If you want to get the the Observatory Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the Canary Island of La Palma there is only an access road the LP4 road that goes from Santa Cruz de La Palma to the municipality of Garafía. This road is a mountain road as the Observatory is virtually on the highest point of the island, at an altitude of 2400m. From Santa Cruz on the LP4, there are 36 km of road of sinuous curves. The road is beautiful and offers spectacular views but since it is a mountain road you have to climb slowly and carefully. It usually takes between 1:15h to 1:30h to get up with a few minutes to rest and take pictures.
The access by Garafía has a shorter patch on the lp4 road, but first you have to get to this Garafía, on the north of the island via the LP1 road. From Los Llanos de Aridane to the Observatory, on the west of the island, it takes 1:30 h without traffic and from Santa Cruz de La Palma by the LP1 to Garafía and then to the Observatory it takes approximately 2 hours (on the east of the island). Also the road is very beautiful. We recommend to access the Observatory via Lp4 road from Santa Cruz and then leave the observatory via Lp4-Garafía-Lp1 to Los Llanos o to Barlovento.
Once in the Observatory you may access the Roque de Los Muchachos summet (inside the National Park). This last stretch of road is open during the day. At night, the road is closed to the public.
If interested on a guided visit to the Observatory (mornings only) which includes a visit inside one of the professional telescopes, please book in advance on this website (limited places).