La Laguna Grande La Gomera lies in the heart of the Garajonay National Park and is a “must-see” for any visitor to the island. The Laguna Grande recreational area and its beautiful, mysterious forest are one of the most popular attractions in La Gomera.
What Is Laguna Grande La Gomera?
Laguna Grande (or great lagoon) is an ancient clearing in the heart of La Gomera’s forest. The area forms a slight hollow which sometimes fills with water giving the feel of a real lagoon; these occasional floods destroy the undergrowth, which is why this clearing remains.
Historically the area was said to be a meeting place for witches, and there are ancient tales of inexplicable events at the site. A small stone circle is a remnant of the area’s mystical past.
The surrounding forest, dark and damp with twisted moss-lined trees, adds to the magical feel of the place. The forest remains almost constantly shrouded in cloud and mist, creating a unique ecosystem that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where Is Laguna Grande La Gomera?
La Laguna Grande lies in the heart of the Garajonay National Park, which covers the centre of La Gomera island. The entrance to Laguna Grande is on the GM-2, and it will take 35-40 minutes to drive there from San Sebastian and a similar time from Playa de Santiago or Valle Gran Rey.
Amenities At Laguna Grande La Gomera Recreational Area
The Laguna Grande recreational area is the largest in La Gomera. The main clearing is a picnic area with a children’s playground and plenty of space for kids to run around. A small stone circle can also be found here.
At the edge of the forest is a small visitor centre with some informational displays about the forest, leaflets and someone to answer your questions.
Beyond the visitor centre are toilets and a cafe (the Restaurante Laguna Grande) where you can sit and enjoy a range of drinks and sandwiches.
Hiking Around Laguna Grande La Gomera
La Laguna Grande is the starting point for a number of well-signposted hikes that take you through the laurel forest.
The two most popular walks are known as Laguna Grande I and Laguna Grande II (or Ruta 3 and Ruta 6). We have provided information for both of these hikes.
Hiking Laguna Grande I La Gomera
Laguna Grande I is a short walk that is perfect for anyone who is short of time or perhaps has small children. It will only take around 15 minutes, but it is enough for you to experience this unique laurel forest.
Laguna Grande I starts from the left side of the Restaurante Laguna Grande. The trail is quite wide and mainly comprises flat, compacted soil. There are some steps on the trail and a small amount of elevation gain.
The trail is well signposted and splits into a loop after around 200m. Information boards on the trail provide information about the surrounding forest.
Hiking Laguna Grande II La Gomera
If you have a little more time and reasonable fitness, then you may also want to add hiking Laguna Grande II to your day.
Laguna Grande II is another well-marked-out walk; the starting point is to the right of the Restaurante Lagune Grande and toilet blocks. The walk is considered easy; the trail is partially stone paving and partially compacted soil, and there is some elevation gain.
The hike takes you through a range of forest types, including areas affected by the 2012 fire. This massive fire, known as El Gran Fuego, destroyed around one-fifth of the Garajonay National Park, but today you can see how the forest has regenerated.
Conclusion: A Journey Through the Mystical Laguna Grande, La Gomera
So, you’ve read all about the enchanting Laguna Grande in La Gomera, a place that’s more than just a hiking destination—it’s a journey into the island’s mystical past and natural beauty. Nestled in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Garajonay National Park, this ancient clearing offers a unique blend of history, folklore, and natural wonders.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a family with kids, Laguna Grande has something for everyone. From the well-marked trails of Laguna Grande I and II to the informative visitor centre and convenient amenities like a children’s play area and café, you’re set for an unforgettable day. And let’s not forget the forest itself, a living testament to the island’s unique ecosystem, shrouded almost perpetually in mist and cloud.
So, what are you waiting for? Isn’t it time you experienced the magic of Laguna Grande for yourself? Trust me; this is one adventure you don’t want to miss.
Questions to Ponder
- The Mystical Past: How does the history and folklore of Laguna Grande enrich your hiking experience?
- Family-Friendly or Adventurer’s Playground: Which trail would you choose—Laguna Grande I for a quick, family-friendly hike or Laguna Grande II for a more challenging trek?
- Nature’s Resilience: What are your thoughts on the forest’s ability to regenerate after the devastating 2012 fire?
So, are you ready to lace up those hiking boots and explore Laguna Grande? I know I am!