Playa Blanca and Punta del Papagayo, a volcanic paradise in southern Lanzarote
The town of Playa Blanca, part of the municipality of Yaiza, was a small fishing village in the volcanic landscape of southern Lanzarote until the 1970s, when the first British tourists began to arrive. Since then, this village with a population of just under 12,000 has become the island’s youngest destination; a paradise where you can stroll along a 7-kilometre long seaside promenade with views of Fuerteventura and Lobos Island, or relax on the nearby virgin beaches of Punta del Papagayo, situated in the Los Ajaches Natural Park. There, the silence, the golden sand and the contrast between the turquoise of the sea and the reddish colour of the volcanic rocks will make it a swim to remember.
Playa Blanca is the perfect place for forgetting about the world for a few days, without giving up its greatest pleasures. The long seaside promenade offers something for all tastes: shopping, sampling the local cuisine—which relies heavily on fish and seafood—having a go at water sports at the Marina Rubicón harbour, playing padel or simply watching the sunset from a terrace. Party animals will find nightlife at Marea Terraza Lounge Bar, which has spectacular views, and at the nightclub Jungle´s. For those who prefer a little more culture, the town is home to Cultural Heritage Sites such as Las Coloradas (or El Águila) tower, built between 1741 and 1744 as a defence tower, and the Pechiguera lighthouse.
Playa Blanca’s greatest attraction, however, is its location as a perfect base from which to travel to some of the most spectacular spots in southern Lanzarote, which at times seems like another world. Just a few minutes away from the town by car are places such as the tranquil natural pools of Los Charcones, the Timanfaya National Park, the volcanic vineyards of La Geria, the immense Janubio Salt Flats and the Martian-like green lake of El Golfo. By ferry from Playa Blanca, a journey that lasts little under half an hour, we can reach the nearby island of Fuerteventura, where you can spend the day amidst the white dunes of Corralejo beach.
However, in this article we want to tell you about what is—due to its sheer beauty and remote location—perhaps the most special place in the south of the island: Punta del Papagayo.
Punta del Papagayo, the best beaches in Lanzarote
Just a few minutes away by car from Playa Blanca along a dirt track you will come to a landscape of infinite plains and volcanic rocks that will make you feel like you’ve landed on Mars. This is Punta del Papagayo, a secluded area on the southernmost point of Lanzarote, which you must pay 3 euros to access, as it is part of the Los Ajaches Natural Park. Such a small fee will allow you to enjoy, for the whole day, all of the area’s virgin beaches, which are its true gems, having escaped the intense urbanisation of other areas. Here, where the only signs of civilisation are a car park, a camp site and a couple of beach bars, Playa Mujeres, Caleta del Congrio, Caletón de San Marcial, Playa de la Cera, Playa del Pozo, Playa Puerto Muelas and the most popular of all, Playa Papagayo, all await you.
The latter, with its characteristic perfect half-moon shape, is completely protected from the wind (as Punta del Papagayo generally is) by cliffs, which is a plus on an island such as Lanzarote. As it consists of a small bay, its water is especially recommended for snorkelling.
Golden sand, crystalline water, hardly any wind and gentle waves are the common denominator of all of the beaches, which you can access on foot from the car park.
Due to its size, you will be able to find a spot far from the crowds even in summer when there is a large influx of tourists. If visiting in low season, you’ll feel like a desert castaway.
Nudists will feel at home in the Caleta del Congrio, which is usually less crowded as it is some way off from the car park. Thanks to its remoteness, it is common to also find nudists in the Caletón de San Marcial, a small cove that can only be reached on foot along a dirt track from Playa Mujeres.
Information of interest
Information of interest
- How to arrive in Punta del Papagayo: From Playa Blanca take Avenida del Papagayo followed by Calle del Cercado, until you find the dirt track that will take you directly to the beaches.