Concepcion cliff and Bajamar beach, Breña Alta, La Palma Island
Concepcion cliff and Bajamar beach

Concepción is a headland on the boundary between Santa Cruz de la Palma and Breña Alta. The top is at 400m, and the sheer cliff down to the beach is about 300 ft (100 m ) high, which is about the size of a mature California redwood tree, or a Saturn V moon rocket. These days it’s got a tunnel drilled through it, but until 1917, the only way to get from one side to the other was to wait until low tide and scramble over the rocks. The beach at the bottom of the cliff is man-made, but still a very nice place for a swim.

Geologically, it’s one of the older part of the island. Before the Cumbre Nueva was formed, the Concepcion volcano erupted under the sea, so that the magma interacted with water (a phreatomagmatic eruption). The chemical reaction turned the magma tan-coloured, unlike most of the rock on the island which is black.  Much later, a second eruption took place inside the crater. Much of the original volcano has eroded away, but it must have been huge – experts believe it was the biggest eruption of its type in the Canaries

Santa Cruz de la Palma from the Concepción viewpoint, Breña Alta
Santa Cruz de la Palma from the Concepción viewpoint

There’s a viewpoint (mirador) on the top, which gives a great view of Santa Cruz to the north, and the Breñas to the south. It’s not the best viewpoint on the island, but it’s easy to reach and you get an awful lot of view for precious little effort. It’s even got a car park.

Breña Baja and Breña Alta from the Concepción viewpoint, La Palma Island
Breña Baja and Breña Alta from the Concepción viewpoint

It’s a favourite place for hang-gliders to launch, and they generally land on the beach below.  There’s also a pretty little chapel, built in 1672 on the site of a 15th century chapel.

The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Breña Alta, La Palma Island.
The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Breña Alta.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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