Puerto de la Cruz Overview
Banana plants, palm trees, laurel, bougainvillea, frangipani, hibiscus… like Alice in Wonderland after a swig of the ‘Drink Me’ bottle, they all grow at an alarming rate in Puerto de la Cruz giving it a lush, tropical identity that separates it from the south of Tenerife by more than just distance.
Resolutely Canarian in character, Puerto de la Cruz was Tenerife’s first tourist resort and original destination of those wealthy and adventurous enough to visit the Canary Islands back in the 1960s and early 1970s. But when the south airport opened its runway and package holidays came within the financial reach of a vast untapped market, millions of Brits headed south for the holy grail of a guaranteed suntan.
On its little promontory at the foot of the La Orotava Valley, Puerto gets the best of the north’s sunshine and just enough rainfall to keep it as green as the bananas that surround it.
Beaches in Puerto de la Cruz
The town’s main beach of Playa JardÃn is a beautiful, black sand beach backed by extensive landscaped gardens designed by César Manrique. The beach shelves steeply into the Atlantic rollers which for much of the year make swimming an extreme sport and a no-no for everyone but the jackass addicts. To compensate, the swimming and sunbathing paradise of Lago Martiánez has tropical gardens, oodles of sunbathing terraces, restaurants, kiosks, seven swimming pools and a vast lake beneath which the town’s Casino is located.
Where to Stay in Puerto de la Cruz
Pamper Yourself ““ Hotel Botanico (5*). Everything about this hotel says “quality, luxury and attention to detail’. From its three a la carte restaurants to its Oriental Spa, the experience is unbridled indulgence of the mind, body and senses.
(0034) 922 381 400; www.hotelbotanico.com; double room with breakfast from €190
In the Thick of it ““ Hotel Monopol (3*). One of Tenerife’s oldest hotels situated in the heart of the town whose lobby is a balconied Canarian courtyard which is simply stunning. Try for one of the 15 rooms overlooking Plaza de la Iglesia.
(0034) 922 384 611; www.monopoltf.com; double room with balcony from €63 per night
Restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz
Special Occasion – Mil Sabores (C/Cruz Verde, 5; (+34) 922 36 81 72, closed Wednesday): A foodie’s nirvana where the menu is so mouth-watering it could provoke a Meg Ryan, “˜When Harry met Sally’ reaction.
Going Local – Always packed with locals, Tasquita de Min (Mesquinez; (+34) 922 37 18 34; closed Monday) beside the harbour, serves fish and seafood dishes as fresh as an Italian waiter. Their vieja (parrot fish) has to be one of the tastiest fish you’ll ever sink your teeth into.
Family Friendly – El Pomodoro (Punta del Viento; (+34) 922 38 13 28) overlooking Atlantic rollers which crash below the restaurant’s open arches, has a menu which will appeal to all the family – pastas, steaks and pizzas.
Meat Free – Barcelona and Madrid comes to Puerto in the guise of El Maná (C/Mesquinez, 23 (+34) 922 36 85 23; closed Monday) a modern, organic restaurant. Opt for the degustación and discover that mana doesn’t really come from heaven but from the restaurant’s chef/owner.
Nightlife in Puerto de la Cruz
For night owls and savvy visitors, bar hopping in Puerto begins after midnight. Get in the mood with some cool cocktails at Elements in the Ranilla District or Colour Café overlooking Plaza Charco until the midnight hour has well and truly bid adieu. Then head to Limbo Bar on Calle Blanco to take in the night air and busy atmosphere before moving over the road to the uber cool Blanco Bar for some excellent live bands. Just when you think you might hear the sandman calling, notch up the adrenalin to Cuban volume at loud and sultry Azucar where you won’t hear his whispers until way into the early hours.
The Puerto de la Cruz WOW factor
There’s a reason why visitors have been coming to Loro Parque in their droves for so many years. From acrobatic dolphins and performing sea lions to parrots on bicycles and penguins on ice, the breathtaking moments arrive thick and fast.
Who would like Puerto de la Cruz?
This is the resort for anyone who wants to experience Canarian culture, cuisine and hospitality in a stunningly beautiful setting. Popular with more mature British and German visitors during the winter months and buzzing with Spanish mainlanders during the summer.
Accommodation: 3 stars ““ Puerto simply doesn’t match the accommodation choices of Playa de Las Américas and Costa Adeje.
Restaurants: 5 stars ““ Around 200, including a few truly excellent, restaurants to choose from with predominantly Canarian menus but a wide choice of International cuisine.
Beaches: 4 stars ““ Black sand beauty and the iconic Lago Martiánez provide perfect settings without regimented sun loungers.
Nightlife: 4 stars ““ If you’re looking for tribute bands, cabaret and karaoke, you’ll be disappointed.