Complete guide to Puerto de la Cruz: what to do and where to go there

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One of the most popular cities in Tenerife is called Puerto de la Cruz. This city is situated 35 km from the island’s capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. South Airport is located 90 km from the resort of Puerto de la Cruz, and Tenerife Norte Airport is 30 km from the city. People come to Puerto de la Cruz for the spacious beaches of black volcanic sand, gorgeous views of the endless ocean and the majestic Teide volcano, long walks along the coast, and the Spanish resort vibe.

Unlike most other resorts in Tenerife, there is plenty of entertainment for both adults and children. There you will enjoy large swimming pools near the ocean, the big Loro Park zoo, several botanical gardens full of exotic plants, amazing parks, dozens of cafes, restaurants, pubs, bright nightclubs, as well as a lot of romantic places where you can admire the sunset and listen to birdsong. Puerto de la Cruz has several beaches. One of them is ideal for swimming and relaxation, and the second is great for surfing and big wave fans. And if all this fun is not for you, there is a complex of picturesque swimming pools with seawater and ocean views.

When you explore Puerto de la Cruz, remember that there are three more resorts within an hour and a half drive: Costa Adeje, Las Americas, and Los Cristianos with luxurious beaches, a many kilometers promenade, and the largest water park in Europe. An hour's drive in the other direction you will find the beautiful and mighty Teide volcano, which rises above the island and reminds you of who is in charge here.

How to get to Puerto de la Cruz

As we have already mentioned, there are two main airports in Tenerife, South and North. South Airport is located a 1,5-hour drive from Puerto de la Cruz, and North Airport is a 30-minute drive.

There are several ways to get to Puerto de la Cruz from the airport. Taxi is the most simple and the most expensive. You may order a taxi in advance, a driver will meet you at the airport and help with your luggage.

Another option is public transport. Bus 343 will get you from any Tenerife airport to Puerto de la Cruz. The bus travels along the route Los Cristianos - Aeropuerto Sur (South Airport) - Autopista Sur - Aeropuerto Norte (North Airport) - Autopista Norte - Ctra. El Botánico - Estación Puerto de la Cruz. A ticket costs 10-15 euros if you go from South Airport, and about 5 euros if you go from North Airport.

The best beaches in Puerto de la Cruz

Jardin beach

Автор: Jaume Escofet @ flickr.com / CC BY 2.0

Playa Jardin

The best beach in Puerto de la Cruz, Playa Jardin, is located a 1,5-hour drive from the city center. Here you can stroll along the promenade of San Telmo, or even stay somewhere nearby. On one side of the beach rises the Punta Brava observation deck, from where you can admire the ocean and liners passing by, and on the other, the stone fortress of San Filipe. The fortress is small but adds historical chic to the area.

The beach of black volcanic sand is about a kilometer long, which means there is a place in the sun and near the ocean for everyone. Playa Jardin consists of three beaches: Maria Jimenez, Playa Chica, and Playa de San Filipe. All of them are separated by stone breakwaters and merge into one another. All three beaches have excellent facilities: rentals of sun loungers and umbrellas for 3-5 euros per day, showers and toilets, beach cafes and bars, playgrounds for children, boats, scooters, diving and surfing equipment rentals.

Tenerife's most famous zoo, Loro Parque, is a 10-minute walk from the beach. At the zoo, you can see the world's largest collection of parrots, as well as many animals: funny lemurs and red pandas, dangerous lions and tigers, and funny penguins. You will also see dolphins, killer whales, sea lion performances, and fish feeding.

Best hotels near Playa Jardin

The four-star AluaSoul Orotava Valley is located a minute's walk from the beach. Here you will find beautifully furnished rooms with excellent views of the tropical garden and beach. It features a swimming pool with a spacious sun terrace, good restaurants, and several sports grounds.

The comfortable Puerto Nest Hostel is one of the most budget-friendly options near the beach. You can rent a place in a dormitory room, or you can stay in a cozy room with a shared bathroom and a shared kitchen. The hotel has a rooftop terrace where you can sunbathe overlooking the ocean waves, and the beach is a couple of minutes' walk away.

Playa de Martianez

Martianez beach

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The second most popular beach in Puerto de la Cruz is located a couple of minutes drive from the city center. You can reach the beach by walking along the San Telmo promenade past the Martianez pools, a big pool complex by the ocean.

Playa de Martianez is made of fine black sand but somewhere quite large stones, especially when entering the water. The beach has a breakwater, but the waves here are sometimes even larger than on Playa Jardin. Therefore, if you dream about a relaxing vacation by the ocean with a cocktail and a book, it is better to choose Playa Jardin. But if you want to go surfing, you won’t find a better place in this area. There is even a surf school near the beach so you can rent equipment and buy a lesson with an instructor.

Lago Martianez

Lago Martianez

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There is a perfect place for those who love a relaxing holiday with a gorgeous view not far from Martianez Beach. This place is called Lago Martianez. It is a complex of five swimming pools and a large artificial lake located next to the ocean. All the pools are below ocean level. There you will enjoy large swimming pools with ocean water, stylish sunbathing terraces, and bars with delicious cocktails and snacks. All the pools offer a wonderful view of the endless ocean, and the beach in half a minute’s walk.

Entrance to the Martianez swimming pool complex costs only 5.50 euros. The price includes the rental of an umbrella and a sun lounger.

The best hotels near Playa Martianez

The four-star H10 Tenerife Playa is a couple of minutes walk from the beach, and the Martianez pools are in front of the hotel. It offers stylish rooms with views of the pools and the ocean, a restaurant with a perfect view, and a large swimming pool with a spacious sun terrace.

The four-star Sol Costa Atlantis Tenerife is located in front of the Martianez pools. The hotel features stylishly furnished rooms with comfortable beds and balconies with city or ocean views. Two large restaurants, a swimming pool with a green sun terrace, a spa complex, and a fitness center are at your disposal.

The best attractions and things to do in Puerto de la Cruz

Plaza del Charco

Author: RaSlaMa @ Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Plaza del Charco

Plaza del Charco is beautifully planted with trees and there is a fountain in the middle of it. There are benches around the fountain and a children's playground in the shadow of palms. There are historical buildings, cozy cafes with outdoor terraces, and souvenir shops around the square. There is a small shopping mall near Plaza Charco, and a couple of minutes' walk away you will find an information center with city maps and ideas for tourists. The information center will certainly advise you to visit Loro Parque Zoo, the largest water park in Europe, Siam Park, or the mysterious Teide volcano.

Charco Square is especially good in the late afternoon when the entire city is bathing in magical sunset beams. Quiet music comes from the cafe, musicians play Spanish tunes, children run around, adults are in no hurry, and it becomes clear that life is good. 

The best hotels near Plaza del Charco

Plaza Charco is a great area for those who want to live in the city center and at the same time near the beach. The square is close to most of the city attractions, and if you need to go somewhere far, the bus station is nearby. There are no big hotels but you may choose good apartments, for example, Plaza del Charco - Puerto Viejo is standing on a quiet street close to the sea and city center.

Paseo de San Telmo Promenade

Paseo de San Telmo

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Paseo de San Telmo promenade connects Jardin Beach, Martianez Beach and Lago Martianez. There is also a beach along the promenade, but none of the locals can explain why people sunbathe and swim there, because the water there is dirty, the environment is not the most comfortable and there are no facilities. Therefore, for a comfortable swim, go to Jardin Beach or the Lago Martianez, for cool surfing, go to Martianez Beach, and for long walks along the ocean, go to the San Telmo promenade.

The promenade spreads for two kilometers and runs along the water. People come here to listen to the waves and the cries of seagulls, breathe in the fresh ocean breeze, sit in coastal cafes, and have fun. The San Telmo promenade offers a classic set of pleasures: cafes and restaurants serving Mediterranean cuisine, souvenir shops with pretty stuff, small shops or kiosks where you can buy a swimsuit or glasses, and a gorgeous view of the Atlantic Ocean and mountains.

The best hotels near Paseo de San Telmo

If you want to admire the ocean every morning, have the beach next door, and have breakfast in a cafe in the city center, choose a hotel somewhere near the promenade. It will take 15 minutes to get to Loro Parque and the Botanical Garden, and Charco Square is a 10-minute walk.

The four-star Hotel Vallemar is located near the promenade, and the beach is a few minutes walk. Guests are offered comfortable rooms with comfortable beds, two restaurants, a swimming pool overlooking the ocean, and a spacious sun terrace.

The three-star Hotel Marquesa occupies a historic building near the Paseo de San Telmo. The hotel building was erected in 1712. The reception hall has retained its authentic 18th-century furnishings. The hotel offers cozy rooms with views of the city, ocean, or Mount Teide. The hotel has two restaurants, a small swimming pool, and a rooftop sun terrace. The beach can be reached in 10-15 minutes.

Loro Parque Zoo

Loro Parque

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Today Loro Parque is one of the most famous zoos in Spain. In Spanish, "Loro" means "parrot", but not only do these bright birds live here, but also penguins, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, tigers and lions, red pandas and lemurs, and many other animals. The history of Loro Parque began 60 years ago with a single parrot, which a German boy, Wolfgang Kiesling, decided to get for himself. Years later he opened a parrot park in Tenerife, and now it is the largest collection of parrots in the world. Then sea inhabitants were added to the parrots, a dolphinarium and a penguinarium were opened, and lions, tigers, and smaller animals settled in spacious enclosures. As a result, Loro Parque Zoo has become the most popular entertainment destination in Tenerife. It only competes with the Siam Park water park, but since it belongs to the same grown-up boy, this is not even a competition.

Loro Park, like the Siam Park water park, is decorated in Thai style, and you can spend the whole day here without getting bored. Please mention, that Siam Park is situated in the neighboring city of Costa Adeje, and Loro Park is located in Puerto de la Cruz, not far from Jardin Beach.

Loro Parque is home to 150 species of parrots, a total of 4 thousand birds, dolphins, and penguins. There is also a huge aquarium with an underwater tunnel, and large enclosures with orangutans, as well as red pandas, sloths, meerkats, monkeys, jaguars, and tigers. The park has several cafes where you can relax and have a snack, as well as children's playgrounds.

How to get to Loro Parque

Loro Parque is situated a 15-minute walk from the Puerto de la Cruz city center. If you live in the other city use bus 343, which travels between Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz. Travel time is 1 hour 45 minutes.

Opening hours of Loro Parque and prices

The park is open every day from 8.30 to 18.45

Puerto de la Cruz Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden Puerto

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The entire city of Puerto de la Cruz looks like a tropical garden, but this garden also contains several smaller gardens. 

The Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz was founded in 1788 by order of the Spanish King, who wanted to recreate the flora of all of Spain, Latin America, Australia, and Mexico in Tenerife. As a result, not every metropolitan garden can find such plant diversity. The garden is small, but very well maintained, so walks become pure aesthetic pleasure.

Opening hours and prices

The garden is open every day from 9.00 to 18.00

An entrance ticket to the garden costs 3 euros.

The best hotels near the Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz

The five-star Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden is the ideal place for those who dreamed of living in an oasis. This place can be called a tropical paradise. The hotel is surrounded by a beautiful garden where spreading palm trees grow and fragrant flowers. And if this is not enough, then a few steps from the hotel lies the Botanical Garden. The beach can be reached on foot in 10-15 minutes. Choose from luxurious rooms with garden, ocean, or mountain views. There are four restaurants, three swimming pools, and a wonderful spa complex.

The Orchid Garden Sitio Litre

Sitio Litre garden

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The Sitio Litre Gardens are a 15-minute walk from the Botanical Gardens, while the beach and Lago Martianez are a 10-minute walk away. This is a small botanical garden, which is primarily known for its collection of orchids, palm thickets, a friendly iguana that lives in the bushes, and a cute cafe that stands next to a pond with water lilies. Locals say that this is the oldest garden in Tenerife. In 1730, a mansion was built here, around which a garden was planted. A bit later the garden was opened to the public. Locals state, that the famous naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, and later Agatha Christie, stayed in this mansion.

Sitio Litre looks more like a shady courtyard than a botanical garden. If you have already tried all the entertainment in the city and just want to have lunch in an unusual place, come here, order coffee and dessert, and feed the carps in the pond.

Opening hours and prices

The garden is open from 9.00 to 18.00

The entrance ticket costs 4.75 euros.

Parque Taoro

The green hill of Taoro rises above the ocean. A park was built on the hill. Residents and city guests come here to relax in the shade of the trees and admire the city's panorama. 

For a romantic evening, come to Taoro Hill at sunset, and don't forget the snacks. Sit on a bench on one of the observation decks located at the top of the park and watch the city and ocean melt in the pink-orange sunbeams.

The park has a huge number of tropical plants and flowers, paths for cyclists, a couple of nice cafes, and large children's playgrounds. At night it is well-lit, so welcome if you like night walks accompanied by the songs of cicadas!

Opening hours and prices

The park is open 24 hours a day and admission is free.

The best hotels near Taoro Park in Puerto de la Cruz

If you want to enjoy magnificent scenery every day, it is worth staying on Taoro Hill.

The 4-star TRH Taoro Garden Hotel is located close to Taoro Park and the walk to the beach will take you 15 minutes. The hotel operates under the Adults Only system. It offers stylish rooms with spacious balconies and beautiful ocean and city views. Some rooms have views of Mount Teide. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, a swimming pool with a comfortable sun terrace, a tennis court, and several sports grounds, as well as a fitness center.

The four-star Hotel Tigaiga is located on Taoro Hill, a short walk from the park and a 15-minute walk from the beach. A tropical garden is planted around the garden. It offers spacious rooms with panoramic windows and views of the city, ocean, and Teide volcano.

The best day trips from Puerto de la Cruz

Teide volcano

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Teide Volcano

The most important decoration of the island of Tenerife is the great and mighty Teide volcano. It is the highest point in Spain and the third-highest volcano in the world. The height of Teide is 3718 meters and all this beauty can be seen with your own eyes not only from the balcony of your room but also up close.

The last time the volcano erupted in 1909, and then no one was particularly injured. But in 1706, during an eruption, the city of Garachico and a couple of surrounding villages were completely burned to the ground. Residents rebuilt Garachico and since then the city is called “risen from the ashes.” Tenerife: Teide, Icod de los Vinos, Garachico & Masca Tour is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the city better because there are not only memories of the disaster but also ancient monasteries, lava baths, snow-white villas, and picturesque ocean shore. 

The Guanches, the indigenous inhabitants of the Canaries, believed that inside the volcano there was a portal to hell and evil spirits lived there. Another legend, says that the Guanches themselves were descendants of the Atlanteans, and Atlantis was located on the Canary Islands not far from the Teide volcano.

The Teide volcano is a perfect combination of different natural zones, cosmic landscapes, bizarrely shaped rocks, and incredible panoramas. While climbing to the top of the volcano, before your eyes, spreading pines are replaced by low bushes, and they give way to lichens, and then the lichens give up, leaving only dry earth on which wonderful flowers and herbs miraculously grow. In addition to plants, you can find several species of reptiles, hedgehogs, sheep, and rabbits there. To make your trip comfortable, take with you warm clothes, comfy shoes, sunglasses, and something to eat and drink.

How to get to Teide volcano

Teide volcano cable car

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You can get to the volcano by public transport, or you can join one of the tours.

By bus from Puerto de la Cruz

Bus 348 departs from Puerto de la Cruz to Teide Volcano. The bus departs from the station at Calle Hermanos Fernandez Perdigon, 1 and makes several more stops in the city. Travel time is 1 hour 40 minutes. The bus arrives at the cable car station, from where you will need to take a cable car up to the volcano. The bus goes there at 9.30 and leaves back at 16.05. Please check here for schedule changes.

By bus from Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos

Bus 342 departs from Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos. You can get off in Costa Adeje at the Estación Costa Adeje bus station and in Los Cristianos at the Av. Juan Carlos I. Travel time is about two hours. The ticket costs 11 euros. The bus arrives directly at the cable car station, which will take you up the volcano. The bus goes there at 9.15, back at 15.40. Please check here for schedule changes.

By cable car

The cable car will take you from a height of 2000 meters to a height of 3555 meters. As we have already mentioned, the bus drives directly to the cable car. The cable car operates from 9.00 to 17.00. It is better to buy tickets for the cable car in advance online. Online tickets will be emailed to you; you just need to show them on your phone. Please note that tickets are usually sold for a specific time, so please arrive early.

The best tours to Teide volcano from Puerto de la Cruz

Siam Park Water Park in Costa Adeje

Siam Park Water Park

Author: stephen jones @ Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

People go to the water park for an adrenaline rush, steep slides, wave pools, and delicious cocktails at the pool bar. If you like all this, consider yourself lucky, because Tenerife is home to the largest water park in Europe and the best in the world. Please mention, that the water park is located in the town of Costa Adeje, an hour's drive from Puerto de la Cruz.

The Siam Park Water Park is decorated in Thai style and the Princess of Thailand attended the opening ceremony. The water park has very unusual decor: beautiful pagodas, huge dragons, sacred Thai symbols, Thai restaurants where you can try traditional food and drinks, as well as a high level of service and, of course, a lot of cool slides for adults and children.

Siam Park Water Park facilities and attractions

At Siam Park, kids will love special slides for children, pools, amazing shows, funny competitions, and bright concerts. Adults will experience the adrenaline rush with thrilling slides, and admire a sandy beach with a wave pool, an artificial river that runs through the entire water park, wave slides with simulated surfing, and several swimming pools. The most popular slides are the Tower of Power, where you will experience 28 meters of free fall is, Dragon, which makes you understand what a state of weightlessness is, the 235-meter Datong Rapids slide with a huge number of unexpected turns, ups and downs, and finally an extreme roller coaster La Singha.

You will also enjoy spacious sunbathing terraces, planted with tropical greenery, VIP cabanas, nice cafes and bars where you can dine in an authentic Thai atmosphere, as well as all sorts of necessary things like showers, toilets, and storage lockers.

Opening hours and prices

The water park is open every day.

From May 1 to October 31, the water park is open from 10.00 to 18.00.

From November 1 to April 30, the water park is open from 10.00 to 17.00

  • An online ticket costs 42 euros. A combined ticket to Siam Park Water Park and Loro Parque Zoo costs 84 euros, which is cheaper than buying two tickets separately, and there are often discounts. Online tickets do not need to be printed, just save them to your phone.

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