La Palma (Spanish pronunciation: [la ˈpalma]), also San Miguel de La Palma, is the most north-westerly island of the Canary Islands, Spain. La Palma has an area of 706 km2 making it the fifth largest of the seven main Canary Islands. The total population is about 86,000, of which 18,000 (2003 data) live in the capital, Santa Cruz de la Palma and about 20,000 (2004 data) in Los Llanos de Aridane. La Palma has "sister city" status with El Dorado Hills, California, United States. With an area of 708.32 square kilometres La Palma is fifth largest of the seven main islands, whilst the Roque de los Muchachos, at 2,426 metres, is second only to the peaks of the Teide massif on Tenerife.
In 1815, the German geologist Leopold von Buch visited the Canary Islands. It was as a result of his visit to Tenerife where he visited the Las Cañadas caldera and then later to La Palma where he visited the Taburiente caldera, that the Spanish word for cauldron or large cooking pot - "caldera" - was introduced into the geological vocabulary. In the center of the island is the Caldera de Taburiente National Park; one of four national parks in the Canary Islands.
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