Tazacorte, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

El Paso, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

El Paso
|- Statistics
Autonomous region: Canary Islands
Province: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Island: La Palma
Area: 135.92 km², some reads 134.64 km²
Population: 7,218 (2004)
Population density: 53.61/km²
Length of coastline none, landlocked

400 m
630 m
2426 m near Caldera de Taburiente (north)
Postal code: E-38789
Location: 28.65/28°39' N lat.
17.8667/17°52' W long.
Municipal code: E-38027
Car designation: TF

El Paso (Spanish for the passage) is a municipality in the Canary Islands in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

El Paso is the largest municipality on the island of La Palma after Garafía and along with only a handful of other municipalities in the Canaries including Gran Canaria and Tenerife, El Paso is landlocked and is unique in this respect on the island. El Paso borders on every municipality in the island of La Palma except Tazacorte. It is situated on the central part of the island. El Paso is linked by road to Tijarafe and Santa Cruz de La Palma.

The population is 1,708 (2004) , its density is 54.91/km² and the area is 31.1 km²/3,110 ha. The mean elevation is 600 m.

Farmlands dominate the central part, while the south and north are covered in forest or grassland. The Caldera de Taburiente, a giant caldera constituting a national park filled with pine forests and characterised by many valleys, lies to the north and part of the Teneguía range lies to the south. The majority of the population is rural.


Many footpaths already crisscrossed La Palma before the Spanish conquest. A number of mountain passes east of present-day El Paso enabled cross-island communications. One of these was Ajerjo Pass by which the island's Spanish discoverer, Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, attempted to enter the Caldera de Taburiente, hence its local name the Captain's Pass (Paso del Capitán). The village of El Paso was named after this mountain pass by association.

On 3 May 1492 the mentioned Fernandez de Lugo finishes the conquest of the island of La Palma by the Spanish when conquering the last remaining stronghold of the native Guanches, the kingdom of Aceró. To this goal, Fernandez deceitfully invited its king Tanausú to an interview, to have him imprisoned on appearance. The island was made directly subject to the Spanish Crown, a situation which would last until 1812. In this year the new Spanish Constitution paved the way for decentralisation of the Canary Islands and subdivision into municipalities.

Historical population

Year Population Change Density
1991 7,010 - -
1996 7,006 - -
2001 6,764 - 54.03/km²
2002 7,438 - -
2003 7,544 - 55.50/km²
2004 7,218 - 53.61/km²

The population decreased between 1991 and 2001, but then recovered, surpassing the 1991 level in 2002. Since then the population has been gradually decreasing.


El Paso sports a number of primary schools, a lyceum, a gymnasium, churches, a post office and a few plazas.

External links

See also

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