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Playa Jardin Canary Islands beach gardens in Puerto de la Cruz
When a Tenerife garden becomes a beach and wins an award
Playa Jardín in the Tenerife resort of Puerto de la Cruz combines ornamental gardens with a stunning black sand beach. And if that wasn't enough, there is the popular Loro Parque parrot park at the one end, which is said to house the largest collection of these tropical birds in the world.
Playa Jardín has been awarded Blue Flag status for its excellence and it offers all the facilities tourists could want in the Canary Islands. There are sunbeds, restaurants and bars at the top of the beach, toilets and changing rooms, and plenty of black volcanic sands and sea that has a zone for swimmers and another part for surfers too.
Playa Jardín photos
The gardens of Playa Jardín
Playa Jardín was designed by Canary Islands architect and designer César Manrique in 1992. The gardens at the top are full of tropical trees, flowers and bushes and cacti and succulents too.
There are paths that wind through the exotic vegetation and the theme is continued right down on to the sands where there are palms and Sea Grape trees planted. The gardens merge with effortlessly with the beach.
There are plenty of butterflies, birds and lizards in the gardens, making it ideal for wildlife as well as great place for people to relax and enjoy.
At one end of Playa Jardín, nearest to the centre of Puerto, is the Castle of San Felipe (Castillo de San Felipe), and this restored building is now used as a cultural centre where musical and other events are held and artistic displays go on show.
Playa Jardín is within easy walking distance of the main part of Puerto de la Cruz and the far end of the beach is known as Punta Brava. This is where the famous Loro Parque is situated where thousands of tourists flock daily to see the parrots and the other animals in this zoo.
There are dolphins, gorillas and tigers in Loro Parque and a cave for bats as well as a huge aquarium with sharks in it. Other sections include a collection of orchids and a reptile house.
It is easy to see why this side of Puerto de la Cruz has proved to be so popular with both visitors to and residents of Tenerife.
© 2010 Steve Andrews