WHAT TO SEE IN PUERTO DE LA CRUZ IN TENERIFE? IS PUERTO DE LA CRUZ WORTH VISITING? WHAT IS THE BEACH LIKE IN PUERTO DE LA CRUZ?
Puerto de la Cruz is one of the most important towns in the north of Tenerife and one of the best things to see on the island (Read: 25 best things to see in Tenerife).
It was the first tourist area of the island since the end of the 18th century and later in the 60s after undergoing an important transformation.
Puerto de la Cruz is a beautiful and charming city with its historical center, its old port, the fishing district La Ranilla, historical places like the Casa de la Aduana, the Martiánez complex designed by the famous artist César Manrique as well as Play Jardin and the legendary Botanical Garden.
If you are planning a trip to Tenerife, visiting Puerto de La Cruz is a must.
We invite you to discover all you need to know for your visit to Puerto de La Cruz in this post.
A GLIMPSE OF WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A VISIT OF PUERTO DE LA CRUZ:
1. Start your visit at Puerto De La Cruz Botanical Garden
The magnificent botanical garden at Puerto de la Cruz was created in 1788 to cultivate species of plants and flowers from the tropics. It is a perfect place to walk in nature and discover very interesting botanical species.
The botanical garden is a real paradise for lovers of nature. It is also a great place to rest and escape the heat during the hot summer days.
The Botanical Garden of Puerto de la Cruz is located in the district of La Paz, the upper part of the city that overlooks the ocean and the newest area of the city, built in the 60s and 70s. Right next to the Botanical Garden, you can see one of the most iconic hotel in Tenerife, Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden. More information here.
Opening hours: 9AM–6PM every day
2. Check out Hermitage of San Amaro
After visiting the stunning Botanical Garden to the historical center and start your exploration of this charming town.
Head to The hermitage of San Amaro first, the oldest in the city of Puerto de la Cruz, built in 1591.
3. Be amazed at viewpoint of La Paz
Very close to the hermitage of San Amaro is the viewpoint of La Paz which offers beautiful panoramic views of the Atlantic, as well as the complex of Lake Martianez and Martianez Beach.
4. Chill at Playa Martianez
From the Mirador of La Paz, continue your exploration to Playa Martianez. This is a black sand beach which is nice and quiet despite being so close from the city. The view from Playa Martianez is stunning. With good conditions it can also be a surf spot.
5. Spend a day at Lago Martiánez
Lago Martiánez was designed in 1977 by César Manrique.
The Lanzarote artist César Manrique designated two works in the city of Puerto de la Cruz in the sixties and seventies: Lake Martiánez and the Playa Jardin. If you want to know more about this amazing artist, you can check this post.
Lago Martiánez is a rather big leisure complex with a huge lake surrounded by swimming pools, gardens and terraces with fantastic views of the sea and the Mount Teide. The artist César Manrique used elements of traditional Canarian architecture, as well as native vegetation.
6. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia
Continue your visit at Plaza de la Iglesia where the most important church in Puerto de la Cruz, built in 1684 on an old hermitage. The tower of the church is from 1898. Inside you can see the image of Our Lady of the Rock of France and paintings by Luis de la cruz y Ríos and Manuel de la Cruz.
7. The cute hermitage of San Telmo
The hermitage of San Telmo was founded in 1780, next to which there is a promenade of the same name. This hermitage is dedicated to the patron Saint of Sailors. From there you have a beautiful panoramic view of the pools of Lake Martianez.
8. San Telmo Beach
San Telmo beach, known as “Bajío de San Telmo”, is a small family beach located next to the promenade and the hermitage. The locals at Puerto de la Cruz prefer this beach thanks to its many “charcos” or natural pools that are perfect for swimming.
9. Charco Square
The “plaza del Charco” is a large square with many bars and restaurants where you can taste the culinary specialties of the island of Tenerife: fresh fish, “papas arrugás” (potatoes), “queso asado” (cheese in a frying pan),… In the center of the square there is a fountain decorated with plants.
10. The Old Port of Puerto de la Cruz
The old port of Puerto de la Cruz is one of the most charming places in the city. From the waterfront promenade you can have one of the most beautiful photographs: the small beach of the port, the building of the Real Aduana and the sculpture of a fisherwoman.
11. Casa de la Real Aduana
The Casa de la Real Aduana is the today the location of the Tourist Office but also a place of art exhibitions. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in Puerto de la Cruz for its typical architecture. Founded in 1620, the Casa de la Real Aduana is next to the castle of Santa Barbara, located opposite the traditional fishing port.
12. Visit Europe Square
It is a surprising and enormous square in the shape of a fortress-balcony which has six cannons from the 18th and 19th centuries and is located by the sea. Facing this popular and beautiful square is the town hall of Puerto de la Cruz.
13. The fishermen’s quarter of La Ranilla
This is the old fishing district, very interesting for its typical traditional architecture: small colorful houses that make the charm of the district. In this district, take a walk in the beautiful street: calle de La Verdad, with beautiful shops and restaurants, calle Mequinez with colorful houses and El Lomo street.
14. San Felipe Castle
The San Felipe Castle is an old military fortress built between 1641 and 1655, renovated in the 19th century, today a cultural center for exhibitions and concerts.
15. Playa Jardin, the best beach in Puerto de La Cruz
The Lanzarote artist César Manrique designed the Playa Jardin complex, made up of three beaches: Playa Jardín, Playa Chica and Punta Brava which are integrated into a very beautiful environment with gardens of endemic species, caves and waterfalls.
Punta Brava is the largest beach, with 260 meters in length. The Playa Jardin complex is a surprising place to enjoy the beach and the sun in a magnificent natural setting.
The beaches of the Playa Jardin are of black sand and offer many services: toilets, showers, bars and restaurants, sun lounger rentals, children’s play area, parking…
16. The Museum of Sacred Art
It houses sculptures, altarpieces, paintings and jewelry testifying to the history and worship of Puerto de la Cruz. It is owned by the parish of Nuestra Señora de la Peña de Francia.
17. The Archeology Museum
A grand 19th-century Canarian-style mansion is home to the Puerto de la Cruz Archeology Museum, located in the fishing district of La Ranilla. It houses a rich collection of Aboriginal ceramics, a collection of 17th century maps and exhibits of the culture and history of the Canary Islands.
18. Visit Loro Parque, one of the best things to do in Tenerife for families
In Tenerife take the opportunity to visit the Loro Parque, the best zoological park in the world according to Tripadvisor. Penguins, Orcas, Parrots etc. There are lots to see here.
If you are visiting Tenerife, this is the perfect opportunity to discover the Loro Parque, which you may have already heard of. Some even go on excursions from the island of Gran Canaria just to visit the park. This place is rather huge, so plan at least half day to see it all.
The park is located in Puerto de La Cruz.
19. Street Art in Puerto de la Cruz
Do not miss the street art in Puerto de la Cruz, a pleasant route that begins in the neighborhood of La Ranilla. The facades of the houses are painted with beautiful art. These houses were were painted as part of the Street Art Festival “MUECA” which takes place every year.
20. Surf in Puerto de La Cruz
There are surf schools in Puerto de la Cruz, where you can take lessons or rent equipment for surfing. For instance you can check La Marea Surfschool (location) at Playa Martianez.
21. Puerto de la Cruz Carnival
Carnival in Tenerife is one of the most important parties of the year: colorful parades that attract people from all over Spain and the world.
But on the island, several carnivals are interesting, such as the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife or the Carnival of Puerto de la Cruz. The latter lasts a few days and offers one of the most awaited events: the Marcarita Ponte Tacón men’s marathon: an obstacle course where participants are disguised and wear heels. The Puerto de la Cruz Carnival begins in February and ends in March.
22. Museo Abaco
This 18th century house with typical Canarian architecture houses a museum dedicated to the history of the Canaries. Discover how the Spanish conquistadors lived and how the first inhabitants of Tenerife, the Ganches, were enslaved to work in the Spanish plantations… The house has a splendid garden and a restaurant!
23. La Orotava
While Puerto de la Cruz once belonged to the municipality of La Orotava, today the the two towns are independent. La Orotava is however much older. It was founded in the 16th century by the conquistadors. The city is built in a staircase on the mountainside and collects water from many springs descending from the mountain.
With all this water, La Orotava was able to become the first banana producing town in Tenerife. Many of the streets in La Orotava are steep, so be prepared to climb a bit. From the gardens of the Marquis, you have a magnificent panorama of the old town as well as Puerto de la Cruz which extends it to the sea.
La Orotava is a typical Canarian town with many colonial mansions. Some are among the most beautiful in Tenerife. A city not to be missed for anyone looking for the authenticity of Canarian towns rather than the bustle of large seaside resorts.
24. Sitio Litre Garden
The creation of this garden, in 1730, coincides with the construction of the property to which it belonged. It is the oldest garden in Tenerife. It has a nice collection of orchids as well as the oldest dragon tree in Puerto de la Cruz.
The garden can be proud of counting the novelist Agatha Christie and Alexander von Humboldt, a German scientist who founded the bases of scientific explorations as visitors. The garden is quite small and is located at the very top of a beautiful hill. You can also enjoy a nice coffee at the bottom of the garden.
25. Walk to Bollullo Beach
If you wand to enjoy a pleasant coastal walk, head to Bollulo Beach from Puerto de la Cruz. Bollulo Beach is a wild beach of black sand. From there you can continue your journey to Play Ancon and Playa del Pato.
This walk has amazing views all along. It’s a nice thing to do if you stay at Puerto de la Cruz while in Tenerife.
How to get to Puerto de la Cruz?
To get to Puerto de la Cruz from Tenerife North Airport (La Laguna) by car which is 27 km away, 21 minutes by TF5. You can rent a car or have a transfer service from the airport. Once you reach the Canary Islands, it is highly recommended to rent a car. To get the cheaper rate we used Rentalcars.com. Check it out here for the best deals.
It is possible to get to Puerto de la Cruz by bus. Check the buses of Tenerife (known as “guaguas”).
Where to stay in Puerto de la Cruz
Today, Puerto de la Cruz is the most sophisticated tourist area of the island. If you visit Tenerife we highly recommend to stay at Puerto de la Cruz. From there you can easily reach other main sights in Tenerife such as Laguna, Garachico or Masca.
Our Recommended Hotels:
$$ – Puerto Palace
$ – RF San Borondo
Best restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz
Here are the best places in this city to enjoy Canarian and international cuisine.
Magnificent place in the heart of the Ranilla district. The Casa Pache restaurant has a long tradition of good food. It is a house with a humble facade that hides small cozy rooms, each with a different personality and full of fascinating details typical of the Canaries.
The food, creative Spanish cuisine, is fabulous and the restaurant regularly wins prizes when the town holds tapas competitions.
Often elected as one of the best restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz. The Regulo restaurant is located in a beautiful Canarian house with traditional wooden balconies and a wide wooden staircase.
The food is of the highest quality, and price are a bit higher than usual in Puerto de la Cruz.
The Cofradía de Pescadores
Another place to eat in Puerto de La Cruz is La Cofradía de Pescadores a really nice place in town.
This place is very famous if you are looking for fresh and quality seafood.
The location is absolutely stunning too!
Our Final thoughts – is Puerto de la Cruz worth visiting?
Visiting Puerto de la Cruz was definitely one of the highlights during our trip. We absolutely loved the historical city center and the coastal walks. The work of César Manrique with Lake Martianez and Playa Jardin is also fabulous.
We can’t recommend enough a visit of Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife.
For more information on the best things to do and see in Tenerife, check out this post: 25 AWESOME THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN TENERIFE
Tenerife is a great destination to travel to. No wonder, why it is one of the most popular islands in the Canary!
If you have any question about Tenerife or Puerto de la Cruz, feel free to leave a comment below.
All our posts about the Canary Islands can be found here.
BEST THINGS to see in Tenerife: here
MOUNT TEIDE, your full guide: here
MASCA, the most remote village in Tenerife: here
SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LA LAGUNA in Tenerife: here
LOS GIGANTES, most impressive landscape in Tenerife: here
COSTA ADEJE, one of the best places to stay in Tenerife: here
GARACHICO, one of the prettiest towns in Tenerife: here
BEST TIME to visit Tenerife: here
10 BEST BEACHES in Tenerife: here
TOP 8 REASONS why you should visit Tenerife: here
25 BEST THINGS to see in Lanzarote: here
25 BEST THINGS TO DO in Fuerteventura: here
BEST THINGS TO DO in Gran Canaria: here