The trail starts at the parking lot of the Environmental Information Point where you have a depleted Monteverde forest. Fruit trees share the land with fir and heath, which makes it clear that this is not a pure laurisilva forest. You can also see bramble which indicates alteration due to human activity; these signs will however keep diminishing as you continue on the trail.
The flaky bark of this huge tree shows that it is a barbusano or Canary laurel. It is a magnificent specimen, 25 metres in height, and is a characteristically at the edge of the forest. The Canary laurel is not very abundantly found because its reddish wood was extensively used to make furniture; in fact it used to be called "ebony of the Canaries".
This tree at the bend in the path looks like it is being protected by a multitude of branches emerging from its base. These are offshoots known as epicormic branches. This is one of the characteristics of the Persea indica, a typical species of laurisilva endemic to Macaronesia. Even if the central trunk dies, the base acts as a stump that sprouts numerous epicormic branches that keep the tree alive.
The landscape of Cubo de La Galga is dominated by water and as you go deeper into the ravine, you will notice that it is more humid and the canopy of vegetation gets denser. The canal above you transports this precious resource to cultivation areas and for public use. The moderated use of water is key to preserving this landscape.
Ravines are created by erosion over a period of time. This rock striking a fine balance serves as a reminder for just that. Ravines like Cubo de La Galga which are deep-set and narrow like canyons prove that La Palma is a young island where erosion is still at work, shaping the landscape. Someday, this rock with be out of balance and will fall to the bed of the ravine (however, that will take another few hundred years).
Stop at this crossroads and listen to the trickling water compete with the singing birds. It is easy to make out the call of the endemic pigeon species found here, which sounds like the letter U. If you remain still and silent, you may even see one of these pigeons flying above the trees.
The laurisilva of the valley with til trees is in all its splendour in this small clearing, like a haven among the vegetation. The high canopy of vegetation keeps the area dark and humid all the time. Light barely reaches the ground. With their green, hard trunks, til is clearly the most dominant species here. It is only found in areas that are perfect for the laurisilva, thus pointing to how special this area is.
At this elevated point, you can see the splendid landscape created by the laurisilva that covers the eastern face of La Palma that receives the trade winds. This is best habitat in the Canary Islands for the laurisilva, with slopes below 1,200 metres which trap the moisture-laden clouds brought by the trade winds that sustain the Monteverde.
You will return along the canal that starts from Cubo de La Galga at this point. The water that is essential to the survival of the ecosystem in this ravine is also its biggest contribution as the cultivation on the coast is made possible thanks to the aquifers that are fed by the forest. From the slope, you can take in a different view of this green canyon before returning on the path that you climbed at the beginning of the trail.
- Respect the animals. Do not bother them or feed them. If you see an injured specimen, you can call the emergency number: 112. Do not pick flowers or plants.
- Do not pick up or take away stones or any other item from the natural environment. And do not move them to pile them up into sadly famous 'towers'.
- Respect the signposting along trails. Leaving the set paths causes damage to the environment and could also be dangerous for you and anyone with you.
- It is safer to keep your pet on a lead.
- Try not to alter the peace of the environment with excessive noise (loud music, yelling, etc.).