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Your guide to Puerto del Carmen
All About Puerto del Carmen
Situated on the southern coast of Lanzarote, the easternmost of Spain’s Canary Islands, the town of Puerto del Carmen is known for its crystal-clear waters, its laid-back beaches, and its lively nightlife. Its setting, too: The town’s low, whitewashed buildings contrast attractively against the green palm trees that line its streets and the volcanic mountains that rise behind the town.
After spending a sunny day on a lounge chair, you can wander along the Avenida de las Playas, which runs east along the shorefront from the Playa Matagorda to the old town harbor, stopping in at its many restaurants and boutiques. Later in the evening, the action picks up at the town’s bars and nightclubs, whose doorways emit thumping music and festive vibes.
If you’re interested in exploring the natural world here, the waters off the coast teem with marine life, and the gentle waves and shallow ocean floor make snorkeling and scuba diving easy. If you’re new to diving, you’ll find several schools right on the beaches. A short drive away, Timanfaya National Park promises colorful lichen-covered rocks, dormant volcanic craters, and dramatic demonstrations of the geothermal activity originating deep underground.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Puerto del Carmen
Thanks to the region’s near-constant sun and dry heat, Puerto del Carmen apartments are popular all year round. The weather conditions do fluctuate slightly through the year: If you plan to enjoy the town’s beautiful beaches and water-related activities, summer through early fall tends to be the best time — temperatures are slightly higher, and the ocean waters are warmer. Do expect dry, dusty winds to blow across the island from time to time. Winters are cool but mildly so, and that’s when Lanzarote receives the bulk of its rain. The ocean currents can grow chilly during these months, so you may want to stay on the shore or venture inland.
The gentle climate brings locals out into the streets for festivals throughout the year. Carnival, which takes place in the early spring, is one of the area’s largest celebrations, with music and colorful parades. If you’re visiting during the summer, you might catch the Fiesta del Carmen, which celebrates the patron saint of fishermen with traditional music, dancing, and fairground rides. In the fall, the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores is marked by a procession of locals in traditional clothing, making their way to the village of Mancha Blanca to honor the patroness of the island.
Top things to do in Puerto del Carmen
Playa Chica is one of Puerto del Carmen’s best beaches. Surrounded by volcanic rock formations, the cove’s calm, clear waters are popular with snorkelers. You might even spot an octopus on the sea bed. A dive school is located on the beach, making it easy to brush up your skills or venture under the water’s surface for the first time.
Caldera de Los Cuervos
Located just 10 minutes north of Puerto del Carmen, Caldera de Los Cuervos — commonly referred to as Volcán El Cuervo — is a crater formed by a series of eruptions that began in 1730. A trail leads you across dark solidified lava to the top and right down into the center. Along the way, you’ll find signs explaining how the crater was formed.
Timanfaya National Park
Twenty minutes inland from Puerto del Carmen is the 20-square-mile Timanfaya National Park, a volcanic zone that formed in the 1730s. An entire quarter of the island was covered by lava for several years, and the area that makes up the national park still looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In some places, you can still see evidence of volcanic activity bubbling below the ground. Trek the Tremensana or Coastal Routes to take in the fascinating geological landscape, and learn about the volcanoes at the visitors’ center.