A fascinating look at art that predates the arrival of the Spaniards to La Palma

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La Zarza Prehistoric Art Centre

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Many think of the Canary Islands as mostly on the arid side, but once you lay eyes on the northern part of La Palma it may remind you more of, say, Wales or the USA's Pacific Northwest - green and woodsy. A drive of one to two hours northwest of Santa Cruz, the road between Garafía and Barlovento takes you through thick forests which harbour a number of gems. One of the most important is in the La Zarza Cultural Park, where in 1941 fascinating prehistoric tree-trunk etchings were discovered, made by shepherds of the pre-Spanish-conquest Aurita (aka Benahoarita) people. They're simple drawings, taking different forms and with various meanings, and you can learn about those meanings and contexts at the La Zarza Ethnographic Interpretation Centre here, open daily 11 am to 5 pm (from June through October, till 7 pm).

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