The Tenerife Resort of Puerto de la Cruz
The south of Tenerife is the half of the island where most tourists go but the north has popular destinations for holidaymakers too. Puerto de la Cruz is a resort in the north of Tenerife which attracts very many visitors each year.
Puerto, as it is often called by locals, is on the northwest coast of Tenerife and enjoys wonderful views of Mt Teide inland. In winter it is possible to see snow on the peak of Teide whilst sunbathing in the subtropical warmth of Puerto de la Cruz.
The Garden Beach
Puerto has several beaches, and its Playa Jardin has often been awarded the Blue Flag of excellence, which it can proudly fly. This beach gets its name because of ornamental gardens at the top of it. The beach is a black volcanic sand beach and is easy to access and find. It is right by the Loro Parque ("Parrot Park") which is a very popular tourist attraction too. This park contains a large collection of parrots and other birds and animals, and has successfully bred some rare species. The seafront promenade for Puerto de la Cruz gives access to the other beaches and the harbour. The Lido Martianez, or Lago Martianez, is one of the main attractions in this part of the resort and it has its own seawater swimming pools and sunbathing areas, all in a tastefully designed garden with palms to give it that tropical touch.
Puerto de la Cruz also boasts some incredible Botanical Gardens in the La Paz suburb of the resort. There are lily pools, a vast collection of exotic shrubs, trees and flowers, cacti, orchids and a massive banyan tree that is the subject of many photographs. It is easy to get a bus from the town centre to take you to these gardens, and they are well worth seeing. La Paz is a popular area in itself with a good range of shops and restaurants, as well as a hotel.
Puerto de la Cruz offers live entertainment at some of its many venues, and its main squares are where big celebrations and events are held, as well as being great places to relax and meet people. In the summer there are plenty of events going on in Puerto and the Noche de San Juan on 23 June is one of the most spectacular and popular celebrations of the year. There are beach parties, bonfires and the strange traditional custom of bathing herds of goats. Earlier in the year in February, Puerto plays host to a carnival too and the town really comes alive with revellers in fancy dress for this annual event.
Bus to Mt Teide
Puerto de la Cruz has a bus service to many parts of the island in the north and some routes to the south too. There is a bus that takes you up Mt Teide too and this is an experience that should be top of your priorities when it comes to what to see and do. Mt Teide is the highest mountain, not just in the Canary Islands, but in all of Spain. It has been the setting for a number of movies and the rocky landscape in the highlands of this mountain is really like another world. There is only one bus each day and it leaves early at 9am. It comes back at 4pm which gives you plenty of time to explore Mt Teide near the tourist centre and hotel where the bus stops, but make sure you get on that bus back because it can get very cold up there at night. There are buses to and from both of Tenerife's airports too, which makes it very convenient for visitors to Tenerife when they are arriving and departing. In fact, it is quite easy to get a bus all the way from the Reina Sofia airport, or Tenerife South, as it is often called, all the way to Puerto. This is what many tourists do when they arrive on the island.
Puerto de la Cruz is much classier than some of the southern resorts because it has more of the traditional Spanish culture and is generally a lot more laid back in its atmosphere. It is not surprising Puerto is the choice of holiday resort in the north of Tenerife for many people who come back to the island.