Out and About in Tenerife

Two World Heritage Sites, one National Park, and 42 natural protected spaces are some of the treasures to be discovered in Tenerife. Whether you travel alone, with your partner, in the company of friends or with the whole family, get ready to have a unique experience thanks to the wide range of activities that will make your stay in the island unforgettable.

Tenerife offers a huge number and variety of daytime attractions. Buses here are plentiful and cheap or for the more adventurous there are camel, donkey and jeep safaris. Or travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned hire car to explore the island which provides everything from golf and go-karting to volcanoes, huge lava formations and Peruvian-style pyramids.


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Santa Cruz de Tenerife

 

Santa Cruz is both the administrative centre of the western Canary Islands and the capital of Tenerife. Located on the northeast cost it is a bustling city and shipping port (one of the busiest in Spain and deepest in the world). The enormous harbour holds many container ships, cruise liners and inter island jet foils and ferries.
Situated in a large natural bay, it has a stunning backdrop of mountains (Anaga mountains) that are over 1000 metres high. Shopping is excellent and most visitors begin at the Plaza de España on the seafront and work their way up Plaza de Candelaria, which offers excellent international brands at 'tax free' prices. Stroll around the market and don’t be afraid to bargain for jewellery and impressive local souvenirs for your family and friends back home. Explore the city at your leisure and shop for traditional craft work – you are sure to return with an extra suitcase!

Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is one of the top destinations in the Canary Islands. Located in the north of Tenerife, this attractive and bustling resort has been a firm favourite with tourists for several decades. Today it remains as popular as ever. It is nestled in the beautiful region of the Orotava Valley, an oasis of lush green landscape and tropical fruit plantations.

The Old Town is very pretty with a distinct Canarian character. Much of the area around the old fishing port is full of narrow cobbled streets lined with traditional colonial-style cafés and bars. The quaint harbour is also a lovely place to visit. In addition, there is a selection of high-end boutiques, charming plazas and a wealth of tourist attractions located all over the resort.

Loro Parque is an animal adventure park with amazing dolphin, orca, sea lion and parrot shows. Designed by Canarian architect and artist César Manrique, Lago Martiánez is a water park consisting of several swimming pools and a salt water lake surrounded by sub-tropical gardens. The sandy beach of Playa Jardín, the beautiful Jardin Botánico and Parque Taoro are also great places to relax.

 

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Teide National Park

Declared a national park in 1954, the Parque Nacional de las Cañadas del Teide includes an enormous volcanic crater 48 km in circumference, out of which rises Mount Teide (pronounced the same as Lady) at a staggering 3.718 metres, making it the highest mountain in the whole of Spain.
The park itself lies at around 2000 metres above sea level and in winter snow falls, gale winds blow and the roads are sometimes closed off. During the summer months this arid landscape which gives the impression of having walked into a cowboy movie, can reach temperatures above 40C.
Access to the now extinct volcano is either by foot or by cable car that will carry you almost to the very summit. From the peak, on a clear day, you are in heaven and have breathtaking views of Gran canaria, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. This is the Canary Islands most visited tourist attraction and must not be missed.

 

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Pyramids at Güimar

Archaeologists and authorities scoffed when a local newspaper published an article claiming to have discovered mysterious step-pyramids on the island of Tenerife. Just more agricultural stone terraces they said, such as are common throughout the Canaries.
But Thor Heyerdahl thought differently. Dr. Heyerdahl, who has done extensive research on the pyramids of Tucume in Peru, was intrigued by photos of the site, and on visiting the valley of Güímar to see for himself, he was no longer in any doubt.

These were neither terraces nor random piles of stone cleared by the Spaniards, as some had tried to explain them away. They were painstakingly built step-pyramids, constructed according to similar principles as those of Mexico, Peru, and ancient Mesopotamia. The Ethnographic Park 'Pirámides de Güímar' offers you the possibility to visit these rare and interesting structures, and will provide you with theories regarding the possible diffusion of ancient civilisations.
Besides the 6 step pyramids, the ethnographic park also offers you the museum Casa Chacona, a life-size replica of the reed ship RA II, Auditorium/Cinema, cafeteria and an ecological souvenir shop.


 

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Masca Village 

Masca is one of the most picturesque parts of the island and is the tip of the northwest that is covered by the Teno Mountains.

Deep ravines interlaced with lush green flora accompany the winding roads. The road leading from Buenavista del Norte passes along narrow hairpin bends towards the village of Masca.

It was until recently virtually unknown, but has now become a centre of attraction for those touring the island. The setting of the village is magical and its houses perch precariously on the narrow ridges of dramatic rock formations. Reputed to have been a Pirate hideaway, the small Bay of Masca on the coast is a three-hour walk from the village through stunning scenery.

 


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Los Gigantes

The Cliffs of the Giants (Acantilados de los Gigantes) are remarkably sheer rock walls that plunge into the ocean a quarter of the way down the west coast of Tenerife. Massive cliffs drop almost sheer into the sea from a height of 500m and 800m in some places.
Across the small bay lies the little port and resort town of Los Gigantes and, virtually linked to it, Puerto de Santiago.
The only way for you to get closer to these amazing cliffs is by boat. Once there, you will get the real notion of the greatness within those walls and maybe understand why ancestors considered them sacred. See, they thought the world ended here and who can blame them?

 

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Drago (or Dragon) Tree

Tenerife has a very rare tree that dates back to prehistoric times and has become a plant symbol for the island with the Drago Milenario (thousand-year-old Dragon Tree).  It grows in the quaint town of Icod de Los Viños, one of the Tenerife's oldest towns which is to be found on the North Coast. The Drago tree is famous worldwide as the oldest specimen of the species and a major tourist attraction. The tree is known to be over 1000 years old, although its real age remains a mystery. No matter what, the important thing about this tree is really its beauty.