The coast of the island of Tenerife is a dream destination for those seeking a luxurious getaway full of beaches and parties. However, for those of you traveling with families or looking to simply avoid the hustle and bustle of the nightclub crowd, there's Puerto de la Cruz. Known as a sophisticated destination, Puerto de la Cruz is one of the top places to visit yet still retains its authentic, Canarian charm.
If you're traveling here, get ready for nothing but amazing weather. Because of it's location on Tenerife's north west coast, Puerto de la Cruz receives less rain and more sunshine than the rest of the north of the island. There is just enough rain to keep the lush green, but not enough to ruin a vacation. November and February tend to be the rainiest months. The perfect climate is usually reserved for September and October. The winter months of December and January see lots of clear skies and sunshine with the added bonus of cooler temperatures once the sun dips below the horizon.
Puerto de La Cruz, Tenerife, Spain
Most people traveling to this part of Spain have one thing in mind: beaches. One popular destination is the Playa Martianez. The large jetty calms the waters along this black, sandy beach, and creates a relaxing place where waves gently roll in - excellent surfing conditions for beginners. Most beaches will also have a boardwalk meant for you to stroll. Pop in and out of boutiques and shops before you stop for a snack at one of the many cafes and bars.
If you're interested in a little more color in your atmosphere, be sure to take a stroll through the Jardin Botanico. This botanical garden is home to thousands of plant varieties from all over the world. Literally stop and smell the roses at this classic garden established in 1778. You will walk among tropical, subtropical and palm trees from all around the world. Look up at the 200-year old Australian gum tree, or surround yourself with the fragrances of the herb garden.
If you just haven't had your fill at the Jardin Botanico, visit the Risco Belle Aquatic Gardens. This is a more immersive garden experience than you'll find most places. When you first walk in you're met with a lawn sprinkled with tables and chairs, citrus trees and tropical plants. Take a seat and admire the poinsettias. Then, make your way to the main house where you can get drinks and snacks before you visit the aquatic gardens. A small fee lets you explore a world of herons, dragonflies and a lookout tower with benches for some introspection and meditation.
If you want a little more activity than enjoying the surf and sights of exotic flowers, spend a day at Loro Parque Zoo. Here you'll meet more than 350 species of parrots! Their collection of beautiful creatures includes tigers, gorillas and chimpanzees. You'll also be able to say hello to dolphins and orcas that perform in daily shows. Swing by the penguin house with "real snow" and a subterranean aquarium with the world's longest submarine tunnel.
For the heart of Canarian activity, visit Puerto de la Cruz's harbor. You'll find brightly painted fishing boats and food stalls lining the walls. Grab a snack of some traditional dishes like paella, or buy some fresh fish for your dinner. If you happen to be visiting during the July Fiestas or Carnaval, you'll find the harbor lined with drink stalls and churro bars - definitely a fun atmosphere to experience.
Food and Dining
As a town catering to many international tourists, Puerto de la Cruz has restaurants of every nationality and cuisine. Be sure to try some local Spanish traditions while visiting like the local fish, Canarian potatoes and maybe some Gazpacho soup.
Outside of the main shopping center, much of Puerto de la Cruz is uphill all the way. Some places the climb can be fairly steep. There is a good bus service that takes you all over town - the direct bus is the quicker line as it uses the motorway. With a "Bono Card" you can save up to 50% on fares on the bus, and more discounts are given for museum entries. Hiring a private car is also fairly simple and cost effective.