Loro Parque Parrot Park is popular with tourists who visit Puerto de la Cruz
Punta Brava near Puerto de la Cruz is popular with tourists
Loro Parque or "Parrot Park" is where countless tourists go when visiting Puerto de la Cruz in the north of Tenerife. Loro Parque is right next to Punta Brava.
Punta Brava is at the far end of the popular Puerto de la Cruz beach known as Playa Jardín which blends ornamental gardens with the pleasures of a long black sand beach.
As already said, Punta Brava gets daily visits from hoards of tourists who come to see Loro Parque, its famous Parrot Park but Punta Brava itself is well worth having a look around. It has a pretty square, its own rocky beaches and a selection of restaurants, bars and shops.
Punta Brava photos
The Playa Jardín beach and Loro Parque
Playa Jardín stretches from Puerto de la Cruz's Castle of San Felipe, which is now used as an arts centre and venue, all the way along to Punta Brava. The beach gardens were designed by César Manrique who is a famous Canary Islands architect.
Palms and tropical trees and bushes are mixed with flowers and cacti and succulent plants. There are lawns and pathways and the gardens are as enjoyable in many ways as the beach.
Playa Jardín is one of Tenerife's best beaches and is ideal for swimming and sunbathing. It boasts a full range of beach facilities as well as restaurants and bars along the top part.
Punta Brava itself has preserved a very Spanish atmosphere and doesn't have the same feel to it as the resort of Puerto de la Cruz even though it is joined to it in many ways.
Punta Brava's houses go right down to the rocky beach where anglers try their luck. A restaurant within the sound of the waves is tucked away at the top of beach too.
On the main road from Puerto into Punta Brava it is impossible to miss Loro Parque, which is the main focus for many people who come to the area.
It has a large car park for all the cars and excursion and tour buses that arrive bringing tourists to see its delights. A shuttle service runs from Puerto de la Cruz as well.
Besides the large collection of parrot species at Loro Parque, which give the zoo its name and is said to be the biggest of its kind in the world, there are many other animals housed there. Loro Parque has gorillas, chimps, tigers, jaguars,meercats, alligators and giant tortoises.
There are dolphins, killer whales and sea-lions and all these marine mammals take part in special shows for the public.
If all that wasn't enough Loro Parque has flamingos and penguins, a large aquarium section, a jungle area and orchid gardens. The aquarium has an underwater tunnel 18.5 m long and it is possible to see sharks swimming just a short distance away through its glass.
Loro Parque is much more than a theme park and zoo because it also is engaged in conservation work and breeding programmes.
It is open daily from 8.30am until 18.45 and has its own restaurants an bars serving food and refreshments.
Loro Parque makes a great day out on its own but if you've got any energy left after visiting it the charms of Punta Brava are worth investigating too.
© 2010 Steve Andrews
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