Caldera Blanca is one of the must-see volcanoes on Lanzarote – a huge crater that is at its best in the winter months. Tour guide David Penney takes us on a short cut to the summit.
The usual access to this crater is along a very rough lava track, so we took advantage of local knowledge, cut out the long lead-in and drove along the outskirts of the Timanfaya National Park area directly to the base of the volcano. This option is only accessible with a 4 x 4 vehicle, and it is NOT accessible by a hired car.
This short cut saved us more than 2 hours of tough trekking along a path which is not kind to your feet or footwear.
Caldera Blanca is almost 1km in circumference and it is the largest crater of its kind here on Lanzarote. It gets its name from the almost-white colouring of the lava material, which is especially noticeable when the sun is shining directly on it.
We agreed that it wasn’t a race to get to the top, as the group was made up of a mixture of ages and fitness levels, with two of the women in their mid-70s. Everyone did very well, and we stopped a few times on the climb up, often taking in the view of the impressive lava flows in the Timanfaya National Park area.
We could also see amazing views across to the northwest coastline to Tenesar and Playa de las Malvas.
The track we took up to the ridge is longer and steeper than the regular route as it takes you higher on the ridge and round further to the west of the crater.
Previously I have trekked clockwise around the ridge up to the trig point and highest section of the crater, but on this occasion, we decided against it due to the profile of the group and the wind conditions. If it is very windy it can be quite dangerous along the top, as it is exposed and there is no shelter.
We spent several minutes taking in the magnitude of this enormous crater and enjoyed a wee break with nuts and raisins being shared around the group.
When it was time to make our descent from the ridge, we discussed the options. One route was to drop down from our point on the ridge to the lowest part and then take the lower track down. This would then mean we had to walk anti clockwise back around the base back to the 4 x 4 parked up and would add about another 40+ minutes to the trip.
We decided to take the same track back down as we had climbed up and use the time more productively to watch the sunset from Playa de la Madera.
We then celebrated Día de Reyes with some pasta and drinks which finished off our day nicely.
The usual route to the Caldera Blanca involves parking on the Camino al Cráter just off the LZ-67 exiting Mancha Blanca. The car parking area is about 800 metres from the road, and from there it’s a 3-kilometre hike over extremely rough terrain, skirting the base of Montaña Caldereta before crossing the lava flow and ascending to the rim of Caldera Blanca.
If you choose this route, we’d advise taking sun protection and water, taking a companion, and wearing tough footwear.
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