Roque de los Muchachos – La Palma, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Roque de los Muchachos

A series of well-preserved ruins show the culture of the ancient Benehoaritas people.  


The island of La Palma was once inhabited by several indigenous tribes collectively known as the Benehoaritas. Having lived on the island for hundreds of years before the Spanish conquest, theBenehoaritas built pyramids, cave dwellings, and complicated rock carvings, many of which have been lost to time. 

Today, mere remnants of Benehoaritas culture can be seen on La Palma. One such example is the Roque de los Muchachos. The top of the Roque de los Muchachos seems to be a focal point of Benehoaritas ruins, housing four interesting structures that offer a glimpse into their lives. There are two small settlements that farmers would use during summertime, a cave that once housed people and a sacred sight full of piled rocks and geometrical carvings. 

On the very top of the Caldera de Taburiente, in between a couple of telescopes, one can still find remains of their ancient settlements. This is believed to have been one of the most important year-round sources of water anywhere on the mountain. For this reason, it is believed that the Benehoaritas used this site as a seasonal pasturing camp, probably to keep goats and make cheese. Visitors to Roque de los Muchachos and the surrounding area will find remnants of Benehoaritas life, that shows how this indigenous group once lived. 

Know Before You Go

For anyone who is enthusiastic about old civilizations and structures, there is a lot to do here and you get a good hike too. All locations are legally accessible, just don't hop any fences or graffiti anything. The islands do not have a lot of money for proper archeological research, so these sites are mostly untouched.

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January 4, 2019

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