Did you know that Puerto de la Cruz has a street art trail? Take a look around the city’s artwork in our photo tour.
When I visited Puerto de la Cruz, I thought I knew what to expect from this city in Northern Tenerife.
I knew that there would be black volcanic beaches, with impressive waves crashing over the sands. I knew that the city’s architecture is more traditionally Canarian than in the south of the island. And I knew that I had to try the traditional potatoes with spicy red Mojo sauce.
But I didn’t know that the city also has a fantastic street art trail that takes you through the city’s winding roads away from the bright lights of the sea front.
It’s a great way to explore the city, taking you away from the more commercial areas and into the quirky side streets with their fabulous colourful buildings. In fact, the buildings are so beautiful that some of them are almost a work of art in themselves!
I’ve dotted some of my favourite examples throughout this photo tour
Puerto de la Cruz International Street Art Festival
If you like watching street artists at work, it’s worth checking to see if the Puerto de la Cruz International Street Art Festival coincides with your visit.
But if you’re not visiting Tenerife during the festival, you can download a map of the Puerto de la Cruz street art trail here to follow the same route that we did.
Actually, we stumbled upon the map for the street art trail when we were strolling through the city on our first evening in Tenerife. It meant that our version was a little out of date, but it was really great fun.
Each of the murals is located within a fairly small area, so you should be able to complete the trail in an hour or so. But if you’re not in a hurry, there are plenty of places along the way to linger over a coffee or a beer.
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Read on to see examples of street art in Tenerife, and details of the artist who created them.
The first stop on the Puerto de la Cruz Street Art trail is “Border to Paradise” painted by Victor Ash. Like most of the art on this trail, it was painted as part of the 2014 International Street Art festival.
Victor Ash is a Copenhagen-based artist who is originally from France. His work has appeared in galleries and museums and on walls around the world. It is bold and in-your-face, like this design that is splashed across the entirety of the side of a building.
Victor’s work often comments on social issues. They don’t answer the questions he poses, but stick in the mind and make the viewer think.
In ‘Border to Paradise’ a mesh of human figures representing social and economic injustices form a barrier in front of the paradise beyond.
You can read more about Victor Ash on his website.
Directly opposite the Victor Ash piece you’ll find this bright and colourful piece byTenerife artist Ro Ro, entitled ‘Rum, rum, rum, a bottle of rum!’
Ro’s work is always colourful, and often uses an element of the absurd to create metaphors on reality. As you can see in this piece, he likes to use Playmobil in his designs.
You can discover more about Ro Ro on his website.
The next mural on our walk wasn’t part of the original 2014 Puerto de la Cruz Street Art trail.
It’s a piece called ‘Rebellion of the Dreamer’ and was painted by Sebas Velasco in 2016. Velasco is a Spanish artist from San Sebastian, whose work has been exhibited extensively across the world.
He paints with a more naturalistic style than many of the other artists on this street art trail. Velasco’s paintings, including this one, often seem to express a figurative memory of a particular character. The character in this work looks out over the rooftops of Puerto de la Cruz at night.
El Nino de las Pinturas
Next is a piece by Raul Ruiz, otherwise known as El Niño de las pinturas – the Painting Boy . He was born in Madrid but grew up in Granada, where he now lives and works.
This 2014 mural is called ‘The Force is in the Roots’. And like much of El Niño’s work it focuses heavily on a face, highlighting facial expressions.
With a back catalogue of over 2000 works, you can see El Niño’s work in cities across the world, in countries such as Argentina, Portugal, France, Venezuela, Holland, Mexico and Hungary, and especially in his home city of Granada. If you’d like to see more of his work online, head on over to El Niño’s website.
This mural is another that doesn’t appear on the 2014 street art trail map that we were following.
It’s called ‘Urban Warrior’ and was created in 2016 by PichiAvo, a duo of artists from Valencia in Spain. They create paintings and sculptures in urban settings, combining graffiti art with classical art skills.
They’ve worked in some of the world’s leading urban art settings, and in 2019 they created the world’s second largest mural in the Portuguese city of Porto.
You’ll find more examples of PichiAvo’s work on their website.
Next up is one of my favourite pieces of street art in Puerto de la Cruz – ‘Island Memories’ painted by the Spanish artist Antonio Segura Donat, also known as Dulk.
Dulk was born and lives in Valencia, and creates urban art as well as sculptures, illustrations and paintings. He enjoys creating characters and landscapes from his experiences and imagination, and his style blends surrealistic and naturalistic features.
This piece features an Icelandic puffin in soft chromatic shades. It was inspired by Dulk’s own journey from Iceland to Tenerife for the Street Art Festival. The level of detail in Dulk’s work invites you to linger and observe the painting for a while.
Find out more about this piece and Dulk’s other works on his website
By contrast, this next piece is packed full of bright and vibrant colour. It’s ‘Los Magos’ or the magicians, painted by the French street artist Louis Lambert, better known as 3TTMAN ( Trois Têtes Man)
He has a strong style with bright, vivid colours and a hint of the punk heritage of street art. 3TTMAN aims to blur the boundaries between high-brow art and public street art. He achieves this through using a variety of surfaces, styles and mediums.
This work shows a family of Canarian farmworkers, and is a token of gratitude for the welcome that he received in Tenerife.
See more work from 3TTMAN over on his website.
I really loved this next piece, which was painted by the Spanish street artist Belin (otherwise known as Miguel Ángel Belinchón Bujes).
Belin’s paintings and sculptures have been exhibited across Spain and around the world. His style combines hyper-realism, surrealism and caricature, and he describe some of his work as “Post Neo-Cubism”, in tribute to Pablo Picasso. I think this style is one of the most intriguing that I’ve seen, and I really love Belin’s hyper-realistic style.
This piece, ‘Eternal Youth’ combines a hyper-realistic image of a sailor’s weather-worn face, with child-like cartoon details added to the design.
Find out more and see examples of Belin’s Post-Neo-Cubism on his website
Sabotaje al Montaje
Another mural that is more in the realism style, is this one from Matías Mata (who works as Sabotaje al Montaje), a street artist born on the nearby island of Lanzarote.
Sabotaje al Montaje always works freehand, and his art always addresses social causes, with a style that is both realistic and abstract. He has worked in cities around the world, as well as in his native Canary Islands.
This piece, entitled ‘Ritual’, is a portrait of the local poet Chucho Dorta, who died in 2006.
To see more examples of Sabotaje al Montaje ‘s work, head on over to his website.
Compared to some of the other works of art on this trail, ‘Volatile Ships ‘ has a more dreamlike feel. It shows a ship breaking loose and drifting away with its crew on board. The title refers to the volatility of both the boat and the dreams of the crew.
The name of the ship, Taoro, is the Guanche name for one of the nine kingdoms that formed Tenerife in the pre-colonial era.
This work was created by Feofl!p, a local artist who was born in Lanzarote.
This piece is something very different to any of the other works on the street art trail in Puerto de la Cruz.
Completely monochromatic, it features a tower of insects and bugs, piled up on top of one another. I found the level of detail in this artwork absolutely fascinating. However, more squeamish visitors may find that they recoil from what is certainly the most disconcerting image on this tour.
It is the work of ROA, a street artist from Ghent in Belgium. His work is often created with a minimal colour pallet, and he often paints animals and birds that are native to the location of his work.
ROA has created art on the streets of cities throughout the world, but little is known about the elusive artist behind the art!
And the final mural that I found on the street art trail in Puerto de la Cruz was this colourful image created by the Spanish artist, Liqen.
This talented artist loves to create images that draw on natural and local history. He’s fascinated by nature and the mystery of human life, and uses his art to keep that mystery alive.
In ‘The Flying Amphora’ he depicts one of the earthenware jars used by the Guanche. The natives of the Canary Islands used these jars both as a vessel for food and drink, and also for their rituals. Liqen combines this traditional item with local flora and fauna in a creation that soars up to meet the sky.
You can read more about Liqen and his work on his website.
And while you’re wandering around Puerto de la Cruz admiring the works on the walls above you, don’t forget to keep an eye out for images a little lower down as well.
We spotted quite a few images around the city, from erotic art on the walls outside a shop to the bold image you see in the photo above.