Eco Holiday Home
with Monarch Butterfly Rearing
Climate conscious construction
Solar thermal ernergy
… sustainable and independent
CASA MONARCA LA PALMA
Experience quietness and nature on the Canary Island La Palma
MORE THAN JUST A HOLIDAY HOUSE
Self-sufficient and close to nature
Experience the beauty of self-sufficient living accompanied by the unique scenery of the Canary Island La Palma.
The Holiday Home
The house, which is located in an area of 3500m² with panoramic views of the mountains and the sea, invites for rest and contemplation. The isolated house is good situated and has also private parking. The land includes a garden with fruit trees, a wind protected place with pergola for taking sunbath, deck chairs and hammocks and open-air run for our friends, the hens.
With Casa Monarca, we would like to offer you a comfortable stay but also invite you to learn to know plants and birds, collect fruit and eggs, use organic products and natural soaps, to make compost and recycle.
Inside the comfortable and cosy living room with sofas and handmade carpets invites you to relax and in the cooler month to spend pleasant moments next to the wood stove.
A full equipped kitchen, a bedroom with double bed and a shower bath complete the rooms.
Textiles and bedclothes are natural, 100% cotton and moreover, everything is done to minimize the use of plastic and to recycle as much as possible.
In and around the house
With the deco we attached importance to simple model craft and gave priority to handmade or fair trade products.
360° panoramic view
Take a look at the wonderful panorama of your holiday terrace!
Rearing of chicken
In Casa Monarca, we dedicate us to the rearing of the native Jabada-chicken breed. They are fed on natural and organic feed, which guarantees the quality of the eggs you can collect and eat at your leisure. They run around in a large space next to the house and their favourite plant is vinagrera Rumex lunaria, a kind of sorrel, which you can collect and feed to them.
We focus on renewable energies
The sun is the primary energy source and the climate of the Canary Islands with approximately 3000 hours of annual sunshine facilitates obtaining clean and renewable energy, which provide us. We convert solar energy into electricity.
Our photovoltaic system works with Sunflower System whose Solar Tracker follows the angle of the sun to obtain maximum load. So we get 40% increment of energy.
Solar thermal ernergy
It consists in the use of sun energy by the use of solar thermal collectors. The panel captures sunlight and absorbs the energy and converts it into hot water in a system of tubes which is stored in a 150L tank.
Wind is another inexhaustible source that nature offers us. The wind turbine or windmill helps us to keep the batteries charged. Teamwork is always good, and at night and on cloudy and windy days it’s an extra recharge.
Inside the house an ampere-meter informs us about the wind.
Static accumulators allow us to store energy. The charge controller tells us the status of the battery at any time and we can check the stored / consumed energy and the reserve.
The inverter converts the voltage from 12V to 220V for domestic use. In extraordinary case of adverse weather conditions, a generator guarantees the minimum necessary for domestic use.
Utilization of all resources
Water treatment is one of the best type of cost reduction in the household, especially for sustainable water use.
Wastewater includedes grey water or tap water (from kitchen, bathroom, washing machine) and sewage water. Both are biologically treated in two steps for their reuse:
1st tank sedimentation and conversion of organic material; metabolism of organic matter.
2nd tank biological filter; oxidation of organic matter by micro organisms in the water and oxygen addition.
Finally the depurated water will be reused for watering fruit trees.
RECOVERY OF RAINWATER
A deposit of 8000L is installed to collect rain water, the best water for garden plants.
DRINKING WATER PURIFICATION
This system allows you to filter off 95% of impurities from the tap water. So we obtain pure water, crystalline, without odours, salts or metal residues. We improve our health and, in addition, we avoid buying plastic. The water is ideal for drinking, cooking and washing fruits and vegetables.
You can make sure that using osmosis-water you don’t need no longer to buy heavy bottled water and its quality will convince you.
You will find 2 water-taps in the kitchen: One of them is equipped with the reverse osmosis system and you can use whenever you want.
100% ecological and sustainable
Solar and wind energy cover all of our energy needs. Living in a self-sufficient and ecologically oriented house where we can live in peace with our self and with nature is possible.
To do this, we must give a series of objectives and priorities:
Surrounded by beautiful nature
Casa Monarca is located 25km from the airport.
Take the main road towards Los Llanos by Cumbre (mountains) to El Paso.
Then turn to Tacande-Las Manchas. At the Montaña Rajada, follow the access from app. 400m to the house.
Walks and bicycle tours: Right here, from Casa Monarca you can start to one of the most significant hiking path on the sland Ruta de los Volcanes Volcano Route. Four more routes start from the Refugio de El Pilar (shelter of El Pilar/El Paso), including the astronomical viewpoint of Llano de Los Jables.
A project born of our core values
Project Monarch Butterfly
This project focuses on the expansion of the host plants »Asclepias« because the butterfly thrives only on them. Their caterpillar feeds only and exclusively this leaves. In the plantations around the house you can enjoy the graceful flight of this emblematic butterflies and be witness to the metamorphosis. Without a doubt, an experience you will not forget!
From May to October, the Monarch butterfly Danaus Plexippus visits the holiday house.
Host plant for eggs and larvae of the monarch butterfly.
COPULATION AND EGG DEPOSITION
After copulation, the female lays 4-40 eggs. Mother Monarch selects the tender leaves to lay her eggs. Usually on the lower side of the leaves where the eggs will be better protected from predators and bad weather. The problem is that the »Asclepias« is rare and therefore the importance of the project and its promotion.
LARVA FIRST PHASE
Just after birth the larvae consume their egg cases and after having developed their mandible feed leaves. First feeds the most tender leaves and then the bigger once. At this stage, they missed their antennae and their characteristic stripes.
Tireless eater of »Asclepias« can not remains without food. And here it needs our competence and care — otherwise it will die.
The larva leaves the plant where it was born and grew up to initiate metamorphosis. It seeks a place where it adheres strongly with a kind of white silk pad to keep fixed remain in this position to wait…
It will change from a bright green to a darker colour until the characteristically orange of the Monarch butterfly can be seen.
From breaking the pupal cuticle to eclosion lasts 2 minutes. It strongly clings on tight until its wings are dry and hard.
Mountains and volcanoes, waterfalls and cliffs, almost deserted beaches, tropical vegetation…
La Palma is an island of contrasts with its steep gradient that goes from sea level up to 2.426m altitude at the Roque de Los Muchachos, highest peak of the island.
In the northern third of the island is a large depression caused by erosion forming the Caldera de Taburiente, declared a National Park in 1954.
35% of La Palma are protected since 2006, the first place in the world declared sustainable tourism destination.
In the area called Cumbre Vieja, which crosses the island from the centre to the south, is a series of volcanoes. Including San Antonio, San Juan and Teneguia (last volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands in 1971).
The island also has the Natural Parks of Cumbre Vieja and Las Nieves and a series of smaller sizes protected areas. In 1983, El Canal y los Tilos area is classified as Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, later in 1997, expanded to form the Biosphere Reserve of Los Tilos.
Finally, in 2002, the reserve extends over the whole island under the name of Biosphere Reserve of La Palma.
Getting away from the inner part of the island and its mountains, in short time we reach the sea and with it the Reserva Marina de La Palma (Marine Reserve of La Palma), established in 2001, to preserve marine life on the coast of this beautiful island.
La Palma, the hiker island
The footpath network covers the entire island following the traditional paths used for centuries by its inhabitants.
At La Palma, the walker will meet a huge variety of climates, reliefs and natural and cultural landscapes: from the warmer coast areas to the highest mountains that exceed 2000m but also passes through the cultures of »medianias« (medium altitudes), forests of pine and laurel and volcanic landscapes.
THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF PATHS
The trails are marked with initials and numbers on a total of 1000 kms.
GR or Great Route
It lasts more than one day. There are the GR130 which covers the whole island in a circular manner, through the main villages without encountering large gradients. Route GR131 unites two roads: The Ruta de Los Volcanes (volcano route) and the Ruta de La Crestería (ridge route).
PR or Short Route:
You can walk it in one day. There are 19 primary and 23 secondary routes.
SL or Local Path:
It is less than 10km and combines bigger routes. The identification mark reflects the borough to which the path belongs.
Starting point Casa Monarca
Right at Casa Monarca you find a local trail to start the walk to Lavas de San Juan (San Juan volcano’s lava river PRLP14.1) which ends in the village of San Nicolás and passes through the Natural Park of the Cumbre Vieja.
This path also takes you to Refugio del Pilar and for a less difficult route (PRLP14) to El Paso or you can opt for it for a medium difficult level walk (PRLP16 and PRLP19).
The famous Ruta de los Volcanes (Volcano Route GR131) to Fuencaliente also starts at the same place.
Stars Island ...
The astronomical quality of La Palma is classified as exceptional and protected since 1988 by the “Sky Law”, which covers the light contamination, electromagnetic radiation and also the aviation routes to protect the work of the Observatory of the Roque de los Muchachos (altitude 2,426m) one of the most comprehensive and advanced installation in the world.
The climate and geographical characteristics of the area create a pure and unspoiled atmosphere without turbulence which is stabilized by the ocean and trade winds.
There is a network of 14 natural astronomy viewpoints created to enjoy starry nights. At Casa Monarca viewing conditions are privileged at any time of the year.
The spectacular biodiversity of flora on La Palma is based on two main reasons: geographic isolation and abundance of microclimates.
The explanation of this wealth is twofold. First, when the island emerged from the water (there are 2 million years), many species of the Mediterranean, northern Africa and the oldest Canary Islands colonized the new territory. Then they continued to evolve, isolated by the ocean, to be converted into different original species.
The second reason for this fantastic biodiversity is the huge variety of climatic conditions. The steepness of the island facilitates the appearance of areas with very different humidity, temperature and exposure to the sun conditions.
Following the influence of the trade winds, the island is divided into two distinct areas: the north-east with more days of rain and drier and warmer south-western part. The island is one of the highest in the world in relation to its width. This causes a significant contrast between the species that are adapted to the climate medium altitudes (medianias) and those who prefer extremely temperatures high on the mountains.
We will show you a few species in the vicinity of the Casa Monarca.
Taking into account the characteristics of the island of La Palma wildlife is varied: birds, reptiles and invertebrates concentrate most of the endemic species.
The typical bird of La Palma is the so called graja Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax barbarus, Red-billed Chough. It has been observed that in the past it had also colonized other islands but it survived only in the territory of La Palma. Another most common bird is the Buzzard Buteo buteo insularum, ssp.
The Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus canariensos and the Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipter nisus, who rarely leaves the forest, complete this group.
Owl, finch, blackbird
Nocturnal animals are the Long-eared Owl Asio otus and Barn Owl Tyto alba. In the forest the protagonists are the subspecies of the Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs palmae and Blue Tit Parus caeruleus palmensis who share the neighbourhood with the blackbird Turdus merula cabrerae and Tenerife Goldcrest Regulus teneriffae.
Western Canarias Lizard
Gallotia galloti palmae, endemic to La Palma, plays a key roll in the islands ecosystem. Necessary, for example, for the survival of birds of prey and scavengers. Adult males develop a blue spot in the lower part of the neck, which justifies its popular name of Blue Beard.
In Casa Monarca care is taken not only of butterflies but also all animals. You can easily identify your new neighbours (reptiles, birds, mammals, insects, …) by photos and illustrations inside the house.
Pets are welcome and if you want, you can use the doghouse outside — if your travelling companion agrees. We work with various associations for animal protection. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to satisfy the needs on the beauty island.
If you like to collaborate in adopting an animal (if only temporarily) or as a sponsor / flight attendant, contact us.