John at the Pos di pia John at the Pos di pia @John Dohmen
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 10:50

Malpais

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  • Difficulty: easy
  • Terrain: Mostly level
  • Total distance (km): 5
  • Duration (hours): 2.5 - 3

Overview

Hike from the parking place of Kokomo Beach at Vaersenbay to the area around Hofi Malpais.

Highlights of this trip:

  • Remains of two indigo tank systems
  • Pos di pia
  • View over the lake that disappeared (Lago Disparsé)
  • Visit to the ruins of milk factory
  • Hofi Malpais

Parking

The hike starts at the parking lot of Kokomo Beach / Vaersenbay; the beach opens at 8AM and from then on there is a guard on duty. Dont take up to much parking space because it can be busy especially in the weekend. Park close to the other cars and line up with the street or the side of the parking lot.

Description of the trail

For a map of the trail check the download link below under the heading "Trail map". Also the track is available for download there.

It can be difficult to follow the track based on the description only because not every path can be easily found. So the best way to hike this trail is with the help of a GPS or the Wikiloc / Locus Map app loaded with the track.

From the parking lot walk back to the road, cross that road and enter the (most of the time) dry saliña. You need to cross this saliña diagonally. There you will find the main dirt road into Malpais. In case the saliña is muddy you can follow the asphalt road and take this main dirt road into Malpais. Follow this dirt road till you see a yellow stone at your left hand side. There starts a small path through Malpais. It is also a MTB road although I have never seen a MTB-er there. Take this path. Soon you will see the old dam dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Follow the pad next to the dam and sometimes on top of the dam. At a certain point the dam is blocked by a fallen tree. There you will find a path to the right that you can take. Follow that path; this will lead you to the indigo tank systems of Malpais. Check out these indigo tank systems where in the past between 1670 and 1720 indigo dye was produced from the indigo plant. There are two tank systems here and the pad continues on the other side of the second tank system.
Follow this path; it is marked with yellow stones. At a large cactus turn right; ignore for this moment the path to the left. Continue on this path till you see a sign that you are near the Pos di pia. Take the side road to find this Pos. You cannot continue here so you have to come back to the main path and then turn right. The path goes a bit uphill. When you reach the asphalt turn right to walk over the former Shell dam. This dam was constructed by the Shell to create a large lake with water for the refinery. Apparently this project was not very successful because the lake is now known as Lago Disparsé (the lake that disappeared). Enjoy the view here. If you want you can try to descend into the "lake" and walk over the bottom. When you reach the former pump installation you have to go back to the top of the dam. If you stayed on top of the dam you will see the former pump installation at your left.
Continue on the dam and then follow the dirt road to the left. Continue till you reach two ruins. The one on the left is the former magasina of the plantation house Malpais. The one on the right is the former Sisal factory that was later used as milk factory.

After checking out these two buildings you have to turn around and follow the dirt road till where you left the Shell dam. There you follow the dirt road to the left.

After a while you will see the entrance of the hofi. It is marked with yellow stones. Enter the hofi here. If you like you can take a rest here. Leave the hofi along the old palm trees. There is a path that you need to follow; at the fork in the road follow the right side; it leads you along an old Indju tree to the path through Malpais. Turn lright on this path; when you reach the large cactus that you have seen before take the path to the right. Follow this path; it leads to the same saliña where you started the hike. Enter the saliña and stay on the right hand side. This will lead you to the point where you entered the saliña at the start of the hike.
Cross the road and walk back to the car. This completes this hike.

Track of this hike on Wikiloc

Link to the track of this hike on Wikiloc (opens in a new window).

The track can be downloaded but a better option is to install the Wikiloc app on your smartphone; when you click on the download link with the app installed on your phone the link opens in Wikiloc (can take some time) and you are able to follow the track.
It appears that this only works for the paid Premium version of this app.
As an alternative the free version of the Locus Map can be used. To use this app you need to download the track in GPX-format either from Wikiloc or directly from this page (see below under "Trail map").

Location

 

Trail map (download)