The little known island of La Palma is described by many as the beautiful island of the Canary Islands ("la isla bonita").
Of course, the decoration is quite simple outside this world. It eliminates you from time to time in an adrenaline and goose bump, it is truly special. It is the poorest island in the world, and views are probably nothing like people have ever seen before.
In my opinion, it is this volcanic island's severity that saved it from becoming another Tenerife or Mallorca where there is only what can only be described as mass tourism. La Palma simply does not have the long, smooth sandy white beaches available to the more famous Canary Islands and the package that tourists want.
Instead, La Palma has smaller volcanic black sandstones and beaches that are often difficult to reach without the usual tourist facilities. For example, one of the most beautiful beaches on the west of the island is Pia de la Veta, which involves a twenty-minute drive down a steep path and then a twenty-minute walk down a rocky path and into a rocky tunnel. This is the correct form of La Palma, natural and uncontrollable. It is one of the best places for hiking.
La Palma, of course, has more affordable beaches such as Tezacorte, Puerto Naos and, of course, the capital Santa Cruz. And here is where La Palma has its share of neon lights and affordable low-cost accommodation that is still limited to these areas. The best tourist amenities so far are historic villas. Swimming pools are very accessible, often in idyllic rural areas.
People have talked about how the island is changing, as it often does. The government has tourism plans to put La Palma on the map. Currently, the main problem is that the airport is not large enough to park the aircraft, and in particular the runway is not long enough for larger planes to depart. As a result, the airport has grown exponentially. This new airport is not yet open. Ask locals and they will say, "Small island, big airport." However, I suppose with some airlines increasing their flight schedules and other airlines starting to arrive, the airport doesn't seem so big.
The island has also gone down the golf course path, and many are set to open in the next few years. A lot of rural land was put aside for that. To cross the golf course, they build a number of characteristically large hotels, each with hundreds of rooms.
Of course, locals are skeptical of tourism. Fortunately, I don't think La Palma will ever become "Playa de las Americas" – The geography of the island of La Palma is simply not shaped. I just hope that tourism is compassionate for the local economy to benefit from, and that tourists can appreciate what peace this island has to offer in an otherwise chaotic world.