La palma does have a good bus network for getting around the island. Due to slow windy roads though its not always the quickest way to get somehere but can make for an interesting journey. Unfotunately no bus service goes to Roque de los Muchachos - you need to have a car or use an organized excursuon.
See web link for pdf of bustimetables.
Maximum fare for anywhere on the island is 2 euros. Pay as you get on the bus, or buy a pre-paid Bonobus ticket (12 Euro) and get a 20% discount - one Bonobus ticket can be used by more than one person. When the Bonobus runs out, you can pay with the remainder of the amount on the ticket plus the necessary cash top-up.
Public Transport on the island of La Palma is available in the form of buses. The local bus company connects most towns with at least a few buses per day.
With the downloaded timetables (see URL) at hand, I found the buses a very convenient, useful and cheap means of transport.
Along the route, there are a few official bus stops, but any safe place for the bus to stop will also do. Just ask (or, as the locals do, shout at) the driver to stop the bus there and there.
Car hire is readily available on the island and by far the best way to get around and explore off the beaten path places. Many hire shops in the tourist areas or arranged from your hotel. WE had a car for 4 days and toured all over the island -= doing all the trips and more at our own pace. With petrol for days car hire (small car) it worked out about £120 in 2009 so I though that was good value compared to prices of excursions.
Oh btw we saw so may rainbows on the island with the rain we had but escaping to the sunshine - having the car meant we scould stop where we wanted to capture the scene!
We travelled by plane from Manchester, UK direct to La Palma's small airport. Its a popular location for Germans to come hiking so since Thomson's became part of the TUI group they have provided direct flights to here from Manchester and Gatwick for the UK market.
The airport is small and well organised, expansion work was in progress so looks like they expect tourism to grow.
Note duty free shops are before you pass through security - just some small cafes on the other side and the departure gates.
It's cheap to rent a car here. And it's the best way to get to know the island. We rent one for 4 days. The first we went to the north and we saw the natural lagunes (I swim there - great!) and the Natural Reserve of Biosfere (Tilos), the second day we visit the center of the island. Caldera Taburiente, Cumbercitas, Las Cho?as, Los Lanos, and Puerto Naos. The third we went south, Cueva de Belmaco and St Antonio et Teneguia vulcans, and the fourth we went to Roque de Los Muchachos, to see the Astronomic Observatory and Caldera Taburiente from the north.
On my vacation, I used taxis to get to hiking startpoints that weren't reachable by buses.
Taxi fares are comparable to those on the European main land. A few examples:
Los Cancajos-Refugio El Pilar (starting point Volcano Route) : 22 Euros
Santa Cruz - Pico des Nieves (up the Caldera): 22 Euros
If a taxi brought you somewhere distant, you can always ask the driver to pick you up there later, at an agreed time. Local law obliges the taxi driver to pick you up then.
You will see many locals drive a scooter, but renting one is another deal. When I was there, you could only rent them at Tamanaca in Puerto Naos. And you will need either a drivers licence for a motor, or one for a small scooter, otherwise it is a no deal.
The best way to get around is by car. There are many companies where you can rent a car, from the big coorporations, to small local rentals. You will find them at the airport and the resort towns and other bigger places. It won't be hard to find one.
There is a bus system on the island, although it isn't really extensive. You can get to most big places pretty easy, even it could take you 1-2 hours to get there.
Just keep an eye on the busschedule to be sure you catch the last bus in your direction.
But they are the best bet if you want to do a hike from one place to another.
Usually you will arrive at the airport located at the eastcoast od the island. Charterflights from nearly all over Europe came in there.
From the other Canary Islands and from Spain you can also take several ferries that will bring you to the port at the capital Santa Cruz.
The easiest way is to hire a car. You can get it at the airport right after your arrival. The public transportation system is also quite well. Buses drive all over the island, but you may have problems to reach some locations witch are off the main routes but worth seeing.
The driving is fun if you like narrow streets and most of all curves!