Playa de las Americas barely needs any introduction, but there’s more to this resort than you might think. Family-friendly activities and beaches are as much of a draw in this South Tenerife resort as the legendary nightlife.
Playa de las Americas – or PDLA for short – is located in southern Tenerife. It’s the biggest resort on the island, and commonly associated with package holidays, high rise buildings and commercialism.
PDLA is situated between Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje, and first became popular during the 1970s. Now, the seafront is lined with luxury hotels, and some of these are rather Vegas-esque in terms of design.
While it’s true that the resort attracts a party-going crowd, it’s not all about the best bars in Playa de las Americas. PDLA is also a very family-friendly resort. The restaurants in Playa de las Americas welcome children with open arms, and there are many things to do here for families with kids. These include visiting nearby water parks, whale and dolphin watching and enjoying life at one of the lovely beaches.
PDLA really is a resort with something to suit everyone. Read on to discover all the best things to do in Playa de las Americas, including when to go, where to stay and of course where to find the best restaurants, attractions and nightlife.
The Best Time to Visit
Like the rest of southern Tenerife, Playa de las Americas enjoys higher temperatures than the north. This warmer weather also attracts more tourists. Though summer is dry, hot and sunny, air and water temperatures in September, October, and November are also very pleasant.
PDLA boasts sunny weather all year round, and this subtropical climate also makes it a popular winter destination. Because of this, it can get crowded during Christmas, Easter and the European school holiday periods.
August is the hottest month here, with average maximums of around 31°C. February is the coldest month, with daily maximums of about 22°C. Between November and May you can expect slightly cooler weather than in summer, but at around 19 or 20°C the ocean is still warm enough to swim in.
How to Get to Playa de las Americas
Tenerife South Airport to Playa de las Americas
The airport for Playa de las Americas is Tenerife South (TFS). There are a few public buses that can take you from TFS airport to Playa de las Americas: numbers 40 and 111. Bus route 40 takes 40 minutes to reach Playa de las Americas, while Bus 111 only takes 30 minutes. They all cost €3.70, but Route 40 offers more frequent services.
A taxi is the quickest and most convenient way to get from Tenerife airport to Playa de las Americas. The trip takes about 15 minutes and costs €26 to €31.
Los Cristianos to Playa de las Americas
Los Gigantes or Puerto de Santiago to Playa de Las Americas
Things to Do in Playa de las Americas
Relax and Unwind at the Beach
Top of the list of things to do in las Americas for couples and families is spending the day at the beach. There are three main beaches in Playa de las Americas: Playa de Troya, Playa del Camisón, or Playa de las Vistas, which is near Los Cristianos.
Playa de Troya
This is Playa de las Americas’ most popular beach. There are plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs nearby. By day, though, the convenient amenities, soft sands and warm, calm water attracts families in search of fun in the sun.
There are sunbeds, parasols, umbrellas, toilets, showers and a lifeguard service at this Blue Flag beach. It also offers good disabled access. If you fancy trying some water sports, there’s all sorts to choose from such as a kids’ banana boat, parasailing, jet-skiing or stand-up paddleboarding.
The facilities at Playa de Troya attract lots of people, it’s one to avoid if you aren’t keen on crowds.
Playa del Camisón
Playa Camison can be found to the southern end of PDLA and is more peaceful than Playa de Troya. This beach offers rest and relaxation, as well as more active pursuits such as water sports. With golden sand and calm waters, it’s ideal for families, and is just a few minutes’ walk from Playa de las Vistas.
El Camisón offers a lifeguard service, disabled access, showers, toilets and sun loungers with parasols. It’s backed by an attractive promenade with palm trees, and there are breathtaking views of La Gomera from here. Nearby you can also find a great range of restaurants and shops.
Playa de las Vistas
Playa Las Vistas is positioned between Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos. It too offers both laid-back beach life and thrilling water sports. A line of breakwaters and golden Saharan sands also make this one family-friendly.
This beach is easy to reach by car or to access by wheelchair. A man-made island with a water fountain is a unique feature here, and the promenade behind links the area with local amenities and nearby beaches.
Pay Siam Park a Visit
Once upon a time the Kingdom of Thailand was known as Siam, and this big theme park has been constructed in this exotic Asian style. For water slides, lazy rivers, surfing waves, sea lion shows, boat rides, floating markets and much more, this is the place to come.
You can rent a luxury Siam-style private cabana, tackle the Tower of Power, try out the three-metre wave at Siam Beach or enjoy an adventure in the Lost City. This is the best water park in the Canary Islands.
There are various ways to buy tickets for Siam Park. You can either purchase general Siam Park tickets (with lunch voucher or without) or combined Siam Park and Loro Parque tickets (Loro Parque is a must-visit). There is also an option of a combined ticket which includes a transfer to Loro Parque (it’s located in the North of the island).
A free bus shuttle service is operated daily from Playa de las Americas to Siam Park. This runs between 09:30 and 18:00. You can check out the shuttle bus schedule here. You’ll also find further information about visiting the park in our complete Siam Park guide.
Play a Round of Mini Golf
As a family, our favourite mini golf venue in PDLA is ViVO Mini Golf Treasure Island. Small golf clubs for kids are supplied, there are shady tables for taking a break and the ramps are buggy-friendly.
People of any age can join the fun at ViVo Mini Golf, and there are two courses to choose from. As you progress through the course, you can avoid deep ravines, duel with pirates and of course aim for a hole in one.
The yellow route is easier, while the more challenging red route is packed with obstacles to overcome if you want to be declared the winner. ViVo opens from 9am until midnight daily. There is a bar serving drinks and snacks here, plus a pool table.
As an alternative, another great mini golf course in Playa de las Americas is the Parque Santiago Mini Golf.
Book a Fun-Filled Day Trip
Booking one of the day trips from Playa de las Americas is always a lovely idea, as you all get to experience something that would be difficult to organise. Here are our favourite tours with pick-up from Playa de las Americas.
This action-packed, seven-hour jeep safari takes you beyond the south of Tenerife to Mount Teide National Park, where you’ll see what a volcano can do. You’ll also visit a couple of traditional villages.
A nine hour tour can transport you to La Gomera, another island in the Canaries archipelago. The day includes visits to San Sebastián, the capital, and Garajonay National Park.
You’ll see the sunset on this romantic evening trip, with a glass of Spanish cava in hand. Star-gazing at Mount Teide National Park and dinner are also included.
Soar way above Spain’s highest peak by taking this paragliding trip with an experienced champion. As well as an adrenaline rush, the experience provides incredible views over the coastline and landscape.
Go Whale and Dolphin Spotting
This activity is just five minutes by taxi from Playa de las Americas. You can head to the ports of neighbouring Los Cristianos or Puerto Colón for this highly recommended experience. Tenerife is in fact one of the best places for whale watching in Europe.
You can see these beautiful creatures all year around here, and seeing pilot whales, dolphins or both is practically guaranteed.
For departure from Puerto Colón, we recommend this tour that includes drinks and snacks.
For departure from Los Cristianos port, this tour is the best option.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
For the best shopping in Playa de las Americas, head straight to Avenida de las Américas street (location) which is known as the Golden Mile. It’s the place to be if you want to bag a bargain. It also offers lots of entertainment options.
This busy street stretches for around half a mile (or 800 metres) and is near Playa El Camison and Playa Las Vistas beaches. The avenue and surrounding streets contain flagship branches of big brand stores, including high street and designer names.
All the stores on the Golden Mile actually belong to two shopping centres: the Oasis Shopping Center and the Centro Comercial Safari. For more shopping opportunities check out our detailed Tenerife shopping guide.
Lights and Music at the Avenida Las Americas Fountain
Take a break from shopping or an after-dinner stroll to see Fountain Las Americas. The colourful, illuminated display of dancing water is set to music, and is a must for all ages.
You can find the fountain within the Safari Shopping Centre and the display begins at 9pm daily.
There are hundreds of big name and designer stores to browse here too, or relax with a cocktail at Harry’s Bar while enjoying the entertaining spectacle.
Location: Google Maps
Wander Along to Costa Adeje or Los Cristianos
If you’re wondering what to do in Playa de las Americas and feel like a change of scene, it’s easy to visit Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos from here. Playa de las Americas is tucked in-between these two popular Tenerife resorts, and in fact they blend seamlessly into one another via the beachfront promenade.
In Costa Adeje, you can see the beautiful Playa del Duque beach, or visit the local market in Los Cristianos that takes place every Tuesday and Sunday between 9am and 2pm. Stalls sell souvenirs, gifts, clothing, accessories and a lot more. If you’re looking for boat trips in Playa de las Americas, then these tend to depart from the port in Los Cristianos. Ferries to La Gomera, La Palma, and El Hierro also leave from here.
Why not check out our Costa Adeje and Los Cristianos guides to discover even more things to do there?
Enjoy a Cocktail with a View
How can you improve upon a delicious cocktail? Enjoy a cocktail with a view. Playa de Las Americas has no shortage of places to partake of this simple pleasure.
Hop up the steps leading from Playa las Vistas to reach the Breeze Inn. It’s a lovely bar with great cocktails and friendly service.
The views of La Gomera island are stunning from Monkey Beach Club. As well as cocktails, you can order tapas, seafood and sushi here too.
This lovely little spot in Arona offers panoramic views, affordable drinks and a laid-back atmosphere.
Embrace the Playa de las Americas Nightlife Scene
If you can’t beat them, then how about joining them? Playa de las Americas has a legendary nightlife scene, and the Veronicas area is the main hub for late-night venues.
You can’t mention Playa de las Americas nightlife and not talk about C.C. Veronicas. This 300 metre beachfront strip is home to scores of bars and clubs. The area tends to attract 18 to 35s, but you’ll also see plenty of older revellers. So why not go out and have some fun?
Wear whatever you like, from shorts and sandals to club wear or a humorous or themed outfit – and keep an eye on your wallet. It’s busy, so exercise some common sense here to stay safe. Don’t drink so much that you could lose control, never show off expensive possessions and steer well clear of anyone who seems argumentative.
This is one classy joint, and can be found at the end of C.C. Veronicas. Glam up and dress to impress here, as there’s a smart casual dress code. So no beachwear. The club is also popular during late afternoons and early evenings, when there are chill-out cocktail sessions at sunset.
Though it’s not the cheapest place in PDLA, happy punters say it’s worth it for outstanding service, great vibes and delicious drinks.
For a vibrant atmosphere, a fabulous night is guaranteed at Tramps. The owner is also a pro at making every guest feel like a VIP.
Plying their trade since 2005, the PJ’s team are pros at sharing good cheer and pouring generous measures.
Come to Paddy O’Kelly’s for live music, really good food, reasonable prices and of course the Irish craic.
Another great Irish pub in PDLA offering a lively atmosphere and late-night partying.
For karaoke, comedy and live music head to Princess Di’s. Kids can even take a turn on the mike before midnight.
You can dine al fresco on Italian fare and enjoy live entertainment here at one of the top bars in Playa de las Americas.
Good food, great cocktails and a warm welcome are assured from the professionals at Daniel’s.
Linger Over a Lovely Meal Out
There are many great restaurants in Playa de las Americas. In no particular order, here are our favourite Playa de las Americas restaurants to dine at.
For authentic Balti dishes, head to this restaurant which has wonderful staff and serves yummy food in generous portions.
You cannot miss the big arch announcing Tenerife’s Hard Rock Cafe. Don’t miss out on the stylish decor, cool soundtrack or great cocktails either.
For Italian cuisine including pizza and Mediterranean-style fare, bag a table at Bianco in the resort centre.
Another great Indian eatery in PDLA is Tandoori Hut. Prawn dishes and the butter chicken are firm favourites.
If your ideal meal consists of succulent steak and chunky chips, come to Empire. The British dishes are also very good.
Work your Way Out of the Escape Room
Close to Playa de las Americas is Island Phobia, which has half a dozen high quality escape rooms. The attention to detail and theming here is outstanding, and this is among the best things to do for families in the Playa de las Americas area.
It’s very atmospheric, and well set-up too. If you do need some hints you can get those, or you can proceed without assistance. The challenge is just right – not impossible, but enough to make it interesting. Air-conditioning also ensures you keep your cool.
Take a Surfing Lesson
Tenerife is one of Europe’s top surfing destinations – and has sunshine all year round. The Playa de las Americas area offers a range of different locations for all abilities, and this is the best place to learn in the Canary Islands.
The consistent swells and warm water temperature are ideal for adults and children who are just starting out. For surf classes in Playa de las Americas, we can highly recommend Surf Life Tenerife or Tenerife Surf Point.
Go Scuba Diving or Snorkelling
There’s lots to discover beneath the ocean surface in Tenerife. There are rocks and tunnels to swim through, underwater caverns and cliffs, plus a wide range of marine life. Shipwrecks and the reefs that have blossomed on them add extra appeal.
In the calm, clear waters you can expect to see species like seahorses, moray eels, green turtles, manta rays, angel sharks and lobsters, or schools of bream or barracuda. Sometimes you may also see dolphin pods or whales.
We recommend choosing the Aqua-Marina team as your diving instructors. They have a full range of courses – from absolute beginner lessons through to professional-level training.
Where to Stay
Luxury – Europe Villa Cortés GL
This five star seafront hotel is one of the resort’s best. The building is constructed like a traditional, colourful hacienda you might find in Spain or Mexico. This hotel offers superb service, fine dining and a glorious setting.
Facilities found at Europe Villa Cortes GL include Mexican and Mediterranean restaurants, bars, an indoor swimming pool, a sauna, a jacuzzi, tennis courts, a rooftop terrace and even a private stretch of beach. It’s also close to local eateries and bars.
Best – Mediterranean Palace
Mediterranean Palace is also near a range of local shops, bars and restaurants. It’s also under five minutes’ walk from Camisón Beach. It’s part of the Mare Nostrum Resort and has a buffet restaurant, a juice and snack bar, tennis courts, a gym, a large outdoor pool and a spa.
The hotel also has the Mare Kids Club with a packed programme of activities and a children’s playground, making it a great choice for families.
Mid-Range – Sol Tenerife
Sol Tenerife is only a couple of hundred metres from the beach, and has a pleasant pool lined with sun loungers and palm trees. There are panoramic views over the Atlantic from the resort, and international dishes are available at the restaurant.
It’s another good choice for families, with three outdoor pools including a kids’ pool. There’s also poolside and indoor drink and snack bars to keep everyone well fed and watered. For young guests aged between five and 12 there’s also the children’s club offering cookery or arts and crafts workshops, mini discos, treasure hunts and more.
Budget – Servatur Caribe
This hotel in PDLA offers great value for money. The main strip is just five minutes away on foot and you can also reach the beach and promenade, shopping mall, Siam Park and bus station via a short walk.
The apartments and pool at Servatur Caribe are great and the staff are also very welcoming. This accommodation is ideal for those who love beach life, or families who want to explore further.
Map of Playa de las Americas Attractions
To explore Tenerife to the fullest and at your own pace, we highly recommend renting a car. Our favourite place for car rental is the RentalCars website. It allows you to compare different providers and pick the best deal. You also get the best protection and flexibility for booking terms.
We also recommend taking at least one guided tour. Our favourite place for booking tours in Tenerife is GetYourGuide.
Top 3 excursions on the island:
- A whale and dolphin watching (pick by location: Los Cristianos, Costa Adeje, Los Gigantes).
- Stargazing in Teide National Park
- Kayaking and Snorkeling with Turtles
The best hotels for families with kids (in our opinion):
Luxury: GF Victoria (Costa Adeje) or Bahia Principe Fantasia (Golf del Sur)
Mid-Range: Spring Hotel Bitácora (Playa de las Americas) or Iberostar Bouganville Playa (Costa Adeje)
Budget: GF Isabel (Costa Adeje) or Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle Hotel (Los Cristianos)
The best adults-only hotels:
Luxury: Iberostar Grand El Mirador (Costa Adeje) or Gran Melia Palacio de Isora (Alcalá)
Mid-Range: Tigotan Lovers & Friends (Playa de las Americas) or Iberostar Selection Sábila (Costa Adeje)
Budget: Barceló Santiago (Puerto de Santiago)
Top hotels for everyone:
Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama or Bahia del Duque (Costa Adeje)
Mid-Range: Hard Rock Hotel (Playa Paraiso) or Dreams Jardin Tropical Resort & Spa (Costa Adeje)
Budget: Alexandre Hotel Gala or Olé Tropical Tenerife (both Playa de las Americas)