Hello all, this is the first of a series of short articles about places of interest in Tenerife, in this case Puerto de la Cruz. Owning a property in Tenerife opens up a myriad of possibilities for exploring this island of huge contrasts, and even living in the sun soaked South, one can get to pretty much anywhere within the hour, thanks to the excellent motorway and road network. In the case of Puerto de la Cruz, one can leave Los Cristianos or Playa de las Americas, join the TF1 motorway, and reach Puerto de la Cruz around 1 hour later, never having left the motorway network, travelling more or less in an anti clockwise direction. Alternatively one can travel clockwise, around Mount Teide, a little longer perhaps, but very much the “scenic route”.
On arrival, coming along the motorway from Santa Cruz, travellers are often rewarded with a magnificent view of Mount Teide, which from the South appears distant and relatively small, but here in the North, a collossus rising into the sky, often with a snow covered peak.
Turning down to Puerto de la Cruz, the town and it’s surroundings open up in front of you, and it’s beauty and enormity are there for all to see. When we visited recently, we were privileged to stay at the 5* Hotel Botanico, an absolutely wonderful hotel, whose external appearance belies the beauty that is contained within. The magnificent foyer, the Thai Spa, and beautiful rooms (our larger group spent 2 nights in the opulent “William Clinton Suite” whose prior residents have included the ex President of the United States, Michael Jackson, and even it’s rumoured, the King of Spain himself!)
Adjacent to Hotel Botanico is the Botanical Garden, well worth a visit and particularly good value for the 3 euros entry charge. Plants from all around the world abound, in the botanical wonderland, first created in 1778.
Beautiful flowers abound at the Botanical Gardens
For children of all ages, the “must visit” attraction in Puerto de la Cruz is the Loro Park. Owned by the proprietors of Hotel Botanico and Siam Park in the South, the name means Parrot Park, but this was only the beginning, and this has now expanded into the most wonderful wildlife park, with birds like flamingo and cranes joining the 4000 parrots. And that’s only the start, there’s the huge Penguinarium, plus Killer Whales and Dolphins and Sea Lions, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Jaguars, Tigers, and a whole host of other animals. There are wonderfully choreographed shows with the Sea Lions, Whales, Dolphins, and Parrots which will please everyone from infants to grandparents.
The Orca Show at Loro Park
Puerto de la Cruz is however much more than a classic tourist resort. The old town is beautiful, with wonderful restaurants and fine churches and classic Spanish buildings with their small balconies. There is even a lovely Anglican Church (very dear to our hearts as our daughters marriage was blessed there), called All Saints Church, situated in Taoro Park, dating back to 1891. The climate is less arid than the South, hence the extremely verdant appearance, and can be a welcome relief for South Tenerife residents when the mercury hits 30+ in summer. A wonderful contrast to the South whose somewhat hedonistic lifestyle is perhaps too vibrant for some, and Puerto de la Cruz, although lively in the evenings, is perhaps in a rather more Spanish and controlled manner. There are many, many things to do, places to visit, both from a cultural and fun point of view. This blog hopefully has whet your interest to spend at least a day of your holiday in this wonderful resort.