Known as the ‘Port of the Cross’, Puerto de la Cruz is naturally, a port city that is built close to a huge body of water (read: the sea) and comes with the requisite beachy spots. With relatively mild weather throughout the year, including winter, the city is a pleasant place to spend any day, and a surefire way to free up your mind and enjoy the sun, sand and sea. Here are the top things to do while in Puerto De La Cruz.
1. Playa Jardin
Puerto de la Cruz is often considered the most popular resort in the north of Tenerife boasting one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, which would of course be Playa Jardin. Extremely stylish and distinctive for its volcanic sand, this is a must-visit for the thousands of tourists who flock to the same summer destination yearly, as if they were migratory birds. And it’s not wonder; Playa Jardin was landscaped for peace and relaxation by famous artist/architect César Manrique.
Running from the old part of town to Castillo de San Felipe in the west of the town, palm trees guide your way and sway in a gentle sea breeze surrounding its lengthy stretch of fine, dark-colored sand. With its glorious blue skies and a wonderful warm sun, all your worries will just wash away once you take a cool dip in the temperate waters. Not to mention, the beach also bears plenty of shower facilities available too for washing off after a dip.
Address: Av. Francisco Afonso Carrillo, 6, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
2. El Lago Martianez
Three things to look out for when you come to El Lago Martianez: leisure, gastronomy, and culture. That’s what Costa Martianez has to offer. But beyond the beach, there’s also been an ongoing coastal transformation project to change the beach into something so much more, led by a prestigious technical team, led by the renowned artist César Manrique, who created this unique complex in the first place, blending traditional Canarian architecture with touches of native flora and original sculptures.
Its artificial sea water lake is in addition to four other adult pools and three for children, each with its own beautiful unique design. Essentially a resort, El Lago Martianez also possesses a wide range of bars, restaurants and refreshment stands, for all your food needs.
El Lago Martianez
Address: Av. de Cristobal Colón, s/n, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Website: El Lago Martianez
3. Botanical Garden
It’s big, bold and beautiful, the Puerto de la Cruz Botanical Gardens are considered one of the most important in the world. Way back in 1788, King Carlos III wanted some of the exotic plants, flowers and trees from his territories in South and Central America brought over to adorn his palace in Madrid. There was a problem though: the flora needed a stop-off point to become acclimatised to their new environment. Thus a solution was found in the Canary Islands, with their sub-tropical climate, and Carlos declared the establishing of an “acclimatization garden” in Puerto de La Cruz.
As such, that garden became the botanical garden, and now many exotic tropical and sub-tropical plants are to be found within its grounds. Visitors, look out for the Coussapoa Dealbata, a tree from South America, unusual in its appearance of a mass of intertwining trunks. Other exotic species not native to the region include palm trees, bromeliads, aroids, aloes, mulberry and fig trees.
Address: Calle Retama, 2, 38400 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Website: Botanical Garden
4. Castillo San Felipe
Located right beside the gorgeous Jardin Beach, Castillo San Felipe acts as the site to a variety of temporary art exhibitions and regular theatre and dance performances. Castillo San Felipe stands out within the Canary Islands for being a reflection of a refined colonial style. Built out of masonry, the castle has a pentagonal perimeter and was initially surrounded by a moat and had a drawbridge, which was later replaced by a fixed walkway. A must-see for people interested in castles that have taken on a new lease of life long after they have become outdated.
Castillo San Felipe
Address: Paseo de Luis Lavaggi, s/n, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
5. La Ranilla
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
In today’s times, La Ranilla has become known as Puerto’s restaurant district, with its distinctive restaurants, tapas bars and candlelit tables and chairs spilling into the streets. Perfect for the budding photographer to snap shots of curious tourists and locals having an evening bite. Ranilla means tadpole in Spanish, no relation at all to the area’s history as it used to be a sailors’ and fishermen’s district. But apart from being one of the most charming parts of the town, there’s been a sudden trend of stylish restaurants, meaning La Ranilla was also one of the most exciting places on the island to enjoy food that ranges from super high quality traditional food to tapas and contemporary cuisine.
At the same time, there are plenty of interesting shops that are opening up and all these exciting new tapas bars make eating here even more of a pleasure, so take care not to get overwhelmed by the sheer choice of enticing restaurants, artistically located in the midst of a rising street art culture.
Address: Calle Mequinez, 59, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
6. Loro Parque
Loro Parque is considered the number one zoo in the whole of Europe and also number 2 in the entire world. That’s a lot to live up to, but Loro Parque can walk the walk as much as it can talk the talk. Loro Parque features animals aplenty, from penguins to sprawling aquariums to treetop animals with a great number of birds. Of course, you can also attend the animal feedings, and if there’s any kids following you you’ll be sure that they’d be delighted by every single living being that lives here. Answer the call of the wild on your visit here and find out just what makes this zoo so amazing by checking it out.
Address: Av. Loro Parque, s/n, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Website: Loro Parque
7. Ermita de San Amaro
Visit the hermitage of San Amaro, it’s the oldest in the municipality. Built in 1591, it was originally intended as a means to Christianize the Aboriginal population, much like the Llano del Bailadero and the necropolis of the Ladera de Martiánez. The hermitage was constructed by the own neighbors of the place, and it was seen as a religious cult. Later on though, the celebrations of San Amaro became very famous and were the stuff of legends. In 1713 the hermitage threatened ruin and its majordomos agreed to yield it to Valois, with the condition that it be restored. Today it stands on as a key part of history, admired by tourists for its age and the stories it is imbued with.
Ermita de San Amaro
Address: Plaza de Mirador de la Paz, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain
8. Archeological Museum of Puerto de la Cruz
In the old fishing quarter of Puerto de La Cruz, there lies a small museum. That museum is the Archeological Museum of Puerto de la Cruz, housed in a 19th-century traditional Canarian house. But don’t be fooled by its small stature! Despite its size, it is regarded as one of the most important museums in the entire Canary Islands. The museum houses an amazing collection of Guanche pottery and mummified remains of the original island inhabitants. Yeah, it’s pretty gruesome, or totally awesome, if that’s your thing The museum isn’t all old stuff though, and it frequently brings in new objects and artifacts as well, such as weaponry, ancient maps and other documents and, yes, butterfly collections.
Archeological Museum of Puerto de la Cruz
Address: Calle de Lomo Nieves, 9, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Culture and beach
There’s so much to do apart from just the beaches on Puerto de la Cruz. Immerse yourself in the city’s culture or lose your inhibitions as you wander around the refurbished fisherman’s village. This is where your worries melt away and you find yourself a little slice of paradise.
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