Playa de la Arena is located on the south-west coast of the island of Tenerife. It is becoming a popular destination for Most vacationers gravitate towards popular destinations, and it’s no different in Tenerife. Tourist attractions such as Los Gigantes and Puerto Santiago are great. However, venturing out to Playa de la Arena, their lesser-known neighbor also located in the municipality of Santiago del Teide, offers a unique travel experience worth trying.
Why Visit Playa de Arena
Playa de la Arena is a 175-meter long and 75-meter wide cove of fine black sand. It boasts calm waters, peaceful surroundings, and a laid-back vibe that is great for families and those looking to recharge. In this natural beauty, you can leave the hustle and bustle of major tourist spots without sacrificing comfort. It has all essential amenities, a commercial strip, and nearby accommodations. In addition, this free-for-all beach is well-placed, being around fascinating marine life and a short distance away from some of the island’s most exciting sights.
The highly coveted blue flag has been flying on Playa de la Arena’s pristine bay for 32 straight years, making it the longest beach in the Canary Islands to hold the status. This well-recognized annual award is granted to beaches, marinas, and boat tour operators that pass the foundation’s stringent evaluation on the bathing waters’ quality. To get it, candidates must meet and maintain strict accessibility, environmental, educational, and safety criteria.
La Arena Beach’s winning streak started in 1987 but sadly ended in 2020 and is still without it in 2021. The beach fell short in meeting the incredibly high standard for achieving blue flag status, but it certainly meets minimum quality for bathing water. Thus, it remains a great choice for vacationers, with excellent online reviews in recent years to settle any doubts.
An Uncrowded Paradise with All Modern Conveniences
Playa de la Arena boasts glimmering sand, swaying palm trees, fairly calm waters, and a superb view that is even more specular as the sun sets over La Gomera on the horizon. All these things work together to lend the beach a tropical feel and turn it into a perfect place for relaxation away from the tourism hubbub. Here, you can have a taste of the quieter side of life with the volcanic landscape under your feet.
Located in a part of the Tenerifethat enjoys some of the best weather, it hardly ever rains in Playa de la Arena, even in the winter months. This makes it an excellent spot for tourists searching for sun, sand, sea, smiles, and serenity. It’s also wheelchair accessible, with several gentle paths from the promenade leading down to the beach. Families with kids visit as well, but the cove can grow too deep too fast for little ones, so it’s best they stay supervised and just alongside the water at all times.
From the boardwalk, you’ll see a good number of loungers and parasols at Playa de la Arena. The beach is also equipped with nine toilets, twenty showers, a first-aid post, and, on high season, a lifeguard service. Additionally, the main road, commercial establishments, and a medical center are nearby the inlet.
Plenty of Things to Do & Places to Visit
With the commercial strip just across the road, vacationers need not go far to enjoy a cocktail right before or after hitting La Arena beach. It has an active day and nightlife hosted by the dozens of bars, pubs, and restaurants in the area. In the evening, family-friendly bars with karaoke and/or live performances typically pull the crowd.
If you enjoy water sports or want to learn a new one, Playa de la Arena is an ideal place to do so. Many tourists try windsurfing, water-skiing, and paragliding during the high season. It also serves as the playground to several diving clubs due to the rich marine life in the area and the jaw-dropping volcanic rocks that envelop the beach. Another popular option is snorkeling, a more economical and low-commitment activity that allows vacationers to admire the endemic species dwelling in its unique seabed.
Moreover, vacationers can visit other nearby waterfront attractions to experience the various characteristics of the Tenerife coastline. El Charco de Isla Cangrejois perfect for less confident swimmers as its pool serves as protection from crashing waves. On the other hand, Cueva del Tancón, or simply El Tancón, is a volcanic sea cave that must only be admired and left untested. Swimming is not allowed here due to the deadly and unforeseeable behavior of its waters.
Additionally, visiting the viewpoints close by is something all holidaymakers must try as it affords the island’s best panoramic views. Mirador Archipenqueand Mirador Puerto de los Gigantes are two of the best in this side of Tenerife and are excellent spots for admiring Los Gigantes. They also offer incredible views of the town and the harbor, but the latter is much lower and closer to the sea. FYI: The Los Gigantes marina has whale- and dolphin-watching tours on offer vacationers can avail.
If the walk to the observation decks isn’t enough and your senses crave more outdoor exposure, completing the Masca walking trail may be a great activity for you. The track is set in a ravine in the Natural Park of Teno and can extend down to the sea, where a boat can be arranged to bring you back to one of the coastal towns. This hike takes between 3 to 6 hours to complete, depending on how experienced the hiker is, and goes through a long path that includes some of the most challenging terrains in Tenerife, so it’s not for the faint of heart.
Weather in Playa de la Arena
The weather in Playa de la Arena is pleasant and warm almost all year round, peaking at 24°C in August or September. As expected, the temperatures drop during winter, but not by much at approximately 20°C.
Heading to Playa de la Arena, but no idea where to stay? Don’t worry because the options are almost endless. You can get as close as you want to the beach and the restaurants or go for a more budget-friendly choice. No matter what your requirements are, there’s a perfect place for you. Here’s a list of exciting accommodations you must consider when vacationing in the area.
Landmar Playa La Arena
Previously named Be live experience Playa la Arena, this hotel is only 50 meters from the La Arena beach. The rooms here are spacious and minimally decorated yet chic. Its amenities include a tennis court, mini-golf, table tennis, and an outdoor pool. Close to various attractions, Landmarcomes is highly rated by former guests and is popular with couples.
Only a 10-minute walk from the La Arena Beach, the Allegro Isora, formerly known as the Barcelo Varadero, features 3 outdoor pools, a wellness center, and a children’s pool. There are many activities offered in this hotel, as well as a long list of beauty and spa treatments. The restaurants at the Allegro Isora feature a buffet restaurant, a snack bar, and a lounge. Book Now!
The Hotel Bahia Flamingo is along the Avenida Maritima Puerto de Santiago and just a few minutes walk away from Playa de la Arena. It has a vintage feel, and the rooms come with the same vibe. The place has a buffet restaurant for breakfast and dinner, as well as an outdoor bar with access to the large pool. Book Now!
A hotel just 400 meters from the beach, the Hotel BlueSea Lagos de Cesar is a fantastic choice for a kid-friendly resort, where the whole family can feel welcome. Here, guests can take advantage of the fitness center, outdoor pool, and hotel entertainment team-facilitated activities while the kids are having fun in the Mini Club. Book Now!
Vacationers looking for a place that feels like home but with access to hotel-like amenities will love the Aparthotel Los Dragos Del Sur. It offers spacious modern apartments with a private terrace overlooking the sea or pool at a steal. In addition, there are swimming pools, a fitness gym, and laundry within the property. Guests can also rent a car or bicycle and seek assistance from the 24-hour front desk. Book Now!
Just behind Playa de la Arena is a commercial avenue with plenty of restaurants and cafes serving international or Canarian cuisine. While surrounded by all-inclusive hotels, the gastronomic scene in this family-friendly resort is tempting enough to have vacationers exploring. Plus, experiencing the local culture through food is a massive part of holidaying in Tenerife, especially if you go for traditional dishes.
Poggetto Ristorante Italiano
Chef Michele of Poggetto Ristorante is originally from Tuscany. Together with his son and wife, they bring a taste of Italy and its well-known hospitality to La Arena beach.
Dining in Poggetto was a positive experience that started with seafood salad. It had calamari, prawns, veggies, fruits, and a squeeze of lemon to balance the taste of the meat proteins. We then devoured truffle tagliatelle, burrata ravioli, and cod with pistachio dressing. These dishes all seem so uncomplicated yet incredibly delicious and luxurious, making you feel like you’re cheating at life with every bite.
Additionally, there’s an evident mastery of pasta in this restaurant. The swirl of noodles and stuffed pasta parcels are handmade and just had enough sauce to keep everything well-lubricated. More importantly, the sauce is fresh and bursting with flavors with a good hint of garlic and basil.
The wines, which are also all from Tuscany, and dessert on offer at Poggetto Ristorante must be celebrated as well. I had a glass of Borgobruno, a perfect pair to my pasta, and mojito sorbet to end my lovely Playa de la Arena dinner.
La Quinta Restaurante
Walking along the commercial avenue behind Playa de la Arena as the waves roll into the shore, we decided to try La Quinta a little before lunch service. We read online that it is the go-to restaurant for unique rice dishes in Puerto Santiago, and we were not disappointed. It is truly a place you go to for an authentic yet unique culinary experience.
As you enter the ocean-front restaurant, you’ll immediately be welcomed by the vibrancy of Mireya, the owner, and assisted by a pleasant waitstaff. The food already on other tables will also surely catch your attention, as they smell and look appetizing.
Known to put a creative twist on traditional Spanish and Canarian dishes, we decided to try La Quinta’s version of our familiar favorites. The croquettes filled with goat meat sauce and topped with lemon mayonnaise were refreshing, while the rib-eye steak with cinnamon was unusual yet insanely delicious. For the rice dish, we ordered pork rib and sausage paella. It isn’t something new but nonetheless above average.
La Quinta has a great selection of local wines on offer and knowledgeable staff that can help you decide which one is best for your taste. You can also opt for a cup of coffee like I did. No one can deny that coffee pairs well with anything.
Delhi Darbar is an Indian restaurant a few minutes walk away from Playa de la Arena and is also along Avenida Marítima Puerto de Santiago. The signage with its name and the slogan “experience wow!!” lights up the street, the friendly staff welcoming you in with a lovely smile. It’s a reasonably sized place that’s pretty packed, even on a Tuesday night.
After scouring the Delhi Darbar menu, my famished group chose papadums and mango chutney to get us going. A pint of Cobra beer for me and a glass of house white and red wine for the rest. We got the tandoori mix grill to share for starter, which arrived piping hot and smelling incredible.
For our mains, we went for pilau rice, naan, and lamb methi to share. The lamb was succulent and rich in aromatic herbs but with just enough spiciness for us. After the first bite, there was no question in my mind why this is a strong hit with diners. To mix our dinner up a bit, we ordered a hearty saag aloo side dish. It’s mildly spiced yet tastes so delicious.
We were stuffed after this Indian feast and wholly convinced that the Delhi Darbar’s flavor-packed menu can win over anyone.
How to Reach Playa de Arena
Playa de la Arena is an accessible urban beach. It’s only a 30-minute drive away from Tenerife South Airport, while it takes more than an hour when coming from Tenerife North Airport, also known as Los Rodeos Airport, via taxi or rental car.
If you prefer going by public transport, vacationers coming from TFS must ride the bus line 111 then get on bus line 473 in Costa Adeje. The entire trip would take almost 2 hours. On the other hand, it takes around 3 hours to reach La Arena beach from TFN via bus lines 20, 110, then 473. All routes mentioned have a bus every 30 minutes.
Untapped Paradise with Modern Comforts
The sunny Playa de la Arena has natural black sand, warm waters, and an uncrowded bay. There are great local and international restaurants for hearty meals, light snacks, and cold beverages just across the beach, along with exciting attractions a short distance away. While modern comforts are undoubtedly in abundance, it’s still an untapped paradise, with other big tourist resorts in Tenerife attracting much of the vacationers.