Los Hervideros – Spectacular Lava Cliffs

The Los Hervideros volcanic cliffs have a number of caves and blowholes. The caves have been formed by the sea eroding a former lava flow. Ocean waves crashing into the cliffs creates lots of surf. This makes the water look like it is boiling. There are paths around the cliffs that lead into the caves and viewpoints. From one of the natural balconies, you can watch the waves crashing into the caves below. You might get a little wet but it is quite safe.

Los Hervideros translates as “the Hot Springs”

Cesar Manrique designed the walkways and viewpoints around the site. Although these are manmade they look perfectly natural.

I discovered the place quite by accident. I had just been to El Golfo for a walk along the coastline at the edge of the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya. Returning in the afternoon I was driving along LZ-703 in the direction of the Salinas de Janubio salt pans. I saw the Los Hervideros sign by the roadside and a number of cars and coaches in the car park. Curious, I pulled over into the free car park to see what this place was.

I’m really glad I did. Los Hervideros is an amazing natural spectacle. Most days you are guaranteed to see some spectacular waves here. The coast at this point is quite exposed. When the Atlantic is producing heavy swells, waves rush into the caves and sprays of seawater are forced high into the air accompanied by a loud roaring noise.

Los Hervideros – Formation

The red, green, black and purple colours of these 15-meter high cliffs contrasts with the clear blue of the sea. They were formed between 1730 and 1736 by the eruptions of the Timanfaya volcanoes and the lava flow from Montana de la Vieja Gabriela. The rapid cooling of the hot lava by the sea produced the shapes and corridors in the basaltic rocks.

Wave watching at Los Hervideros

The opposite cliff is a great place for wave watching……

Wave Watching at Los Hervideros

Los Hervideros is also the perfect place to watch a sunset and you’ll probably have the place the yourself as an added bonus.

Playa de Montana Bermeja

While you are here, walk to the nearby beach at Playa de Montana Bermeja (Purple Mountain). This is a popular place for a photo where the black lava and beach contrast with the orange and purple of the mountain just inland.

The black, sandy beach stretching 400 meters is only a stone’s throw from the car park. However, the dark sand is not to everybody’s liking. Don’t be tempted to swim here, the waves are strong and there is a treacherous current. There are a number of warning signs dotted around.

On the beach, you might be lucky and find some olivine, a naturally occurring gemstone. There is sometimes a small stall in the car park with souvenir rocks for sale for a couple of Euros.

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Picture originally sourced, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons (edited in Canva)