The Top Things to Do in Puerto de la Cruz

From volcanic beaches to street art, discover some of the best things to do in the city of Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife

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With sunshine and warm temperatures all year round, it’s no surprise that Tenerife is such a popular holiday destination. It has something for everyone from luxurious five star hotels to family friendly resorts, and from the dramatic landscape of Mount Teide to the long sandy beaches of South Tenerife.

South Tenerife is probably more popular as a destination for holidays in Tenerife. But it’s also worth considering a visit to the city of Puerto de la Cruz in North Tenerife. It still retains a lot of original character, and the architecture is more authentically Canarian than some of the more modern resorts.

So if you’re planning to visit Tenerife, here are some of the top things to do while you’re visiting Puerto de la Cruz.

Visit volcanic beaches

If you’re planning a holiday in Tenerife, you’re probably going to visit the beach. But the beaches at Puerto de la Cruz are a bit different to those in the south of the island.

The resorts in the south use imported sand to create their long golden beaches. In Puerto de la Cruz, they retain the natural black volcanic sand for a very different look.

There are several beaches in the city, but two of the main ones are Playa Jardin and Playa Martianez. Playa Jardin was designed in the 1990s by the Canarian artist César Manrique. It has has plenty of facilities including bars, sunbed hire, showers and changing rooms. Playa Martianez is a smaller beach with fewer facilities, but it’s a great spot for surfing or sunbathing. It’s also very close to the main promenade with its shops, bars and restaurants.

Relax at Lago Martianez

If you don’t fancy braving the sea, you could pay a visit to the Costa Martianez Tourist Complex. This is better also known as Lago Martianez. It’s a peaceful place to relax, with amazing views of Mount Teide and out over the sea.

This leisure complex has seven swimming pools that fill with seawater each day when the tide comes in. There are also places to eat and drink, terraces filled with sun loungers, and beautiful gardens.

And you’ll also find several sculptures by Cesar Manrique, who designed the complex.

Discover the Street Art

The Puerto de la Cruz street art trail leads you from the sea front into the city’s quirky side streets.

You’ll find art in a variety of styles, and the colourful architecture is almost an artwork in its own right!

You can download a map to guide you along the trail, and new artworks pop up all the time. If you enjoy watching artists at work, it’s worth checking if your visit coincides with the city’s Street Art Festival.

Explore the Botanical Garden

For a peaceful break from the bustling city, head to the Jardín de Aclimatación de la Orotava, Puerto de la Cruz’s Botanical Garden.

This beautiful garden was built in the late 1700s. It was originally a staging post for plants and trees brought back from Central and South America to the Royal palace in Madrid.

Now it offers a quiet respite from the heat and noise of the city. Massive trees offer shade from the sun, including a very impressive 200 year old fig tree. And the garden is full of beautiful tropical and semi-tropical plants.

It’s a lovely way to escape the heat of the afternoon sun for a couple of hours.

Take a walk around Sitio Litre

And if you love visiting gardens, you should definitely pay a visit to the Orchid Garden at Sitio Litre.

This was originally a private garden attached to a house built by an Englishman in the late 18th century. In the 1990s, the garden was opened to the public, and it’s a wonderful mix of English garden design and tropical planting.

You’ll love the colourful bougainvillea and bird of paradise plants. And the amazing collection of over 200 varieties of orchid is definitely worth seeing.

There’s even a cafe where you can enjoy a refreshing cold drink and reviving snack.

Delicious traditional foods

You’ll love trying out the local cuisine in Puerto de la Cruz.

Make sure to try the local speciality of Papas arrugadas, a traditional dish made of small new potatoes. They are boiled in salted water and then steamed dry, to give the skins a light coating of salt. The accompanying mojo rojo, is a delicious chilli, garlic and pepper sauce which also goes well with the local cheese.

You’ll also find that a lot of the restaurants serve Almagrote, a speciality from the neighbouring island of La Gomera. It’s a soft paste made from hard cheese, garlic, peppers and olive oil, served with thin slices of toast. It’s delicious as a starter or as part of a tapas spread.

© Siam Park, used with permission

Siam Park

If you fancy something a bit more exciting during your visit to Puerto de la Cruz, why not book an excursion to Siam Park?

This fantastic water park is around 1.5 hours from Puerto de la Cruz. You can book excursions from several places in the city or drive yourself there if you have a hire car.

The attractions include Tower of Power water slide with its 28 metre drop, and Dragon which is a four passenger enclosed slide with a light show. And of course, there are plenty of pools, water slides and places to relax, eat and drink.

These are just some of the things you can do in the beautiful city of Puerto de la Cruz. Have you ever been to Tenerife?

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