HomeSpainCities in SpainUnlock the Charms of Puerto de la Cruz: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

Unlock the Charms of Puerto de la Cruz: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

Welcome to Puerto de la Cruz, a charming city nestled on the northern coast of Tenerife, Canary Islands! With its rich history, alluring architecture, unique beaches, world-famous attractions, and vibrant nightlife, there’s no wonder why this captivating destination has captured the hearts of travelers for centuries. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the very best of Puerto de la Cruz, ensuring that you make the most of your visit to this remarkable city. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey and unlock the charms of Puerto de la Cruz!

  • Explore the historic sites, vibrant culture and stunning beaches of Puerto de la Cruz!
  • Indulge in unique gastronomic delights & explore local markets for artisanal finds.
  • Enjoy an unforgettable nightlife experience with lively bars & clubs or cultural experiences like art galleries and theatre productions!

A Stroll Through History

Kick off your Puerto de la Cruz adventure with a deep dive into its intriguing past. Dating back to the early 16th century, this city has a rich history that extends from its origins as a landing place for goods to its transformation into a popular tourist destination. As you wander the enchanting streets, you’ll come across iconic landmarks such as Casa de la Aduana, one of the most photographed sites in the city.

Puerto de la Cruz not only has a rich history, it also proudly shares a fascinating link with the renowned British mystery writer, Agatha Christie. In 1927, Christie sought solace in this charming fishing village to recover from a painful divorce. Her stay in Puerto de la Cruz’s inspired her short story collection, “The Mysterious Mister Quin”. The city’s historical sites, such as the stunning Castillo San Felipe, a defensive fortification, further enrich the cultural experience for visitors.

Tourism plays an integral role in the economic and cultural fabric of Puerto de la Cruz – hardly surprising given the sheer wealth of sights, activities and experiences on offer. Some of the highlights include:

  • Strolling through the charming Old Town
  • Unwinding on the gorgeous black sand beaches
  • Delighting in the city’s many popular attractions, from pool complexes to delightful bars and seafood restaurants
Aerial view of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
Aerial view of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands

At the heart of Puerto de la Cruz lies the bustling Plaza del Charco, planned in 1610 by Jerónimo Mines as a landing place for goods from ships moored in the port. Not far from this lively spot, you can also find Plaza de Europa, another popular location in the city. Today, Plaza del Charco remains a vibrant gathering spot where visitors and locals alike can:

  • People-watch
  • Savor refreshments at the many restaurants and cafes
  • Browse newspapers, magazines, drinks, snacks, toys, and souvenirs from charming kiosks.

The Alluring Architecture

The intriguing mix of traditional Canarian and modern architectural styles is one of Puerto de la Cruz’s most remarkable features. As you meander through the city, you’ll encounter the Old Town, where narrow cobbled streets are lined with stunning colonial architecture, harkening back to a bygone era. This area surrounding the old fishing port remains a vibrant hub where locals work, eat, and drink, offering an authentic Canarian experience.

Venture into the colorful La Ranilla neighborhood, located in the enchanting Spanish city of Puerto de la Cruz on the north coast, where charming houses adorned with tender patterns and little paintings around the doors and windows create a delightful atmosphere. In the evening, watch as residents gather in front of their homes to play cards and chat while children frolic on the enchanting Plaza Benito Pérez Galdós. This tree-lined square exudes warmth and charm, epitomizing the spirit of Puerto de la Cruz.

Colonial architecture of Puerto de la Cruz, Canary Islands
Colonial architecture of Puerto de la Cruz, Canary Islands

Explore historic sites such as Castillo de San Felipe, a gallery space and concert venue within a former defensive fortification, and Ermita de San Telmo, a charming chapel perched on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the sea. Beyond the city’s rich architectural heritage, you’ll also discover contemporary art installations and street art, reflecting the dynamic cultural landscape of Puerto de la Cruz.

Make sure to stop by the Hotel Marquesa, an early and charming accommodation choice on the island. This historic hotel has hosted illustrious guests such as German explorer and geographer Alexander von Humboldt and French composer Charles-Camille Saint-Sans, adding to its storied past.

Beaches and Natural Pools

Your Puerto de la Cruz journey isn’t complete without a trip to its distinctive black sand beaches, born from the sediment of Mount Teide’s lava. Bask in the sun, take a dip in the sparkling waters, and explore nearby attractions like Loro Parque, Castillo de San Felipe, and Ermita de San Telmo along Tenerife’s north coast.

In addition to the picturesque beaches, including Playa del Castillo, Puerto de la Cruz also boasts a variety of natural pools, such as Charcones, Lago Martiánez, and Playa Jardín. These volcanic rock pools offer a distinctive and refreshing alternative to traditional beach experiences.

Black sand beach in Puerto de la Cruz, Canary Islands
Black sand beach in Puerto de la Cruz, Canary Islands

Lago Martiánez, opened in 1977, is a popular tourist magnet that locals and visitors adore. With its spectacular swimming pools designed by Canarian superstar César Manrique, this complex provides a safe and enjoyable alternative to bathing in the rough surf of Puerto de la Cruz. The entrance fee is reasonably priced, making it an attractive option for a day of fun in the sun.

For those looking to venture off the beaten path, make your way to the Charcones, located around the tip of the Punta Brava peninsula west of the city center. These natural pools offer a unique and tranquil experience away from the crowds, perfect for a relaxing day by the water.

Loro Parque: A Must-Visit Attraction

A journey to Puerto de la Cruz wouldn’t be complete without exploring the globally renowned Loro Parque, a spectacular destination with a variety of animals, verdant gardens, and exhilarating shows. Home to over 400 species, Loro Parque allows you to marvel at:

  • magnificent mammals
  • great apes
  • cetaceans
  • birds
  • felines
  • marine animals
  • a stunning collection of parrots, black swans, golden pheasants, great curassows, laughing kookaburras, penguins, puffins, flamingos, and more.
Loro Parque, a popular attraction in Puerto de la Cruz, Canary Islands
Loro Parque, a popular attraction in Puerto de la Cruz, Canary Islands

Loro Parque’s exhilarating shows feature:

  • Parrots
  • Sea lions
  • Orcas
  • Dolphins

These shows showcase the incredible skills and intelligence of these amazing animals. Witness awe-inspiring performances, interact with the animals, and create lasting memories of your visit to this must-see attraction.

Children will be delighted by the special activities and experiences offered at Loro Parque, such as:

  • Getting up close and personal with magnificent animals
  • Enjoying different shows
  • Visiting the aquarium and penguinarium
  • Exploring spacious habitats for gorillas and tigers

In addition to its remarkable animal exhibits, Loro Parque also features beautifully landscaped botanical gardens with a rich diversity of plant species from around the world. Wander through the serene Zen Garden, inspired by Japanese gardens and the majestic mountain ranges of Asia, and explore the large orchid garden filled with rare plants, which is a part of the botanical garden.

Gastronomic Delights

Treat your palate to the delectable local cuisine of Puerto de la Cruz, a culinary journey that takes you from traditional tapas to modern dishes. With an array of enticing flavors and culinary experiences awaiting you, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant gastronomic scene.

To further enhance your culinary adventure, be sure to explore the local markets and discover our dining recommendations in the following sections.

Local Markets

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Puerto de la Cruz’s local markets, offering a diverse range of fresh produce, artisanal products, and unique finds. Some of the most popular markets include:

  • Canary Center
  • El Rastro del Mercado Municipal del Puerto de la Cruz
  • La Ranilla Espacio Artesano
  • Restaurante Régulo
  • Art & Co
  • Ébano Café
  • Café Columbus
  • Mercadillo de Puerto de la Cruz
  • Mercado de Nuestra Señora de Africa
Local market in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
Local market in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands

The local markets in Puerto de la Cruz are open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from early in the morning until 2:00 PM, providing ample time to explore and shop to your heart’s content. Browse seasonal specialties such as fresh grapes, tomatoes, potatoes, salad greens, and other vegetables, as well as local products like cheese, jams, and red wine.

In addition to the incredible variety of fresh produce and artisanal goods, Puerto de la Cruz’s local markets also offer a range of prices, ensuring that there’s something for every budget. Be sure to visit the Municipal market and the flea market, known as “el Rastro,” to get a true sense of the city’s bustling market scene.

For a truly authentic experience, don’t miss the opportunity to sample some of the delicious food and drink available at the markets. From traditional tapas to contemporary dishes, the culinary delights on offer are sure to satisfy your cravings and provide a memorable taste of Puerto de la Cruz.

Dining Recommendations

Discover some of the best restaurants and eateries in Puerto de la Cruz, catering to a variety of tastes and budgets. For a memorable dining experience, consider trying Bodega Julián, Tasca Ihuey, and El Limón.

Bodega Julián offers a relaxed, grazing-style atmosphere where you can enjoy a selection of tapas and ración, including their specialty dish, Padrón peppers. The atmosphere at Tasca Ihuey is equally inviting, serving up delicious Canarian cuisine at a more refined and sophisticated level. For those looking for lighter fare, El Limón provides a vegetarian option with a menu that includes salads, sandwiches, and cakes.

When dining in Puerto de la Cruz, it’s important to be aware of practical considerations such as:

  • Making reservations in advance, especially during peak season
  • Exploring the diverse range of dining options and vibrant gastronomic scene
  • Finding the perfect meal to satisfy your cravings during your visit

Vibrant Nightlife

Immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of Puerto de la Cruz, where the choice is yours – bustling bars and clubs or a more relaxed evening entertainment. Some of the top bars and clubs in the city include:

  • The Molly Malone
  • Bee Hive Pub
  • Las Tejas Verdes
  • La Volá
  • Hannen Barril
  • El Azúcar Famoso
  • Discoteca Brandy’s
  • Papagayo Beach Club
  • Zokho
  • Lynch

As you explore the city’s vibrant nightlife scene, be sure to sample some popular local drinks, such as Honey Miel de Tenerife, Wine Variety Marmajuelo, and Alcoholic Coffee Drink. These unique beverages are sure to enhance your evening and provide an authentic taste of Puerto de la Cruz.

The operating hours for bars and clubs in Puerto de la Cruz vary, but many of them stay open well past 3am, ensuring that you can find entertainment to suit your preferences and schedule. Nightclubs tend to start around 2am, offering plenty of opportunities to dance the night away.

Whether you prefer a lively club atmosphere or a more relaxed evening spent sipping on local beverages, Puerto de la Cruz’s vibrant nightlife scene is sure to provide a memorable experience during your visit.

Cultural Experiences

Delve into the wealth of cultural treasures in Puerto de la Cruz, featuring art galleries, museums, and historic landmarks. The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo showcases an impressive collection of Canarian art, while the Museo Del Pescador offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s maritime history and remarkable ship models.

For an architectural treat, visit the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martn, an iconic building reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House. Discover the works of local artists such as Víctor Seus, a talented Canarian artist and political activist, and Miguel Ángel Belinchón Bujes, an acclaimed artist from the city of Linares.

La Orotava, Canary Islands
La Orotava, Canary Islands

In addition to these cultural experiences, don’t miss the annual Agatha Christie Festival in Puerto de la Cruz. The festival features:

  • Engaging lectures
  • Captivating readings
  • Thrilling theatre productions
  • Delightful English afternoon tea

It celebrates the famous mystery writer’s connection to the city.

With its rich cultural landscape, Puerto de la Cruz offers a diverse range of experiences that will appeal to art lovers, history buffs, and curious travelers alike, ensuring that your visit to this captivating city is both enriching and unforgettable.

Day Trips Worth Taking

Step out of Puerto de la Cruz and discover neighboring towns, villages, and natural wonders across the island of Tenerife. One such destination is the picturesque town of La Orotava, nestled amidst lush hills and boasting stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Easily reached by bus, La Orotava offers an array of historic sites and attractions, including the beautiful Jardines Victoria and the incredible Drago Milenario, the oldest drago tree located in the town of Icod.

As you explore La Orotava in the beautiful Canary Islands, be sure to visit the enchanting Casa de los Balcones museum, which showcases how Canarians used to live. Afterwards, unwind at the sunny square outside Jardines Victoria, where a bustling bandstand café provides the perfect spot to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

Volcano Teide in Tenerife
Day trips to Teide National Park, Canary Islands

Another exciting day trip option is a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Laguna, located just about an hour away from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the vicinity of Puerto de la Cruz. This historic city boasts a wealth of cultural experiences and architectural gems, making it an ideal destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the rich history and heritage of Tenerife.

With so much to see and do both within and beyond Puerto de la Cruz, be sure to set aside a few days to explore the incredible range of day trips and experiences that this remarkable island has to offer.

Practical Tips for Your Visit

As you gear up for your Puerto de la Cruz excursion, it’s valuable to keep some practical information in mind to guarantee a seamless visit. First, transportation within the city and around the island is both comfortable and reliable, with an excellent public bus service available. The city center is easily navigable by foot, allowing you to explore the charming streets and attractions at your leisure.

In terms of accommodation, staying near the bustling Plaza del Charco is an ideal location as it places you right in the heart of Puerto de la Cruz. When dining out, be sure to make reservations in advance, particularly during peak season, and consider using a credit card for ease of payment.

Plaza Charco square - bird's eye view during the day
Plaza Charco square – bird’s eye view during the day

The official language of Puerto de la Cruz is Spanish, though English and German are also commonly spoken. Familiarize yourself with some basic Spanish pronunciation rules and phrases to enhance your communication during your visit.

With these practical tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your visit to the stunning city of Puerto de la Cruz, enjoying its rich history, captivating attractions, and unforgettable experiences.

Summary

In conclusion, Puerto de la Cruz is a captivating destination that offers a diverse range of experiences, from its rich history and alluring architecture to its unique beaches, world-class attractions, and vibrant nightlife. With so much to see, do, and explore, a visit to this remarkable city is sure to create lasting memories and provide a truly unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, brush up on your Spanish, and get ready to unlock the charms of Puerto de la Cruz!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Puerto de la Cruz known for?

Discover Puerto de la Cruz, one of the first tourism destinations in the world and a top resort on the north coast of Tenerife Island! Feel the vibrancy of the Spanish and island traditions, experience the Sardine Festival and annual Carnaval, and indulge in the warm climate and serene atmosphere.

How lively is Puerto de la Cruz?

Puerto de la Cruz is an energetic holiday destination with a vibrant and exciting nightlife that starts slowly but really takes off when it gets going.

Is there an old town in Puerto de la Cruz?

Yes, Puerto de la Cruz is home to an ancient old town with a history dating back to the early 16th century and was one of the first places in the world to attract the burgeoning international tourist trade of the late 18th Century.

What is the unique feature of Puerto de la Cruz’s beaches?

Experience the unique black sand beaches of Puerto de la Cruz, created from Mount Teide’s lava sediment for a truly unforgettable experience.

What are some popular attractions at Loro Parque?

Discover thrilling shows featuring parrots, sea lions, orcas and dolphins, as well as lush gardens and a diverse range of animals at Loro Parque – the perfect place for a fun-filled day out!


Discover Canary Islands

There are seven main islands in the Canary Islands archipelago. Discover all of them and check out the places worth to see.
IslandTourist attractions and interesting places
TenerifeLoro Park, Jungle Park, Siam Park, Lago Martianez, Monkey Park and other Amusement parks in Tenerife. Teide National Park, volcano Teide (Pico del Teide), Los Gigantes Cliffs, Masca, Anaga Mountains, Pyramids in Güímar, Casa de los Balcones, Cueva del Viento, Dragon Tree. Popular cities in TenerifeSanta Cruz de Tenerife, Buenavista del Norte, Garachico, Puerto de la Cruz, Puerto de Santiago, Costa Adeje, Taganana, Guía de Isora, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, El Médano, La Orotava, Icod de los Vinos, Arona, San Miguel de Abona, La Matanza de Acentejo, La Victoria de Acentejo, Santa Úrsula, Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas, Los Realejos, San Andrés, Los Gigantes
FuerteventuraDunas de Corralejo, Oasis Park, Acua Water Park, Lobos Island (Isla de Lobos), Parque Natural de Corralejo, Ecomuseo La Alcogida. Popular cities, towns, and villages: Puerto del Rosario, Corralejo, Tarajalejo, El Cotillo, Majanicho, La Oliva, Morro Jable, Costa Calma, Caleta de fuste. Popular beaches in Fuerteventura: El Castillo, Playa de Esquinzo
Gran CanariaTourist attractions: Poema del Mar, El Faro de Maspalomas, Cenobio de Valerón, Pueblo Canario, Necrópolis de Arteara, Casa de Colón. Amusement Parks: Holiday World Maspalomas, Aqualand Maspalomas, Sioux City Park, Palmitos Park, Mundo Aborigen, Camel Safari Park. Natural attractions: Jardín Canario (botanical garden), Pico de Bandama Hill, Barranco de Guiniguada, Pinar de Tamadaba (natural park), Dunas de Maspalomas, Roque nublo, Barranco de Santa Brígida, Cañon del Águila, Doramas Park (Parque Doramas), Parque de Santa Catalina. Popular cities: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Maspalomas, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Playa del Inglés, Puerto de Mogán, Artenara. Beaches in Gran Canaria: Playa de Las Canteras (Plaża Las Canteras), Playa del Inglés, Playa de San Agustín, Playa de Taurito, Playa de Puerto Rico, Playa de Guayedra, Playa del Juncal, Playa Hoya del Pozo, Playa de Melenara
LanzaroteCueva de los Verdes (cave), Jameos del Agua (cave), Jardín de Cactus (cactus garden), Timanfaya National Park (Montañas del Fuego), Aqualava Water Park, Museo Atlántico Lanzarote (underwater museum), Castillo de San Gabriel (castle), Castillo de San José (contemporary art museum), Papagayo Beach (Playa de Papagayo), Fundación César Manrique (museum and an old house of César Manrique), Los Hervideros, Mirador del río, Volcano El Cuervo, La Geria. Popular cities: Arrecife, Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca, El Golfo i Charco de Los Clicos
La PalmaPopular cities: Santa Cruz de la Palma, Breña baja, Breña alta
La GomeraGarajonay National Park, Los Órganos, Casa de Colón. Popular cities: San Sebastián de la Gomera, Chipude, Agulo, Playa de Santiago
El HierroPopular cities: Valverde, La Frontera

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Jessica Alvaro
Jessica Alvaro
Travel has always been close to me. For me, it's the air I can't breathe without. The sun, without which I forget what a smile is.
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