This trip takes in the road which runs from near Las Puntas to Pozo de la Salud (HI550 & HI551).As I turned right of the main road there a few houses and a few apartments such as Finca Wapa.
Soon after I turned right again, down to La Maceta. I parked in one of the many parking spaces and walked to the wooden fencing going the length of the footpath. To the right is the end of the walk from Las Puntas and a little kiosk which serves food and drinks. To the left is a Bar Restaurant which had recently re-opened and is now called Sunset La Maceta. There is an outdoor lounge area were you can enjoy a number of exotic cocktails as you watch the sunset. Below me were a number of natural swimming pools, protected from the Atlantic currents. I walked to my left and took the path down to the pools. As you walk down it takes you into a barbeque area. You have to walk down through the right hands side area to reach the newly renovated paved and concrete bathing area. To the right is a natural arch which when I stepped down under the arch you get a spectacular view across to Roques de Salmor. The sea was crystal clear and different shades of blue. Although the day was bright and sunny and a lovely 22º C I decided against having a swim with some of the locals who had been brave enough to venture into the water.
Back in the car I drove the short distance back onto the coast road and took a right turn. Within a few minutes I took the next right hand turn which takes you down to Charco Los Sargos.
Having parked next to the currently unused bar/cafeteria I walked down the lava cobbled path with views again across to Roques de Salmor. The fencing either side of the path is strong and sturdy, but the path is uneven. I descended down the steps towards the sea. You are spoilt for choice as you get near the sea, as there are a number of different areas down to the water. I went down the first set into what appeared like a narrow tunnel with a gentle lapping tide against rocks that had been worn smooth. As I explored further I descended a longer set of steps into a larger natural pool with walls of well-worn smooth lava tubes which are quite beautiful.
The pool leads into a small cave and across to a volcanic arch way. The water is crystal clear and a beautiful blue. Time just seemed to drift by as I took in the different shapes and colours of the rocks. For the more adventurous just before you start to climb back up the steps a dirt track leads of the left which leads down towards rock beaches and are mainly used by local fishermen to access more isolated lucrative fishing spots further along the coast. I then returned to the car to explore the coastal road further.
A right turn took me back to the road towards Pozo de La Salud.You pass fields and fields of fresh pineapples, but if you stop, don’t get too close. The leaves are like razor blades! There are also plantations of Canarian bananas. You then climb a little to a brow of a hill and the landscape become more volcanic.
After a few minutes you see the sign for Charco Azul.A very sharp right hand turn leads onto a narrow road which meanders down to the carpark. The path then descends for quite a while and includes over 100 steps down to the water’s edge. There is a handrail most of the way down. There are a number of viewpoints as you make your journey towards the clear blue sea. To the left is an area called Charco Los Mimbres which has another natural pool, although quite small with another volcanic archway behind.
As I scrambled across the smooth pebbles and rocks for a closer look the rock formation to my right was quite spectacular. I suspected the tide was coming in, so made my way back onto the path and down to Charco Azul. The pool was a turquoise blue and completely still. Under the archway the low tide made access to the water’s edge quite easy. The sun was catching the water and crabs and small fish were darting around in the pool. Three Portuguese man o' war floated happily trailing their tentacles behind them. (Many wrongly class these as jellyfish, but they are not). The waves then started breaking over the natural breakwater breaking the mesmerizing spell of the reflections. As I left the pool and climbed the few steps the local council has built a number of timber sunbathing platforms. It’s then quite a hike back up to the carpark, but as this is El Hierro no one is in any rush.
My adventure continues along the costal road with its twists and turns towards Pozo de La Salud. As I go down the last hill towards the junction Sabinosa and Pozo de La Salud there is one last minor road to my right. This is sign posted, La Laja.
It’s about 100 yards to the car park. There looks to be a track to my right, but that as a quite clear yellow and white cross marked on the rocks, and indication that this isn’t a path. The path, well steps are to my left, all 142 of them!
These though are very level, shallow and well maintained and the distance to the shore line is not much different to that at La Maceta.There is a viewpoint or sunbathing area after a few yards.
As you reach the bottom of the steps it opens up into a cave, laid out with tables, benches and tree stumps for seats. To the left is an area for barbequing, a passion of the locals. The tide was still quite low and I could see a path leading to my right. It’s about 1 yard wide, with water either side which leads round to a horseshoe cove and natural pool which goes back into another cave. The backdrop of volcanic rock formations is beautiful and very colourful. As the sea tried to crash over the path I retreated to safer ground.
Of the coves and swimming area’s I’ve described, not one of them has a sandy beach. From La Laja you could see the sun shining on the small beach at Playa Arenas Blancas.But who needs a beach when all have sunbathing areas and access to the ocean, and spectacular views.