Puerto de la Cruz’ beginnings go back as far as the early 16th century, when agricultural activity started in the Orotava valley. The valley’s produce (sugar and later wine) left Puerto de la Cruz (at the time one of the most important ports in the Canary Islands) destined for European markets. Well-healed European tourists began to arrive in the late-nineteenth century, with the emblematic Hotel Tauro opening its doors in 1893. Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill and King George VI all arrived here by sea to enjoy Puerto de la Cruz’s attractions. The modern tourist boom began in the 1950s, following the construction of the nearby Los Rodeos Airport and the advent of package tourism.
Although still surrounded by lush Banana plantations, there is no doubt that nowadays the town owes just about everything to tourism. Nevertheless, it still preserves some of the charm of its origins and offers a very different experience to the visitor than that offered by Playa de las Americas and the south of the Island. Attracting a more diverse mix of nationalities, Puerto de la Cruz offers a much more relaxed atmosphere and caters to an older, more refined crowd.
Distance from Tenerife North Airport: 29km
Distance from Tenerife South Airport: 91km
Costa Martiánez is a 50,000m2 (about half of which is water) complex of public seawater swimming pools that dominates a good portion of the resort’s coastline. Since Puerto de la Cruz did not have a white sandy beach with calm waters, the local council commissioned the Lanzarote-born artist, César Manrique, to build these public pools. The result is spectacular – if a little seventies in style – and very popular with both tourists and locals.
The park houses two restaurants, several bars and the island in the main lagoon is a home to a Casino.
Visitors to Tenerife cannot fail to notice the advertising for this attraction from the moment they get off the plane (or perhaps beforehand). This 135,000m2 Zoo began life in 1972 as a smallish Parrot Park (Loro Parque means literally “Parrot Park”), but has expanded continuously ever since. Nowadays this very impressive park hosts daily Florida-style Killer Whale, Sea Lion and Dolphin shows and attracts over a million visitors per year. Other exhibits include the “Shark Tunnel”, a Snow Tiger, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Penguins, Alligators and the most diverse Parrot Collection in the world with over 350 different species.