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Puerto de la Cruz or Puerto is a popular tourist resort in Tenerife north
Why is Puerto de la Cruz so popular as a tourist resort?
Puerto de la Cruz, or simply Puerto, as it is often called, is a very popular seaside resort in the north of Tenerife. Tourists flock there for many reasons,and it is not just because of the subtropical weather and the beaches.
Puerto offers plenty to see and do. In the area known as La Paz, there is the El Botánico botanical gardens with an incredible collection of plants and trees from all around the world, including a 200-year-old Australian Banyan Tree and lily pools. Then there is the Loro Parque Parrot Park and zoo where many visitors to the island go.
There are also the Bananera El Guanche gardens, which are, as the name suggests, devoted to banana cultivation and a wide range of other tropical and exotic fruits.
Puerto de la Cruz also has the Orchid Gardens, or Sito Litre as they are also known. These gardens house a collection of exotic orchids, as well as other ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers, and they are said to have inspired the famous writer Agatha Christie to have written one of her stories.
Puerto de la Cruz photos
More of the tourist attractions of Puerto de la Cruz
On the seafront there is the Costa Martíanez Lido, where you can sunbathe by its swimming pools and fountains, whilst enjoying the exotic appeal of the tall palms planted around it.
Canary Islands architect César Manrique, designed this lido and he also was the mastermind behind the popular beach known as the Playa Jardín. This black sand beach has gardens and flower borders and was awarded a Blue Flag for its high standards.
Plaza del Charco and Plaza de la Iglesia are two of the best squares in Puerto de la Cruz where people like to relax. Plaza de la Iglesia, as its name suggests, has a church, and it also boasts an attractive fountain in the form of a swan.
Very near to Plaza del Charco is the fishing harbour where all the brightly painted little boats, moored up or bobbing on the water, add to its charm.
The Ermita de San Telmo is an attractive chapel in front of the sea and dedicated to St Elmo, who is the patron saint of sailors.
On the side of Puerto near the Playa Jardín, is the Castillo de San Felipe, which is a restored fortress that is now used as a cultural centre and a venue for musical and other artistic events.
Puerto de la Cruz has its own carnival celebrations in February each year, as well as many other colourful festivities.
One of the most important events is the evening of Saint John’s day, on 23 June, when thousands of people arrive in Puerto de la Cruz to take part in the midsummer festival. Following a Guanche tradition, herds of goats are bathed in the sea as part of the celebrations.
Puerto has a very cosmopolitan feel to it as well as being very much in the Spanish Canary Islands. English is widely spoken in its many shops, bars and restaurants, and for the north of the island it is the best place for British tourists who cannot speak Spanish to go.
There are shops of all kinds and all the small businesses and services you would expect to find in a modern town.
There is also a good variety of entertainment in Puerto, including live music ranging from pop and jazz through to more traditional Spanish folk.
Puerto de la Cruz has a bus station with services to all the main parts of the island. It is possible to get buses to take you to the airports in both the north and the south of Tenerife. You can also travel to the southern resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas from Puerto.
Being on the coast, Puerto de la Cruz, usually has the best of the weather in the north in the winter months and it is possible to go sunbathing or swimming in Puerto while Mt Teide, just an hour away by car, has snow capping its peak.