... leisure area with swimming pools in the capital

With the help of the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique, The Palmetum, the Auditorium, etc., Santa Cruz de Tenerife is slowly leaving behind its image as a city full of airs and stresses. At least that was my opinion of the capital, maybe from the point of view of a village girl … 🙂 In recent years it has joined forces with nature and leisure. The area where the park is has become a global model for transformation, with a lot of effort and persistence.

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The stretch of coast where the Parque maritimo is located, to the south of the city, was always controversial. All the unpleasant services in Santa Cruz are located in that area, so any kind of urban development was restricted.


Origins of the Parque Marítimo César Manrique

As we already mentioned, Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique is in a controversial area. There is a refinery, an abattoir, the island’s rubbish tip (‘el Lazareto’), dog pounds and a never-ending list of services. They are necessary for the city but never pleasant on the eye (or the nose).

In December 1991, a project was drawn up to drastically change the area, and particularly the south entrance to the capital. In that project they anticipated cleaning up the area by making some of the services there disappear. The hellish, pestilent environment of El Lazareto (a mountain of rubbish) would be transformed into the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique or one of the most important palm tree botanical gardens in the world, The Palmetum.


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It isn’t fair to start the description of such a pretty place in this way. But sometimes the most incredible places have origins which leave us truly perplexed. The Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique is one of them 🙂

We can now confirm that that ambitious desire of the 90s is almost fully complete. The area is a perfect example of sanitation and the social reactivation of a place.


Entry prices

The prices are very competitive, as adults pay €2.50. It’s €1.50 for under 12s and over 65s, and large families get a 30% discount. There are also reductions in price for the disabled, unemployed and those who purchase the Twin Ticket. The latter gets you entry into both The Palmetum and Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique in Santa Cruz – no doubt one of the best water parks in Tenerife.


Facilities at the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique in Santa Cruz

There is no way of hiding that this is a work (albeit posthumous) by César Manrique. It features a lot of typical natural Canary Island elements, like volcanic rocks, palm trees and indigenous botany. This is in addition to the wind toys which are easily recognisable as being by the sculptor from Lanzarote.


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There is another swimming pool complex that owes its design to César Manrique: Costa Martiánez El Lago in Puerto de la Cruz.

The Santa Cruz Parque Maritimo opened in 1995 and can accommodate some 3,000 people. Within its 22,000m2 recreational leisure zone you will find lots of services in ample space. Under the main door there are free toilets, showers and changing rooms. There is an outdoor fitness complex, shops and a hammock, airbed and hat service. The entry price includes a hammock and hat for each customer.


There are three salt water swimming pools. Within the two main ones you will find artificial islands. They are different depths, so there are areas with beach-type access and others with stairs.


In the pool near the Auditorium there is a restaurant in the middle. There are plenty of garden walkways leading to the different parts of the solarium at the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique.

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The tan you'll get from one day of sun at Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique is equivalent to three days at the beach! This is thanks to the refraction of the sun on the ground.


The children’s swimming pool (in the middle) is mainly used by children congregating and splashing.

The waterfall pool has a restaurant and disco on one side, but that isn’t part of the leisure zone at the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique.


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The waterfall is usually switched on every morning to fill the pool to its maximum capacity. It is also on in the summer at around midday.

The enclosure at the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique in Santa Cruz is equipped to welcome disabled people or those with reduced mobility. It has an aquatic lift, amphibious chair to help people into the water, bathrooms with European taps (which are exclusively for use by disabled people) and they will soon add a lift in the entrance area.


In the summer season there are reinforcements of staff and activities for guests, such as a notable increase in lifeguards (11 in summer and 2 in winter), as the number of bathers enjoying the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique is larger. Therefore, as they are open all year, make the most of it and head over between November and February, when there is almost absolute certainty that you will be able to use one pool or another exclusively.


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The coastal where the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique is found is an especially privileged place. The sun shines there almost all year round.

Near the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique in Santa Cruz you will find buildings with great historical value. Explore the gunpowder castle or house (Casa de la pólvora)- one of the first buildings constructed on the island. What about the black castle of San Juan Bautista, which protected Caleta de los Negros or Puerto de Caballos – a strategic point in the 18th century? There is also The Palmetum, which is a unique botanical garden with its collection of palm trees, the cascade building with two clubs and the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín.


Getting there

The Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique in Santa Cruz is easy to access and has ample parking. You should head for the capital of the island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, towards the coast. Then look for the Recinto Ferial, Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín and The Palmetum.


Final comments from the authors about the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique

On this occasion we could only spend a few hours there. As it was September there were few entertainment activities, but it was calm and the temperature was ideal. Noah liked the pleasant water temperature, and he made friends with another boy who he then shared his aquatic toys with.


Fábio enjoyed a well-deserved rest and I walked around almost the whole complex. I poked around the gardens, almost all of the facilities and the kiosks in the park. We definitely spent some great time as a family at the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.