Is Charco La Laja a tourist trap?

Of course, Charco La Laja is not a tourist trap but more about this just now.  The breathtaking beauty of the Charco or Charca with its picturesque serpentine stone stairs has geographic and ecological reasons.


Where is this bathing idyll?

  • Calle Antonio Ruiz Cedres s/n above a lookout
  • 38420 San Jan de La Rambla
  • Tenerife North - Spain

  • Coordinates UTM:     X: 338.168,09   Y: 3.142.210,82
  • Latitude, Longitude:     28,39627617 N, -16,65188581 O
  • From the central town bus stop of Titsa 363 on Avda. Jose Antonio to the Laja: About 12 minutes on foot


This ocean Charco that looks like a lagune nests deep down below a rocky outskirt of San Juan de la Rambla by the Atlantic Sea. Its often ferrocious tidal waves have molded it over time. It's now a coastal jewel that resembles a turquoise gemstone. An astounding color for an early 2019 Winter afternoon on January 16.


Ecological assets of the Charco La Laja

Volcanic Colades and Basaltic Pyrioclasts created what looks like a romantic haven in a peaceful environment. There, sun bathers on unequal, rocky terraces gaze daydreaming into the calm pond below. Giant boulders flank protecting on the right. On the left,  more jagged ones portray a contrast of menace.

Why a danger board in three languages?

The natural barrier that separates the enclave from the Atlantic isn't safe enough.

In fact, warnings are up for a reason, as the board beside clearly shows.

Unfortunately, tourists often ignore danger boards just like red and yellow flags by beaches, as I could witness last year.

Notice where the girl that swam stands by the mini breakwater in my little video.

By the way, I took friends to the Charco which I love so much at the beginning of February 2019. Red flags were on many Tenerife beaches on that day.

So?

Well, the Charco de la Laja was totally cordoned off. Big red signs warned not to enter the area because of dangerous waves. This shows you how concerned the people at the town hall are now to prevent that tourists or locals may be harmed.



Tidal waves on a windy day will overtake with force. It will claim the innocent bather. Then, uncontrollable currents will make it impossible to return to the shore.

A fatal Charco de Laja drama in 2019

In fact, four Lithuanians who were in the main pool were washed out to sea on January 16. One of two rescue helicopters could only save two, one of which had sacrificed his life trying to help.



More about the San Juan de la Rambla Laja

  • Size?  About 22 meters in diameter and 2m at its deepest
  • Ideal for first time divers permitted from 10 years onward in the Canary Islands (an instructor is a must for starters)
  • Exposed? Little but dangerous at times
  • Wheelchair friendly? No
  • Recommended for the elderly? With much precaution
  • Amenities like toilets and showers? No
  • Life savers? Only in summer
  • Fresh drinking water? No
  • Food and drink sales? Supermarket Avenida opposite Farmacia Los Castaños
  • Parking? By the lookout or in Calle Los Sabadeños
  • Many tourists? Not too bad which may change soon

I saw about 20 tourists, most of which were coming and going within the half hour I have spent there in the mid afternoon on a Tenerife winter day.


Getting there by Titsa 363 or 108

Only Titsa bus 363 take you to the center of San Juan de la Rambla near the farmacy Farmacia Los Castaños. From there, walk or drive right into C/Los Sabadeños and continue straight to the Laja. A bus stop to return to Puerto de la Cruz is only by the freeway TF5,  one of which is opposite Calle de la Luz where Titsa 108 also takes you back to the capital Santa Cruz.

Dévora Café Bar Restaurant


Since about October 2018 Dévora Café called a Cafeteria by the locals is in Calle Estrecha,15. It  is the next good place when you are hungry and come from the Charco. The Dévora has much on offer for buying lunch or supper or to just have a coffee or any drink. Find it near the Caixa Bank just off the Church place Plaza Oramos. From February 2019 onward you may eat al fresco on a terrace upstairs as well.


From Charco La Laja back to Tenerife natural pools

About the fatal accident of the Lithuanians in San Juan de la Ramble by a Spanish newspaper

here



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