Kiko was very enjoyable.

We hope that we have inspired you to visit La Palma with your kids. We had an amazing family holiday to the Canary Island and know that you will too!!

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