One of Europe's First Tourist Destinations
Puerto de la Cruz is the smallest municipality on the island. “El Puerto” attracts many tourists thanks to its friendly atmosphere and tranquillity and has a thriving fishing industry.
The famous Puerto de la Cruz was one of Spain’s and Europe's first tourist resorts, and welcomed many visitors who were looking to enjoy mild temperatures during the winter months. Although the average temperature isn't as high as in the southern regions, the fact that Puerto de la Cruz is located on the coast means that it benefits from a better climate than other northern towns just a few kilometres away.
Tenerife Travel Secret
Puerto de la Cruz was La Orotava's main port until 1808, when it gained full autonomy and became a municipality.
Almost all of the towns in Tenerife not only have great beaches for soaking up the sun and going for a swim, but also a rich history. Our suggested route through Puerto de la Cruz starts at the car park near the dock. From there, you walk alongside the beach towards Plaza de El Charco, which leads on to Iglesia de la Peña de Francia via Calle Miranda, a pedestrian street that runs through the square. Crossing Calle de Santo Domingo, you'll arrive at Paseo de San Telmo and its chapel. From here, you can see the breath-taking San Telmo beach and the Lago Martiánez pool complex. Afterwards, you head towards Playa Martiánez, where you can take in some spectacular views from the top of the northern cliffs.
You can head back the same way, but we recommend that you go to the end of Paseo San Telmo and head down towards Plaza de Europa – where you can watch the waves as they crash against the shoreline. The historic buildings of Casa Miranda, formerly La Marquesa hotel, and Casa de la Aduana (Customs House) are also worth a visit. We then recommend you go and see one of the newest attractions in Puerto de la Cruz: the graffiti in Barrio de la Ranilla. Walking alongside the Playa Jardín beaches, you'll reach Loro Parque – which is a must see and a great place for a fun family day out. We recommend that you spend an entire day there, and see the dolphin, whale and sea lion shows. The park is also home to penguins, tigers and a wide variety of primates.
Tenerife Travel Secret
Loro Parque is one of the best zoos in the world. It is also home to quite possibly the largest number of parrots in the world.
Our route then takes you outside of the town centre and towards the Jardines de Taoro, where you'll find the old casino, an enormous amount of plant life and some amazing views. If you walk from there towards the La Paz district (where there is a great clifftop vantage point), you'll arrive at the Adaptación Botanical Garden – which is the home of a large number of plant and vegetable species from South America, Africa and Asia.
Being so close to the coast, you definitely have to go and see one of the municipality's many beaches – which are characterized by their black sand and small stones. Playa Jardín has three artificial beaches (Castillo, del Charco and Punta Brava or María Jiménez) which span over a kilometre of gardened coastline and are the work of Canarian artist Cesar Manrique. Inside of Puerto de la Cruz' historic centre, you'll find Playa del Muelle and Playa de San Telmo – both pebbled beaches (so they're ideal for those of you who don't like sand) and some great terraces close to Paseo de San Telmo, where you can enjoy basking in the sun.
After walking for a while along Paseo de San Telmo, you'll find yourself at Lago Martiánez by Cesar Manrique – an artificial lake with more than 27,000 cubic meters of sea water spread across various swimming pools for both adults and children. Last, but certainly not least, Playa Martiánez is perhaps the most emblematic beach in Puerto de la Cruz. With its black sand and wonderful walks along the Martiánez cliffs, it is a very popular spot with surfers and bodyboarders.
Tenerife Travel Secret
Puerto de la Cruz has an average temperature of about 22°C, which is an ideal temperature for lounging on the beach and enjoying a walk by the sea. Be careful during very hot days, as the sand often gets too hot to walk on with bare feet.
Most of the accommodation options in Puerto de la Cruz are tailored for visitors who are looking for some peace and quiet, relaxed walks on the beach and to be in close proximity to the local inhabitants. One of our favourite hotels is the Hotel Botánico and Oriental Spa Garden, which has a classical style, over 25,000 square meters of gardens, a spa, outdoor and indoor pools and decking – as well as a sauna and Turkish bathhouse. There is also Hotel Tryp Puerto de la Cruz, which is just a short walk away from Playa Jardín, and is a perfect place to stay during a family holiday.
We also recommend Hotel Parque San Antonio, which can be found close to the Taoro Gardens, but is itself a botanical garden. Many of its rooms have great views of Mount Teide, the valley and the sea. Hotel Sol Costa Atlantis and H10 Tenerife Playa can be found opposite Lago Martiánez. H10's terrace has a particularly spectacular view of the northern coast. Hotel Monopol and Hotel Marquesa have the richest history of all the accommodation in Puerto de la Cruz, as well as traditional Canarian architecture.
The entertainment on offer in Puerto de la Cruz is very diverse. There are regular cultural events, like the Embarkation of La Virgen del Carmen last Tuesday and 16th July, when all the locals in the area gather at Playa del Muelle to watch the Virgin as she goes out to sea. There is also the Festival de Mueca, which has become famous in recent years and is now one of the island's most valuable springtime traditions. In terms of nightlife, there's a lot on offer at the weekend around Plaza del Charco – particularly at Blanco Bar and Limbo.
If, after reading about all that Puerto de la Cruz can offer, you want to spend a short break in this traditional place, you can get there by renting a car or catching a bus at the north airport, Los Rodeos, (which is the area's closest airport).
I personally have many great childhood memories of Puerto de la Cruz: going to the beach in El Castillo with my parents and brother, learning to swim in the sea at Playa de San Telmo and, most of all, a lot of nights out and parties with my friends. This is why I really wanted to share with you what Puerto de la Cruz has to offer to you in Tenerife. Go and enjoy the town's charm, its rich history, the food and black volcanic sand that glistens in the sun. But most of all, simply go and take in Puerto de la Cruz's tranquil atmosphere.