Puerto de la Cruz | Canary Islands
City of Eternal Spring
Puerto de la Cruz, a cosmopolitan, delightful, charming old-colonial town, is located on the north coast of Tenerife, which is often regarded as one of the last remaining paradise islands.
Amuse your senses with the incredible views, amiable climate, friendly people, local wines, and of course, scrumptious seafood! This is the ultimate Spanish holiday destination with sun, sea, and sangria!
Black Sand Anyone?
Although the black volcanic sand was millions of years in the making, public layout of Playa Jardin was the brainstorm of Cesar Manrique. The beach stretches 2 kms from Castillo San Felipe to Punta Brava. This incredibly clean beach has something for everyone. If you choose a day at the beach just bring your sunscreen. The beach is well equipped with change rooms, showers, toilets, sun beds and cafes. If you're in the mood for a stroll a good place to start is Castillo San Felipe, a fort originally built to ward off pirate attacks. Saunter along the walkways and be soothed by the gardens and the breeze or just sit, with drink in hand, and be mesmerized by the people and the waves.
Playa Jardin really comes alive on the eve of June 23rd. With three celebrations rolled into one, the observation of summer solstice, the memory of the festivals held by the aboriginal Guanches, and the celebration of San Juan there are no better reasons to party. Huge bonfires are set and the festivities begin with concerts and entertainment and the merriment continues the following day in the harbour with the "bano de las cabras" or bathing of the goats. With the sharing of wine and cheese, there is most certainly dancing in the streets.
The Skinny on Puerto de la Cruz
Although Tenerife has welcomed tourists since the 1880's, Puerto de la Cruz seems to be the only city that has kept and maintained its Canarian style charm. It was trade with the British that sparked tourism and there has been no looking back. Historically, the great climate made it the "it" place for wealthier Europeans seeking a reprieve from winter conditions. Now anyone can enjoy this gem.
Puerto, as it's commonly known by locals, boasts the highest rate of return visits of any resort in the world. Why? Well, this city really does have something for everyone of any age. The locals are friendly and, like some islands around the world, there is a laid back, carefree attitude, even observing siesta. People here work to live, not live to work. This is a fun city where social activities dominate daily life.
The Loro Parque is home to the worlds largest Parrot collection with over 300 species. The park is huge, spanning a whopping 135,000 square meters, the layout is impressive and the grounds are immaculately kept.
Loro Parque's commitment is to rescue and protect animals from all over the world. Many of the animals in the park have been rescued from private owners who kept them illegally and mistreated them. Many creatures on display in the park include chimpanzees, sea lions, gorillas, marmosets, pelicans, iguanas, alligators, flamingos, jaguars, giant tortoises, tigers, exotic fish, including piranhas.
The Loro Parque Express, a complimentary yellow train, operates from Plaza Reyes Catolicos to the park and back again. It runs every 20mins from 9am - 6:45pm. The cost of admission is a little high, 30€ per adult and 19€ for children, but well worth it.
What Is in Loro Park?
An incomparable dolphin show - Dolphinarium, the Parrot Show - Lorovision, Free-Flying Birds, Orca Ocean, Sea-Lion Show, Planet Penguin, Orchid House, the best Aquarium in Europe, sharks viewed from the longest underwater tunnel in the world. Also Tiger Island, Gorilla Jungle, Bat Cave, Gambian Market and Thai Village.
Where in the World is Paradise?
The Macaronesian region, or Macronesia is composed of several Atlantic island groups, and one of them is the Canary Islands, which is a territory of Spain.
Tenerife, the largest island of seven islands in the Canary archipelago, is 320 Km off the Moroccan coast. The island is located at about 28Â° latitude and it has a surface area of 2,034 KmÂ².
Situated on the North-Central coast of Tenerife, Puerto de La Cruz is the most popular resort in that area of the Island, just 35 Km from the capital, Santa Cruz.
The Perfect Combination of Fun, Architecture and the Sea
With inspiration taken from the sea, sky and local geography, Lanzarote architect Cesar Manrique envisioned a "lake". These open-air salt water pools, seven in total, is an exceptional example of public space using local Canarian style architecture, cacti spotted islands made from lava, and sculptures that could only be born from Manrique himself.
It is easy to lose track of time with so much, or so little, to do. Whether you are there for a swim, a stroll, a little sun worshipping, a meal or for the casino, lido Martianez is magical day or night. With the backdrop being either the Teide or the ocean one will never tire of the view.
Plaza del Charco
The Place to Meet!
For generations Plaza del Charco has been the "meeting place". The main square in old Puerto de la Cruz is filled with cafes and surrounded by restaurants. There are newspaper stands, candy vendors and benches all around to rest or to meet.
The plaza is, in every sense of the word, the hub. From its centre, the city branches off onto pedestrian streets. Just a short walk in any direction, and you'll be delighted by quaint stores that carry local handicrafts, cafes and bars, produce stores (the bananas are absolutely delicious), fantastic wine stores and the old harbor.
Rock and Roll
San Telmo is a neighborhood that bridges old Puerto to new Puerto. That "bridge", Paseo San Telmo, is dense with tourists, stores, gelato shops, and restaurants. The hotel lined streets and avenues behind the walkway reach out like arms, encouraging travelers to rest.
Do yourself a favor and walk down a flight of stairs to the natural lava pools and a small pebbly beach. Literally in seconds you can have a quick dip and be refreshed from a hard day of shopping.
On the eastern end of the walkway you will discover San Telmo Ermita. This chapel was founded in 1780 by the Mareantes Guild and dedicated to San Pedro Telmo, patron saint of seamen. The hermitage is a nice contrast to the hotels in the background.
San Telmo Walkway
A Worldwide Contribution
Nestled in the Orotava valley, just above Puerto de la Cruz is the "Jardin de Aclimatacion de La Orotava". Jardin Botanico, as it is commonly known, was created in 1788 to acclimatize plants from different places around the world, with the final destination to Europe.
This magnificent garden's flora collection spans five continents and it is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle, and the heat for that matter.
Bring your camera and give yourself the time to truly explore all the species including orchids, birds of paradise, a gigantic banyan tree, palms of all sizes, and the fragrant guavas.
You Can Grow Your Own Palm Trees
Jardin Botanico has more than 150 species of palms. Palm trees are relatively maintenance free and are not significantly bothered by insects and disease. Date Palm - Phoenix Canariensis or Majestic Palm - is the most desirable palm to give a tropical look to any landscape. The trees grow to 50ft tall with leaves up to 20ft long.
Situated in the old part of Puerto de la Cruz, on the west side of Playa Jardin, Punta Brava emerges. The twisted lava rocks jut out like a chin awaiting a blow. When watching the waves beat against Punta Brava you appreciate its name, Angry Point.
There is something quaint about this old neighborhood; perhaps it is the narrow sidewalks, the colourful houses huddle together, the churches, the fishermen, local restaurants, the beach or it could be the lack of tourists, whatever the reason, Punta Brava should not be missed. Here you get a real taste of Puerto living.
Find Your Way There
The size of this guide, the layout, and most importantly the content, served me so well. I could fit it into any bag. I literally used it on a daily basis!
Find Out Where Your Favorite Place Is In Puerto
The belly rules the mind - A Spanish Proverb
There are 4 elements that I use to determine a good dining experience; quality of food, good beer/wine list, service, and ambiance. I can honestly say that 95% of the restaurants or cafes that I ate in met these requirements!
The cuisine of Tenerife combines traditional Spanish recipes with African and Latin-American influences. Popular dishes includes: Canarian style potatoes, Tenerife bananas, Salmorejo chicken or rabbit, and of course, mariscos (seafood).
My favorite places were the smaller, more intimate restaurants where the locals go. As an added bonus I didn't have to wander far to discover some of the best food I have ever tasted.
La Tasquita de Min - Calle Mequinez, 2 (next to the wharf)
This was one of the local restaurants that I kept coming back to. I have never tasted mussels as delicious as I had here and their baked unripe goat cheese is well worth a mention. Benjamin, the owner is always running and the servers, like Mario, were fun. The the wine was nice and the locals kept the place hopping! Best of all, it was only a 2 minute walk from pension Rosa Mari.
Marisqueria El Pescado - Venezuela Ave. C/Uruguay, 5
Just behind the Avenida de Colon (the main promenade in front of Lago Martianez) is the Marisqueria El Pescado. There was what I call a restaurant recruiter (you'll encounter these hard working people along the most visited tourist areas) that convinced me that this particular place had awesome seafood and a nice wine list. Well, he was right. All the seafood that I tasted melted in my mouth and the waitress knew her wine. I have to say that Canarians know seafood! Period.
Can you handle 300 days of sunshine a year?
Monthly Average Temperatures, Rainfall and Sunshine Hours
Pto. de la Cruz has one of the most pleasant climates on the planet, as spring temperatures dominate throughout the year. During the cooler days the thermometer doesn't drop under 15ÂºC and rarely gets higher than 29ÂºC on the hotter days. As a result, the year average is a delightful 22ÂºC.
Where to Rest Your Weary Feet
From Cheap to Chic
There is definitely something for everyone when it comes to accommodations in Puerto de la Cruz. You can use the star rating (1-5) of hotels to determine which hotel better suits your needs.
Keep in mind that geography within the city does not necessarily determine price. In fact, it is not uncommon to see a 2-star and a 4-star hotel within a short walking distance of each other.
Five Star Luxury - Expect Nothing but the Best
Hotel Botanico is one of the most prestigious hotels of the Canaries and a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Botanico "Blends subtropical nature, western comfort and Asian hospitality in a movie setting".
One previous guest affirms, "The hotel is very luxurious and we were made to feel very welcome, everywhere we went the staff greeted us with hellos and smiles. The grounds are very beautiful, with two black swans swimming in the large pond, terrapins and Japanese koi."
How About One Star Luxury?
Are you Inn?
If you're on a tighter budget, or if you want to spend your money on things other than accommodations, consider Pensions (think of very small hotels). These are a great way to save money.
One that I can personally recommend is called Rosa Mari. The immaculately kept Rosa Mari offers single and double rooms with ensuite bathrooms, it is equipped with an elevator, and provides exceptional service.
Situated on Calle San Felipe, just off of the Plaza del Charco, is just one of many reasons that makes this pension appealing. The central location means that you can walk to Playa Jardin in under 15 minutes, plus you are literally minutes away from some of the best restaurants in town. And at 30€ per night you can find a lot to do with your savings.
The Double Deluxe room starts at approximately 180€ per night and the Junior Ambassador room starts at 305€ per night. Check availability for the Ambassador, Penthouse & Jacuzzi suites and the grand Royal Suite.
Puerto de la Cruz Viewpoint - Plaza Mirador de la Paz
"Sums up 8 different areas of the island listing their highlights. Points of interest can easily be located on the maps provided. Color-coded tabs allow easy referencing of topics and routes. Great photos. A good source of information and a "must have" while travelling in Tenerife."
Welcome to Friendly Puerto de la Cruz
Looking for ways to get to Tenerife, or more importantly to Puerto de la Cruz? Well, it's easier than you think. Tenerife has a solid infrastructure so transportation is never really an issue. The easiest way of course is to arrive by plane at either of the two airports. After you arrive at the airport you can rent a car, hail a taxi or jump on the bus. I took the bus which allowed me to sit back and enjoy the view.
If arriving by boat is more your style you can take a ferry from mainland Spain. Or if you want to island hop, there are hydrofoil (jet ferries) services that run from Tenerife to all other islands.
Whatever you decide, relax, you're now on island time!
Tenerife has two airports, Los Rodeos (Tenerife Norte) and Reina Sofia (Tenerife Sur). The closest airport to Puerto de la Cruz is Tenerife North (TFN), 27 Km (17 mi.), just 20 minutes away by car. Whereas Tenerife South is 111 Km (69 mi.), 1:45 to 2:00 hours from Puerto.
Tenerife North airport, the smaller of two airports on the island of Tenerife, primarily handles scheduled domestic flights from Madrid and Barcelona, plus flights to and from the other Canary Islands. On the other hand, Tenerife South airport handles nearly all of the island's direct international flights.
Car rentals are everywhere. And because of this, their rates are very competitive. Most company day rates start at 20€ and then go up in price depending on the type of car you want. Places like Auto Reisen or CICAR have deals where you can hire a car for 100€ per week! Hires usually include unlimited mileage, insurance and tax. You just pay for the gas (fuel or petrol).
This is a terrific and inexpensive way to tour the island. There are no parking meters but finding parking in cities like Santa Cruz can be tricky. Keep in mind that 99% of cars will be standard (or stick shift), automatic cars are hard to find and the driver needs to be over 21 years old.
Free Maps & Guides
There are no trains or underground (subways) on Tenerife, but there is an efficient network of public buses, called guaguas (pronounced wah wahs by the locals) , which connects most towns and cities. The bus routes are called lineas in Spanish.
The national bus service company is TITSA. The bus fares are really cheap and the buses are very comfortable, clean and air conditioned. The service is very reliable; which makes traveling around the island really fun!
Bono-Bus is a multitravel pre-paid card. By purchasing a Bono-Bus ticket you can save approximately 30 to 50% off the fare and get free transfers. They are available for 12€ and 30€, and they might even last you the whole stay!
Buses to and from Puerto de la Cruz
Notice that each bus route has a number such as 103. This same number is used for buses running in both directions.
102 & 103 Santa Cruz - 45 min.
325 Los Gigantes - 90 min.
102 & 340 Tenerife North airport - 20 min.
340 Tenerife South airport - 90 min.
343 Los Cristianos/Las Americas - 75 min.
363 Icod/Garachico/Buenavista - 80 min.
Another great way of getting around Tenerife is by taxi. They are reasonably cheap and fast. Most of the cars are Mercedes so they are quite comfortable and can be recognized by the green light on top. When the light is lit they are available and can be flagged down in the street or picked up at the taxi ranks. A good place to catch one is beside Plaza del Charco.
The minimum charge is 2€. Expect to pay 25-35€ from Los Rodeos airport and 70-80€ from Reina Sofia airport to Puerto de la Cruz. I arranged to have a cab to pick me up at 5am to go to the airport and it was there 10 minutes in advance, now that's service!
If you are going a long way it is always best to try to get a rough price before you set out. At peak times, a traffic jam in a taxi can cost a small fortune!
Know Before You Go
Bookmark These Insider Tips
- Arm yourself with a and learn the basics. People will appreciate that you are putting forth an effort and you won't be so frustrated, making your holidays that much more enjoyable! Spanish Phrasebook
- Take some euros to avoid rushing for cash upon arrival. There aren't very many currency places open on Sundays.
- Tenerifians observe siesta between 1pm and 4pm. Although some shops remain open, it is a good time to chill out. Visiting the Jardin Botanico during this time is a little piece of heaven.
- Bring your driver's license even if you don't plan on renting a car. It's not heavy, doesn't take up space and you may find yourself deciding to hire a car after all.
- Pack a sweater or light jacket for chilly evenings or drives into the mountains.
- No need for an umbrella, it really doesn't rain here.
But do protect your head and wear a hat. Your body will also appreciate some sunscreen as well!
- When taking a cab, write down the destination name before hand and show it to the driver.
- Share a 30€ Bono-Bus card. This card is also transferable, so you can get just one and share it with your fellow travelers.
- If your shadow is shorter than you, get out of the sun, go for a gelato and sit under a tree.
- Tipping is not necessary, nor is it expected but a little something is always nice.
- Los Rodeos (Tenerife North Airport) opens at 6am. Don't make the same mistake I made by showing up early and having to wait outside.
- Print these tips!
- Puerto de la Cruz Tourist Information
You can find more information about Puerto de la Cruz on the official website of the Puerto de la Cruz town council.
- Puerto de la Cruz Videos
The most complete collection of videos from Puerto de la Cruz.
- Secret Tenerife Blog
Visiting Tenerife? Want to discover the real nature of this beautiful, sub-tropical Canary Island? We aim to open a window onto this world, far beyond the usual brochure images, with photos, news, history and other items of interest.
- Puntoinfo on Puerto de la Cruz
Tenerife Island Council website which offers a cultural, social, historical and organizational overview of the island.
- Vida del Sol Blog (en FranÃ§ais)
Et oui, Vida de Sol, c'est le blog, mais aussi d'autres contributions sur le net, toujours autour du theme de Tenerife evidemment!
- Learn Spanish in Puerto de la Cruz
don Quijote school is just a 2-minute walk from Lago Martianez. Once you arrive, you will find it hard to leave.
- Tenerife Bus Schedule (TITSA)
Transportes Interurbanos De Tenerife, S.A. (TITSA) has a great website where you can download route maps and timetables.
- Tenerife News Online
News from Tenerife in English
- Tenerife Weather Traveller's Guide
While the weather in Tenerife is terrific for most of the year, you still need to be aware of possible weather hazards that may coincide with your arrival.