top of page

Discovering La Palma: La Cruces de Malpique

Get ready to embark on our next adventure! La Palma is a mesmerizing island with a unique combination of volcanic wonders, breathtaking dive sites, and tranquil coastal beauty. Join us as we delve into the enchanting world beneath the waves and discover the hidden treasures that await beneath the surface.

La Palma, also known as "La Isla Bonita" or the beautiful island, boasts a rich volcanic history that has shaped its remarkable landscape. Formed by intense volcanic activity, this captivating island emerged from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The recent eruption, which occurred on 19th September 2021, left a profound impact on the island and captured the world's attention. While the eruption brought destruction, it also revealed the island's raw power and resilience. Witnessing the aftermath of the eruption is a humbling experience that reminds us of nature's awe-inspiring forces.

In the southern depths of La Palma lies a captivating underwater treasure - the dive site known as "Las Cruces de Malpique." With a rich history dating back to the 16th century and a unique memorial, this location offers divers an unforgettable experience amidst a remarkable lava landscape and a thriving submarine world. Let's dive into the enthralling tale of Malpique and the underwater graveyard that captivates both history enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

The Origins: A Tragic Tale of Martyrs

To truly understand the significance of the underwater memorial at Malpique, we must journey back to the year 1570, a time when pirates roamed the treacherous waters between Madeira and the Canary Islands. It was during this tumultuous period that the vessel Santiago, captained by Inácio de Azevedo, along with 39 Jesuit friars, embarked on their fateful journey to La Palma.

Despite being aware of the dangers, the crew pressed on, determined to reach their destination. On July 15, 1570, the Santiago fell victim to ruthless pirates, led by the French corsair Jacques de Sores. In a heartless act, the corsairs captured the ship, resulting in the tragic loss of Inácio de Azevedo and his fellow friars. Their bodies were mercilessly thrown overboard, sinking to the ocean floor off Tazacorte.

In 1742, recognizing the sacrifice and martyrdom of these brave souls, Pope Benedict XIV declared them martyrs. Centuries later, in 1999, a unique and unconventional memorial was constructed in their honour - the underwater graveyard, "Las Cruces de Malpique."

The Underwater Memorial: "Las Cruces de Malpique"

Submerged 20 meters below the water's surface, "Las Cruces de Malpique" is a stunning testament to the memory of the martyrs. This mesmerizing site features 40 stone crosses, each symbolizing the life and sacrifice of one of the 39 Jesuits and their leader, Inácio de Azevedo. The underwater environment provides a serene and reflective atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for divers seeking a profound and contemplative experience.

The magical ambience of this underwater memorial extends beyond the crosses. The surrounding lava landscape adds an otherworldly dimension to the site, providing a dramatic backdrop to the submerged gravestones. The harmony of nature and history converges here, creating an unforgettable tableau for those fortunate enough to witness it.

Located between Malpique and Fuencaliente, close to the famed cave "Boca Fornalla" or "Cueva de la Palomas," the dive site at Malpique is a diver's paradise. Diving enthusiasts are in for a treat as they descend into the depths of Malpique. The lava landscape that sprawls beneath the waves creates an awe-inspiring environment, showcasing nature's raw power and beauty. As divers navigate through the submerged terrain, they are greeted by a vibrant and diverse submarine world, teeming with marine life. The underwater ecosystem boasts a rich array of fish species and other fascinating marine creatures, making it an ideal destination for underwater photography and marine observation.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page