Puerto de la Cruz is a municipality and city located in La Orotava valley, in the north of the island, mid-way between the municipalities of Los Realejos and La Orotava. Despite being the smallest of the island, it has always been of great importance, first as one of the main ports of Tenerife, and later due to tourism.
The origin and development of Puerto de la Cruz has been associated almost exclusively, until well into the 19th century, to commercial and port activities. But from 1880 onwards tourism also began to have a significant role in the city’s economy. We could pinpoint the real beginning of the tourism boom from the 50s to the 80s, so much so that the service industry became the city’s major economic engine. On the 13th of October 1955, the Spanish Government declared Puerto de la Cruz as a Site of National Tourist Interest. In the 60s it was named the first tourist town on the Canary Islands and it was a reference for the island and the entire archipelago.
Puerto de la Cruz gathers countless attractions in a small space, and it is also a perfect starting point for visiting the north of Tenerife. And if that was not enough, it boasts mild and pleasant weather for the most part of the year. As the famous Canarian historian Viera y Clavijo once said, Puerto de la Cruz’s weather is: “healthy, joyous, and lacking in offensive heat or discomforting cold”.
What to see
Plaza del Charco square: the city’s focal point boasts a bustling, friendly and charming atmosphere. Surrounding the square, varied and excellent dining opportunities await.
Archaeological Museum: this museum features an interesting permanent exhibition, “Guanche Pottery”, which depicts different aspects of everyday life, magic and death of guanche or Canarian indigenous people.
Los Hornos de Cal: declared as a Historic-Artistic Site in 1993, the Los Hornos de Cal de Las Cabezas ensemble has been preserved and restored as an excellent example of the popular history of a time in which lime was crucial for construction.
Castillo de San Felipe castle: designed to defend the city against pirate and privateer attacks, this fortress now houses a cultural space where poetry recitals, classical music concerts, and exhibitions, among other activities, are held.
Peñón del Fraile: one of the symbols of the city. It offers a great view of the coast and legend has it that it also hides a pirate treasure belonging to the famous pirate “Caraperro” -“dog’s face” in English.
Costa Martiánez complex: designed by Lanzarote’s artist César Manrique, this is one of the most famous places on the island. The large central lake and the four sea water swimming pools make for a gorgeous example of cultural and scenic integration. It also boasts bars, restaurants and food stands that complete the ensemble and the visit.
Botanical Garden: at the time it was built it was known as “Acclimatization Garden of La Orotava”, and it was created aiming to cultivate tropical plants thanks to the favourable weather conditions. The garden houses important collections of tropical and subtropical plants of great economic and ornamental value.
Loro Parque: unmissable stop for those visiting Tenerife. It has welcomed over 40 million visitors since its inauguration day in 1972. With a surface of 135,000 square metres, it is home to animal species such as sea lions, dolphins, gorillas, tigers and penguins, to name but a few. It also boasts the world’s largest collection of parrots. Visitors -especially children- will particularly enjoy the original shows.
Puerto de la Cruz also stands out for its wide range of evening entertainment options. There are several distinct areas, each of which features different characteristics, which adds up to the city’s attractive. The downtown area -Plaza del Charco square, Canal de Suez, Calle Iriarte, Muelle Pesquero…-, the Avenida Generalísimo, La Paz, and Calle La Hoya are four of the main hubs of the city’s night scene.
The beach, the sun, the pleasant atmosphere and all kinds of entertainment await visitors in one of the most magical corners of Tenerife.