When La Gomera met the Atlantic, nature created a grand pipe organ and held a celebration. As the harmonious symphony played all night, so too did the sea waves swayed to the melody. Of course, that’s not how Los Organos Natural Monument came to be, but it does seem like it. Geologic formations abound in the Canaries, but none is as unique. How can something so out of this world be born from volcanic activity and erosion?

The Birth of the Volcanic Pipe Organ

Mother nature is an unassuming architect, but she likes to take her precious time when creating. Unlike human-made structures, she doesn’t put together materials. Instead, she uses natural phenomena to shape, form and build. And create she does when she wants to. No notice, no permits.

The birth of the Canary Islands started millions and millions of years ago. No land was in this part of the Atlantic yet. All there was then was the vast sea.

On the surface, it is not unlike what people see today in the middle of the vast ocean. But deep beneath the bedrock, the pressure kept mounting and finally led to a series of violent underwater eruptions. These submarine volcanic activities resulted in the formation of the archipelago. Subsequent eruptions from the land volcanoes then further molded and shaped the landscape.

Due north of the island now known as La Gomera, a cluster of columns face the Atlantic. These are no ordinary cliffs, though. Made of cooled and hardened basaltic magma which remained inside the cone, this is where mother nature decided to build a masterpiece.

Lava flows and erosion formed the Los Organos Natural Monument, a vertical wall resembling a pipe organ that seems to rise out of the sea.

Los Organos Natural Monument
Los Organos Natural Monument

Why Visit the Los Organos Natural Monument

The marvelous Los Organos Natural Monument is on a cliff in Vallehermoso, north of La Gomera. There it is, out in the open, yet hidden from the rest of the island. And it continues to brave the high north wind and rough Atlantic waves as it had for millions of years. Some parts have broken away in time, but it remains as magnificent as ever.

The numerous pillars sculpted into the coastline have earned it the name Los Organos, or Pipe Organ. Although much of its 800-meter length lies submerged, its crown is visible, standing 80 meters high and spanning 175 meters in width. The formation’s unique beauty is so captivating that people go on boat trips just to witness it.

Undoubtedly, it is one of the most breathtaking basalt formations in the Canaries, perhaps even beyond,  judging by the overwhelming reactions of tourists at the mere sight of it. Something this remarkable unquestionably deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list.

Excursion to Los Organos

Valle Gran Rey is home to an array of excursion companies offering trips to the Los Organos Natural Monument, operating from the charming harbor village of Vueltas. While some may boast nicer or faster boats, all are unquestionably equipped to tackle the Atlantic. For those who prefer a private tour, there are charter boats for hire as well.

Excursiones Tina

Holding sangria with one hand and tapas with the other, feast on the La Gomera coastline in a luxurious white yacht. Sounds like a dream, but that’s the Excursiones Tina’s three-hour Los Organos experience. Aside from the cruise itself, modern comforts include three bathrooms, a bar, sun decks, and shaded decks too. What’s more, they only board a maximum of 58 passengers to make sure everyone has enough space to enjoy. That’s comfort, convenience, and fun all in one boat.

Their trip to the natural pipe organ is every Wednesday at 02:30 pm. They also offer whale and dolphin watching with other activities several times a week.

Visit the page: https://fareharbor.com/embeds/book/excursionestina/items/

Excursiones Pura Vida

Dive into the beauty of Los Organos with Excursiones Pura Vida’s 4-hour tour from Valle Gran Rey. It includes the stunning west coast, specifically picturesque seaside hamlets such as Taguluche, Alojera, Tazo, and Arguamul. There’s also a relaxing picnic and swimming stop in a scenic cove.

Space is limited to 10 guests, ensuring a personal experience. Prices are €45 for adults, €35 for kids (2-12 years), and free for toddlers (up to 2 years). Contact Excursiones Pura Vida for the schedule and to book your spot on this unforgettable journey.

Visit the page: https://www.lagomerapuravida.com/en/excursions/los-organos/

Excursiones Yani

Los Organos Natural Monument is a visual treat, but there’s a hidden world beneath the seas, visible only to those who board the glass-bottom yacht of Excursiones Yani. At €38, which includes snacks and drinks, it’s a bargain you can’t miss. Children under 6 years can enjoy the experience for free, while those aged 6 to 11 receive a 50% discount. The tour lasts 3 hours, ensuring ample time to soak in the sights both above and below the water.

Departing at 2:30 pm from Valle Gran Rey to Los Organos on Tuesdays, Excursiones Yani also offers a whale and dolphin search almost daily, making any day a good day to explore the wonders of the sea.

Visit the page: http://www.excursionesyani.es/index.php/en

How to Reach Vueltas Harbor

Getting to Vueltas harbor in Valle Gran Rey from major towns on La Gomera involves a mix of public transportation and possibly some driving, depending on where you’re starting. La Gomera has a reliable bus service (guaguas), and the roads offer scenic drives, though they are winding and mountainous. Here’s a general guide from a few key locations:

From San Sebastián de La Gomera

By Car: The fastest route by car takes over an hour. You’ll head west on the GM-1 road through the island’s mountainous terrain, enjoying the stunning vistas along the way. This leads directly to Valle Gran Rey.

By Bus: Bus line 01 directly connects the capital to Valle Gran Rey. It’s advisable to check the current schedule as services vary, but this direct route typically takes 1.5 to 2 hours.

By Boat: The Benchi Express ferry offers a scenic route from the capital to Valle Gran Rey, providing a swift and enjoyable journey along the island’s picturesque coastline.

From Vallehermoso

By Car: Driving from Vallehermoso to Vueltas takes about 50 minutes. Take the GM-1 south, then follow the signs to Valle Gran Rey.

By Bus: Bus line 08 offers a direct route from Vallehermoso to Valle Gran Rey, with the journey lasting approximately 1.5 hours.

From Playa de Santiago

By Car: A drive from Playa de Santiago will take over an hour. You’ll take the GM-3 followed by GM-2 north, then the GM-1 west to Valle Gran Rey.

By Bus: Bus line 06 directly connects the airport, located just a few minutes from Playa de Santiago, to Valle Gran Rey. Travelers are advised to make their way to the airport for this service. The journey can take around 2 hours.

By Boat: To travel from Playa de Santiago to Valle Gran Rey, the Benchi Express offers a scenic and swift ferry service, connecting you directly to the beauty of La Gomera’s western shores.

Traveler Tips

Here are some tips to ensure you have an unforgettable experience:

Book in Advance: Boat tours to Los Organos can fill up quickly, especially in peak tourist seasons. Book your boat excursion in advance to secure your spot.

Wear Appropriate Clothing: If you’re taking a boat tour, be prepared for splashes and maybe a bit of spray – light, quick-drying clothes are advisable.

Bring Sun Protection: The Canary sun can be intense, so be ready with sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses for protection against UV rays.

Stay Hydrated: Bring enough water. Even on a boat tour, it’s good to have water with you to stay hydrated in the heat.

Camera is a Must: You’ll definitely want to capture the breathtaking views of Los Organos. Considering you’ll be near water, bringing a waterproof camera or ensuring your camera or mobile phone is equipped with a waterproof case is wise. This way, you can capture every moment without worrying about water damage.

Check the Weather: Sea tours depend heavily on weather conditions. Check the forecast and stay in touch with your tour provider in case of changes due to weather.

Respect the Environment: Los Organos is a natural monument. Help preserve its beauty by not littering and following the guidelines provided by your tour guide.

Consider Sea Sickness: If you’re prone to seasickness, prepare in advance with medication or remedies. The waters can be choppy, depending on weather conditions.

Plan Your Journey: If you’re not staying in Valle Gran Rey, plan your trip to the departure point in advance. Public transport options are available but require careful timing.

FAQ

Is Los Organos suitable for children?

Yes, Los Organos is suitable for children. Boat tours often cater to families and provide a unique, educational, and engaging experience for children. Seeing the natural monument from the water is safe and can be a thrilling adventure for kids, offering them a chance to learn about geology, marine life, and environmental conservation in an interactive setting.

Are there any restrictions or physical requirements for the boat tour?

While there are generally no strict physical requirements for Los Organos tours, participants should be comfortable being on a boat for several hours. It’s important to note that boarding and disembarking the boat may also require a certain level of mobility, although staff are more than happy to assist. Since accessibility may vary between tour operators, you should check in advance if you have specific needs or mobility concerns to ensure they can accommodate you appropriately.

What is the best time of year to visit Los Organos?

The best time of year to visit Los Organos on La Gomera is typically from late spring through early autumn, roughly May through October. During these months, the weather is more likely to be sunny and warm, which is ideal for boat tours and enjoying the clear views of this natural monument. The sea conditions are also generally calmer, making for a smoother boat ride and a more pleasant experience overall.

However, it’s worth noting that the Canary Islands enjoy a mild climate year-round, so visits outside this optimal window can still be enjoyable, albeit with a higher chance of encountering cooler temperatures and variable sea conditions. If you’re considering a visit during the winter months, be prepared for cooler weather and check in advance with tour operators about the availability of tours, as some may operate on a reduced schedule outside of the peak season.

Can I visit Los Organos without a guided tour?

Visiting Los Organos without a guided tour is technically possible by renting a charter boat. However, there are several important considerations to keep in mind:

Local Regulations: First, it’s essential to be aware of any local regulations or restrictions regarding boating in the area. The waters around Los Organos and La Gomera might have specific rules designed to protect the environment and ensure the safety of both the visitors and the natural monument.

Navigational Skills: Operating a boat requires navigational skills and knowledge of maritime laws. If you’re considering renting a charter boat, ensure at least one person in your group is experienced in handling a boat in open waters.

Safety Equipment: Make sure the charter boat is equipped with all necessary safety equipment, including life jackets, communication devices, and navigation aids.

Environmental Impact: Be conscious of your visit’s environmental impact. Los Organos is a natural treasure, and avoiding any actions that could damage the site or disturb local wildlife is crucial.

Hiring a Skipper: If you’re not experienced in navigating boats or prefer to relax and enjoy the scenery, consider renting a charter boat with a skipper. A local skipper will not only navigate the boat safely but can also provide valuable insights about Los Organos and the surrounding area.

Can I swim or dive at Los Organos?

Swimming or diving at Los Organos in La Gomera is not recommended due to safety concerns and environmental conservation efforts. The area surrounding Los Organos can have strong currents, making it hazardous for swimming or diving without proper guidance and supervision. Additionally, Los Organos is a protected natural monument, and disturbing the marine environment by swimming or diving could harm the delicate ecosystems present there. It’s best to enjoy the beauty of Los Organos from a safe distance, such as during a guided boat tour, and to respect all conservation efforts set in place to preserve this unique natural wonder.

Los Organos: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Kind of Sight

La Gomera’s coastlines are paradisiacal, with lush valleys, epic cliffs, and secret coves that’ll have you pinching yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. You’ll see some pretty amazing sights while cruising around, but trust me, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve laid eyes on Los Organos. This spot is like nature’s own version of a giant organ, made entirely out of volcanic rock, and it’s a showstopper.

People come from all over just to catch a glimpse of Los Organos, and it’s easy to see why. This place isn’t just another pretty view—it’s been standing tall for millions of years, surviving everything nature throws at it. But who knows how long it will stay that way? Natural wonders this incredible are becoming rarer by the day, so waiting around isn’t an option. If you’re in La Gomera, make sure you don’t miss out on seeing Los Organos. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of sight that really puts the cherry on top of the island’s natural beauty.