With a surface of 207.31 km², La Orotava is the most extensive municipality of the island (and the one with the largest forest area), as well as the biggest province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is located in the North of the island, taking up the majority of the La Orotava Valley and the central part of the island, bordering on several municipalities. The fertility of its soils and the abundance of water are, among other factors, responsible for the historic prosperity in this region. Over 40,000 people live in the area -41,255 inhabitants in 2013-, making La Orotava the sixth most populous municipality.
La Orotava Valley. It is home to many protected natural spaces, including the Mount Teide National Park -78% of which is part of La Orotava- and the Natural Monument of Mount Teide. It is also home to the Pinoleris Nature Reserve, within which the Public Utility Mountain of “Mamio, Leres and Monteverde” can be found, as wells as to the Protected Landscape of “La Resbala” and part of the Coast de Acentejo region and the Corona Forestal Natural Park.
La Orotava has always been characterized by its stately character and the beauty of its landscapes and architecture. Its unspoilt old town perfectly reflects all the essence of its colonial origins. It is catalogued as historic-artistic and monumental area. Thanks to its high concentration of sites of patrimonial interest, the village has become a must for those visiting Tenerife.
Its cobbled streets and squares, the traditional Canarian patios, beautiful carved wooden balconies, palatial houses and beautiful gardens are but a few of the many attractions offered by an equally surprising and charming city.
A stroll around the Old Town:
Fonseca House or The House of the Balconies (Casa de los Balcones): Built in the mid-17th century, this manor is a perfect example of Tenerife´s traditional architecture. Its wooden balconies and the inner courtyard, in perfect harmony with the urban environment, are a delight to visit. Nowadays it houses an important handicraft shop, a museum and a workshop where typical crafts of the island are still made.
The Casa Lercaro: The Casa Lercaro is a Property of Cultural Interest -category of Monument-, and it is large house dating back to the 17th century, located at number 7 of the Calle Colegio street, in the heart of the historic quarter of La Orotava. This property is a fine representation of the cultural heritage of the Canarian people. The exquisite taste with which each one of its rooms have been restored is also worth praising. There is a beautiful inner courtyard with Corinthian columns. There is a permanent exhibition of antique furniture and replicas, a great offer of high quality, distinctive decor items. Its wide facilities also make it possible to organize events and celebrations, such as company dinners, weddings, christenings or even conventions. We recommend not to miss out on the opportunity to sample and purchase one of the islands’ many typical culinary products, such as cheeses, wines, or spicy sauce (“mojo”).
Church of Our Lady of the Conception (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción): This building was declared a national historic-artistic monument in 1948. Both its exterior, with two bell towers and a high dome, and its interior, divided into three richly ornamented naves, are worth visiting.
San Agustín Convent: This convent dates from the late 17th century and is home to important sculptures of Santa Mónica Fernández Estévez, The Lord of the Humility and Patience; the Lord of Forgiveness and the Señora del Carmen virgin. In 1976 it was purchased by the Town Hall, which has converted it into the San Agustín House of Culture, hosting among others a drawing and painting municipal school, a music school and a folklore school.
Victoria Gardens or Gardens of the Marquisate of la Quinta Roja: They were built by the French artist Adolph Coquet in the 19th century. Built in an eclectic style, it surprises due to the structure and the care of the distribution, as well as the many colourful flowers and fountains. They are constructed in a staggered fashion, providing a fantastic panoramic view of the entire old town from the highest spot. Entry is free of charge and it makes for a more than enjoyable visit.
Walking away from the old town we find other places of great interest such as:
Pinolere Ethnographic Museum: This museum is located in a suburb of La Orotava and is of great interest, for it represents different aspects of the architectural, agricultural, environmental and socio-cultural landscape that characterizes the midlands of the La Orotava Valley.
How to get there
By car, from the South of the island take highway TF-1, then the TF-5 up to junction 33, and finally TF-21 until reaching your destination. From Puerto de la Cruz, take the main road of Las Arenas TF-312 up to TF-320, from where you will reach the TF-5 and finally the Avenida de Canarias avenue.