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Playa de San Marcos is a popular black sand beach

Updated on February 20, 2016

Why Playa de San Marcos is one of Tenerife's best beaches

Playa de San Marcos is thought of by many people as one of the best beaches in Tenerife. It is a black sand beach sheltered by cliffs and ideal for sunbathing and for going in the sea.

Along the seafront are a range of bar restaurants and a chemist. It is the beach of a quiet fishing village, and although it is very popular it is unspoilt.

Playa de San Marcos is in the northwest of Tenerife and only a few kilometres from Icod del los Vinos where the famous thousand-year-old Dragon Tree known as the Drago Milenario grows.

There is only one road leading down to the beach and regular return buses run from Icod de los Vinos bus station every hour until the last one at 8.30 pm in the evening.

San Marcos photos

Playa de San Marcos
Playa de San Marcos
Sunset over San Marcos bay
Sunset over San Marcos bay
La Suerte pyramid near San Marcos
La Suerte pyramid near San Marcos

The mysterious La Suerte Pyramid

San Marcos even has its own stepped pyramid, which can be found along the Camino de La Suerte side road that leads to El Guincho. The pyramid is situated in a banana plantation and is just as impressive as any of the more famous ones in the Ethnographic Park in Güímar.

San Marcos has a good range of wildlife that can be seen with many birds including Swifts, Canaries, Egrets, Herons, Kestrels, Blackbirds, Seagulls and Pigeons. Beautiful Monarch Butterlies and Red Admirals can be seen flying, and there are plenty of wild flowers and interesting herbs such as the aromatic Canary Island Wormwood, or "Incienso" as it is known in Spanish, the jagged-leaved Canary Island Sowthistles and the white-flowered bushes of the Viper's Bugloss species Echium giganteum.

Tenerife Lizards are common in the area and in spring at night and after rain Stripeless Treefrogs can be heard calling. These amphibians breed in some of the large water tanks used for crop irrigation in the farmland that surrounds the village.

San Marcos only has one shop besides the chemist, which is the Supermercado Lourdes in the apartment block Edificio Lourdes.There are also a small number of streets with houses but as a village it is quite small.

San Marcos has a cultural centre and a square though where festival celebrations take place and when a stage is erected for performers to use. Other festivities take place down by and on the beach and on the night of San Juan on 23 June lots of people gather to enjoy the fiesta.

San Marcos has some steep cliffs and a ravine, or "barranco" as they are known in Spanish, and the area is popular with cliff-climbers. There are also caves that were once used by the Guanches, who were the original people of the Canary Islands before the Spanish conquest.

In the evenings there are often spectacular sunsets over the bay, and looking back inland, San Marcos gives some wonderful views of Mt Teide in the distance, especially in winter when its peak is capped with snow.

Playa de San Marcos is definitely worth discovering if you are visiting the island of Tenerife.

Video of The Bay of San Marcos,Tenerife.

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