ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bananas - an important food crop in Tenerife in the Canary Islands

Updated on April 5, 2016

Once in Tenerife

Once upon a time in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, there was a garden where you could learn all about how bananas grew and other fruit trees and crops as well. Everything was explained and you could wander around, enjoying the beauty of the place whilst learning a lot at the same time.

You could see the trees and shrubs in all their magnificence, bathe in the warm sunshine and delight in the beautiful flowers. All of this was available at Bananera el Guanche.

Bananera el Guanche photos

Bananas and Bird of Paradise flower
Bananas and Bird of Paradise flower
Swiss Cheese Plant flower
Swiss Cheese Plant flower
Cactus garden
Cactus garden
Dragon Tree
Dragon Tree
Donkey drinking
Donkey drinking

It’s not all bananas at Bananera el Guanche

Bananera el Guanche was far more than a banana plantation and was somewhere I had heard about before I moved to Tenerife, as well as having seen it from the window of the bus into Puerto de la Cruz on many occasions. I love bananas and tropical gardens and I needed a new story for my column so I thought I'd find out what the place had to offer.

Bananera el Guanche was just out of Puerto on the main road to La Orotava and was easy to spot. After I had paid at the entrance - and was a bit more expensive than the nearby Botanic Gardens, but I would now say well worth it - I got to sit and watch an interesting short video about banana cultivation.

The video explained that the banana is a hermaphrodite having male and female parts on the same plant but because it doesn't produce seeds more bananas are propagated from suckers off the rootstock. I could see them growing all around where I was sat and I set off to explore.

Bananera el Guanche had pathways that led off past the first section, where they grow the fruit it is named after, into a wonderful garden of tropical fruit trees, exotic flowers, cacti and all sorts of other interesting plants.

I was very impressed with how there are neat labels for everything so an inexperienced gardener can identify what they find. I like to pride myself on my botanical knowledge but I must admit I had never seen a Chewing Gum tree before.

There were Avocados, Limes, Loquats, Mangos, Grapefruit, Papaya, Passion fruit and many other types of fruit, as well as Sugar Cane, Coffee and Tobacco. I also noted the prickly trunk of the Floss-silk tree, which has the most beautiful pink and white flowers earlier in the year, and around its seeds it produces fluffy fibres that have been used to stuff pillows and cushions.

Swiss Cheese plants were in flower and forming fruits, which although they are poisonous when young are edible when fully ripe and starting to rot, but I can't claim to have ever tried one. Seeing this plant growing so well here in Tenerife is a far cry from the specimens you see back home in the corner of a lounge.

I was pleased to see Pineapples being cultivated too. I once made the news back in Cardiff for growing one of these exotic fruits and a caption on HTV Wales's news read Steve Andrews Welsh Pineapple Grower. It was my five minutes of fame before I moved over here.

Wandering around the gardens, full of bushes and trees, colourful flowers and climbing vines, with only lizards, birds and butterflies for company and the fleecy clouds over the mountains in the distance, my mind was not on the bustle of the streets of Puerto or the busy road outside. It was like I had entered a patch of paradise or the original Garden of Eden.

With thoughts like these on my mind, I spotted the water gardens down a pathway, and as regular readers will know, I happen to really like frogs so I wondered if there were any here. The pools and streams were covered in pink and yellow water lilies and other aquatic plants like Water Hawthorn were also growing well. Small Mosquito fish were everywhere darting about in the shallows or among the pondweed but I failed to spot any tadpoles or frogs.

I may not have found any amphibians but I had the pleasant surprise of seeing two donkeys that live in a paddock right next to one of the last ponds. I paused to say hello and take a picture of one drinking from the lily pool.

Making my way back I stopped off at an area with an impressive Dragon Tree in the centre. I got to thinking about how the Guanches are said to have held these trees as sacred and to have assembled for meetings under the large ones like the Drago Milenario in Icod.

Carrying on down the pathway I met the lady who was in charge and I asked her if there were any frogs in the gardens. Apparently they do live there but it seemed I had picked a bad day to see them.

I didn't mind because I was happy to have seen everything else apart from the restaurant, bar and shop, which I was now being shown and where I was treated to a glass of most excellent banana liqueur. As a perfect ending to a most enjoyable visit to Bananera el Guanche there was even a free bus waiting to take me back to Puerto.

Footnote: First published in the Tenerife Sun


Sadly since this was originally published the Bananera del Guanche gardens have closed down and are abandoned. It was a very beautiful place while it lasted and I can only hope that some day it will open again!

© 2008 Steve Andrews


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for enjoying my hub and posting, Angela!

    • Angela_1973 profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing these amazing pictures, your hubs about your trips are very interesting and you live on the Canary Islands, it must be gorgeous, where I live - there are beautiful sunsets, but its summer now and there is nothing but heat and bugs!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks, Marisue! Yes, I have thousands of interesting photos. As for books I am presently struggling with sorting out a cover for The Bard Word to upload at CreateSpace - I am been learning about PDF files and now have to put what I have on their template - having given up on where their international shipping prices are insane and no answers forthcoming!

    • marisuewrites profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      I imagine you have one heck of a photo album...there's a book!!

      interesting walk, and the photos are lovely. =))

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Teeray!

    • teeray profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      Interesting information I wouldn't think to look for. It's interesting to wander around the 'fan clubs' I've joined to see what directions in writing fellow-hubbers are selecting. The pics on this hub are great. Thanks for sharing about your journeys - here and on your other hubs, as well.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      It has been fascinating for me to see them too and also to see how cacti and succulents grow when in the wild. They don't always grow in deserts is one thing I have seen for myself! Some succulents grow in shaded and often damp conditions but they need their thick leaves to store water for the dry period in summer.

    • ForTheLove profile image


      10 years ago from Godforsaken, Iowa

      This hub's truly fascinating! I always wondered about how the fruits you mention are cultivated. I'd love to see a tropical garden like this :) Totally fascinating!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      10 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Zsuzsy and Marisuewrites!

      Yes, bananas and avocados are very commonly grown here.

    • marisuewrites profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      wow, you'd love walking the wild here in Florida, though you have to watch out for gators! We have orange groves everywhere and grapefruit too -- I'm always tempted to pick, but you get fined if you do. I could eat avacados like people eat apples....I just love them. Peeled of course. That donkey was super, you take the most wonderfuly exploring trips! What fun!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Great hub and what amazing pictures too. I would love to have avocados and Bananas growing outside my door.

      I loved the hub regards Zsuzsy


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)