Puerto de la Cruz
For several decades now, this beautiful city has been a firm favorite among tourists from all over the world. Strolling around its charming plazas, one can feel the evident cosmopolitan city feel mixed with old colonial charm. This city houses everything a visitor can ask for. Interactive theme parks, well-equipped beaches, ancient castles and more await at Puerto de la Cruz.
Originally developed as a port for the nearby and wealthy town of La Orotava, the city harbor is still a central part of local business.
Things to Do
Visitors will never run out of things to do and places to visit in Puerto de la Cruz. The city is bustling with some of the greatest attractions on the Canaries. Gardens, historical spots, and other less crowded spots are also available for those wanting to take a break from the buzz of the city center. From sunrise to the hours after sunset, Puerto de la Cruz knows how to keep its visitors occupied.
The beaches of Puerto de la Cruz boast of black volcanic sands and clear waters. Many visitors flock to the beaches of this city to catch a tan, have fun in the waters and simply savor the vibrant coastal scene.
Situated on the outskirts of Punta de la Cruz, Playa Jardin has one small, and two large bays, separated by protruding rocks. The fine dark sand shimmers under the sun and the beach is nicely maintained and well-equipped. Providing shade for the beach-goers are the palm trees, which are part of the beautifully landscaped garden where the beach got its name. It also features colorful flowers and a charming cactus garden.
Playa de Martianez
Playa de Martianez is a small, unimposing beach at the Western end of Puerto de la Cruz. Even so, the lovely view over the sea to the mountains and the coastline is enough compensation. At the beach, visitors may enjoy good and safe swimming conditions. The not-so-gentle waves are also perfect for first-time surfers looking to have lots of fun in the waters.
Puerto de la Cruz Harbour
Located alongside Plaza del Charco is Puerto de la Cruz Harbour. Dotting the harbor are brightly-painted fishing boats that vamp up the busy scene in this area. Locals favor this small, pebbled beach for sunbathing. Others prefer to stay by the nearby cafes and food stalls and witness the comings and goings in this bustling heart of the city.
Puerto de la Cruz houses some of the most renowned theme parks in the Canary Islands. Many guests even visit because of these world-class attractions. From close encounters with wildlife to endless man-made lakes and pools, the city has it all.
Dubbed as the best zoo in Europe, Loro Parque is one of the reasons why visitors flock to Tenerife. Set within a Jurassic Park environment, this zoo is home to an extensive and diverse reserve of animals. This Thai-inspired zoo features a fun killer whale show, the only one of its kind in the Canary Islands. The thrilling shows and close animal encounters in this paradise will surely excite old and young visitors alike.
El Lago Martianez
El Lago Martinez is a jewel in the crown of Puerto de la Cruz. The complex of pools at El Lago Martianez is the biggest outdoor Museum of Contemporary Art with swimming pools in Europe. This resort also features cascading waterfalls and gorgeous landscaped gardens. Beat the heat and enjoy a refreshing dip in the waters of one of Tenerife’s most renowned attractions.
The gardens of Puerto de la Cruz are perfect for those who want to take a break from the usual coastal scene and touristy spots in the city. Feel closer to nature as you marvel at various tropical and sub-tropical plants from around the world.
Botanical Gardens (Jardin Botanico)
Puerto de la Cruz’s Botanic Gardens is stunning at every corner. This gem in the upmarket district of La Paz is home to over 5,000 exotic trees and plant specimens from all over the world. Discover the drunken tree (Palo Borracho) which seems to sway on its feet. See the sausage tree (Árbol de las Salchichas) which bears fruits of similar shape to sausages. Spot the massive, 200-year-old Higuera, with aerial roots spread over a large part of the garden.
Visiting Jardin de Orquideas de Sitio Litre is like stepping into a charming little secret garden. Housing a variety of flora, this English-style garden is a perfect spot to have some time away from the buzz of the city center. The garden owns a private mansion and has a nice café that offers delicious morning and afternoon tea.
Situated on the Taoro Mountain, this tropical oasis provides a breathtaking view over Puerto de la Cruz. The park comprises about 100,000 square meters of ornate flower beds, lush gardens, and lookout points. Parque Taoro also features illuminated fountains and cascading naturalistic waterfalls.
Risco Bello is not like any other gardens in Puerto de la Cruz. It’s wild and quasi-jungle style might not suit people who prefer their gardens more manicured. Still, many find the garden’s carefree and naturalistic atmosphere comforting and charming. Cascading waterfalls, lush pathways, wildlife and great overlooking view of the city await at Risco Bello.
Puerto de la Cruz is more than beaches and theme parks. It is also a city with a past that would make great and unique stories even hundreds of centuries from today. Visitors wanting to gain an in depth understanding of the island’s history will find what they’re looking for at these museums.
Archaeological Museum of Puerto de la Cruz
This cozy archaeological museum features a collection of aboriginal Guanche ceramics and a lovely a garden. Feel the old times atmosphere and discover the events during the Spanish conquest. Walk around the archival collections and learn how mastering clay and fire changed the lives of the island’s early inhabitants.
Museum of Contemporary Art Eduardo Westerdahl (Macew)
This museum was created by the most prominent critic of the 20th century in the Canary Islands. It was the first contemporary art museum established in Spain. Inside, visitors will find the contemporary art collection of works by outstanding foreign and Canarian artists.
Puerto de la Cruz enjoys a lively nightlife scene, especially during the weekends. Bars and restaurants dot the city offering free shots and drink deals, much to the delight of visitors and locals alike.
This friendly English bar is a must-visit for anyone holidaying in Puerto de la Cruz. It has a great selection of draught and bottled beers at extremely competitive prices. A small menu of toasties, pies, and pasties are also worth a sample.
Las Tejas Verdes
Fill the night away with live acoustic entertainment and a bottle of beer or two at Las Tejas Verdes. Situated on the side street of Plaza del Charco, the place is popular among visitors who want to cool down after a day of exploring Puerto de la Cruz.
This popular bar offers plenty of drinking and dancing opportunities. Blanco Bar has an extensive menu of cocktails and upbeat Latino and electro music that keeps its visitors entertained all night long. The friendly staff and inviting atmosphere make Blanco Bar a must-visit when trying the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.
Other Points of Interest
If the beaches and theme parks are not enough to keep visitors busy during their stay, then there are a lot more options and places to venture out to. Pay a visit to one of the most beautiful churches in the Canaries and take photographs other interesting spots in the city.
Church of Our Lady of Rock of France (Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de La Pena de Francia)
Visitors of this 1632 Catholic Church find themselves immersed in its famous art and beauty, both outside and inside. The view of its notable dark-coloured bell tower contrasting with bright blue skies and palm trees is a sight to behold.
Castillo San Felipe
This modest castle is located on the coast of Puerto de la Cruz, at the mouth of the ravine of San Felipe. Castillo San Felipe was one of the four fortresses defended the city in the 16th century. At present, the castle plays host to a variety of temporary art exhibitions and regular theater and dance performances. Its refined colonial style makes it stand out among all the castles in the Canary Islands.
Puerto de la Cruz Lighthouse
Puerto de la Cruz Lighthouse sits within a seafront car park on the west end of the city’s small port. It is one of the seven lighthouses that mark the coastline of Tenerife. The lighthouse’s striking modern design is a delight to the eyes. It’s perfect location and structure makes the lighthouse a mandatory destination for landscape photographers.
Getting to and Around Puerto de la Cruz
From the South Airport, visitors may rent a car or a cab to get to Puerto de la Cruz. Travel time is approximately one hour via TF-5 and TF-1. Some airlines now fly to the nearer North Airport, but on the whole only from mainland Spain. For travelers without much luggage, the local TITSA express bus 343 is another option to try.
In general, Tenerife has an excellent bus service, and all buses stop on C/Cupido, across the street from the now defunct bus station in the center of the city. There are also Bono cards, a convenient card that offers up to 25% discount on bus fares and museum entries.
Getting around the city also requires effort and patience. Much of Puerto de la Cruz is structured in an older, more conservative fashion. Because of this, many of the streets are narrow, one-way, and tough to navigate through. With that in mind, visitors find it easier just to walk around. Many points of interests are located in proximity to each other, and it is good to take a stroll down the streets and savor the surroundings.
Accommodation and Restaurants
Known as the most tourist-congested city in the North of Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz offers a range of options for staying and dining. From modern 5-star hotels to homey apartments and villas, this city caters to visitors from all walks of life. On the other hand, dining in the city can be a mixed affair. Most restaurants are reasonably priced and offer special menus of local and international cuisines.
Hotel Puerto de La Cruz
Located just a few steps from the beach and the city center, Hotel Puerto de la Cruz is a favorite place of stay for visitors. If the spacious rooms with balconies are not enough, the hotel also offers outdoor pools, lush gardens and a buffet restaurant and bar.
Hotel Weare La Paz
Hotel Weare La Paz is a newly renovated modern abode strategically situated near Puerto de la Cruz’s points of interest. The hotel offers stunning views of the sea and Mount Teide from its sun terrace and garden. Guests can also sample international cuisines in the buffet restaurant and snack bar.
Hotel Best Semiramis
Get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at Hotel Best Semiramis. Located in the residential area of La Paz, this five-star hotel offers fantastic views of the north coast of Tenerife. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and services like spa and sauna with steam bath, staying at Hotel Best Semiramis is a holiday in itself.
Park Plaza Apartment
Aside from extravagant hotels, Puerto de la Cruz is also a haven for great apartments. The Park Plaza Apartment is one of them. At a budget-friendly price, visitors may enjoy studio apartments with balconies and outdoor pool overlooking the city. The apartment is next to the Plaza del Charco, the tourist heart of the city.
Casa Blanca Apartment
Within walking distance from Puerto de la Cruz Beach and Lago Martianez, Casa Blanca Apartment is ideal for surfer dudes and ocean-lovers. Each unit has a simple and bright decor, and the entire property is spacious and well-equipped. Visitors who want to take a break from the salt waters may enjoy a refreshing dip in the compound’s large outdoor pool.
This five-star restaurant offers cuisines that are essentially Canarian, with international overtones. The restaurant specializes in seafood, with meals like sautéed octopus, scallops and shrimps. Aside from its mouthwatering options on the menu, Restaurante Regulo’s amiable ambiance is also noteworthy. Located in an open courtyard, guests can expect a wonderful dining experience in pristine settings.
Catering to only less than 50 visitors per night, this rustic restaurant offers an intimate dining experience. Casa Lala occupies an ordinary old house and provides a traditional Canarian upper-class feel. The local cuisines on the menu such as gofio, ropa vieja and conejo en salmorejo are an absolute treat to the taste buds. To accompany the great meal, the restaurant has ensured that there is an excellent wine cellar as well.
Restaurante Mil Sabores
Restaurante Mil Sabores is regarded as one of the most impressive restaurants and quirkiest of its kind in Tenerife. The interior of the restaurant is superb, a beautifully restored old Canarian house with an impressive modern chic flair. The cuisines are Mediterranean, but they are nowhere near typical. Each delightful dish has a personal touch to it, ensuring that the experience is unique and unrivaled with the rest of the island.
A Cosmopolitan City with Old Colonial Charm
Puerto de la Cruz has a reputation for being a sophisticated holiday destination in Tenerife. The fine attractions and restaurants and modern establishments make it a favorite among visitors and locals alike.
Interestingly, the city’s lovely old fishing port and cobblestone streets also never disappoint.
Puerto de la Cruz’s real charm does not just lie on its modern amenities or its old town feel. The perfect blend of modernity without losing its colonial roots is what captivates the hearts of its visitors.