There are plenty of lovely things to do in Puerto de la Cruz. This resort in northern Tenerife is a former fishing village with black sand beaches, a historic old town and modern tourist attractions.
Puerto de la Cruz in northern Tenerife was once a traditional Canaries fishing village, but has grown exponentially due to its popularity with tourists. The resort now offers a variety of accommodations, restaurants, bars, attractions and things to do, including the Old Town and black sandy beaches.
If you’re looking for a holiday destination that’s calm, scenic and set among a lush green landscape, then you may prefer to stay in Puerto de la Cruz in the north rather than a big southern resort like Playa de Las Americas.
This guide will take you through all you need to know about the accommodation, attractions and activities in Puerto de la Cruz. Read on and you can plan your visit to this great holiday destination.
The Best Time to Visit
Like all of the Canary Islands, Tenerife is a year-round holiday destination. The island is known for its winter sun. If you visit during summer you can expect hot weather, while in winter it will still be sunny but with milder temperatures.
The hottest time of year is between June and September. April, May and October are good months to visit Puerto de la Cruz as there is less rain, more sunshine and higher temperatures than in winter.
Between November and March you can expect more rain and cooler temperatures. Yet for visitors from colder climates, the amount of sunshine and clear skies is normally a very pleasant surprise.
Spending time in Tenerife is not only about beach life: there are plenty of other activities to get involved in even when the weather is not quite perfect.
Best Places to Stay
LUXURY – Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden
The Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden is one of the best hotels on the entire island of Tenerife. With a tropical feel, this luxury hotel lets you choose between breakfast or half-board stays.
All guests aged 16 or over enjoy unlimited access to the sumptuous, spacious spa here, which has a Turkish bath, Japanese sauna and an indoor swimming pool. Other hotel amenities include three outdoor pools set among glorious gardens, four restaurants and a cocktail bar.
BEST – Hotel Vallemar
Hotel Vallemar is a travel sustainable, adults-only property in an enviable position. The sublime sea views create the perfect setting for a romantic break for two, and one of the best beaches in Puerto de la Cruz is under four minutes’ walk away.
Accommodation offers garden or ocean views, and the hotel has an outdoor pool, a buffet restaurant, a poolside terrace and a bar. Entertainment is provided nightly and rooms are bright with modern decor and private balconies.
MID-RANGE – RF San Borondon
This mid-range option may be simple in style, but the location is unbeatable. The exterior exudes colonial charm, while inside you’ll find pretty gardens with a saltwater swimming pool to relax in.
RF San Borondon is situated right by Plaza del Charco in the centre of Puerto de la Cruz. A range of studios and double rooms is available, some of which offer pool views. There is also a guest gym on site.
MID-RANGE – Apartamentos Masaru
The idyllic setting of Apartamentos Masaru makes it a popular place to stay as long as you don’t mind being located a little further from the resort centre. Situated in La Paz district, the property is around 15 minutes’ walk from the main Puerto de la Cruz beaches.
Highlights of these studios and apartments include two pools, a couple of tennis courts, a cafe bar and the provision of children’s entertainment during the summer season. All units come with a kitchenette for self-catering.
BUDGET – Hotel Monopol
While it may belong in the budget price bracket, there’s lots to love about Hotel Monopol. The property offers a central location and is housed in a historic building that was once the local dance hall.
Key features of this charming hotel include original wooden balconies, a palm-filled courtyard garden, a heated outdoor pool, a jacuzzi and a sauna. There is also a restaurant and two bars on site.
What to Do in Puerto de la Cruz
Experience Animal Magic at Loro Parque
Loro Parque (Google Maps) is Tenerife’s fabulous zoo and a great place to visit with children. It’s also easy to reach, thanks to the fact that the park provides a free return train service from central Puerto de la Cruz. Find the train timetable here.
Discover the Lago Martiánez Complex
Lago Martiánez is an attractive leisure complex in Puerto de la Cruz. The 100,000 square metre site is clustered around a man-made lake and includes bars, restaurants, gardens, terraces, islands and swimming pools. Lago Martiánez is also an outdoor sculpture park. Find it on Google Maps here.
Sunbathe or Surf at the Black Sand Beaches
There are two main beach areas in Puerto de la Cruz. Playa Martianez (Google Maps) is close to Lago Martianez and is a small black sand beach that’s popular with surfers. It’s not ideal for swimming, however, due to strong wave action and large stones. There aren’t any sunbeds or other services here.
Playa Jardin (Google Maps) is a better bet for those seeking traditional beach life. This area comprises a trio of beaches: Playa del Castillo, Playa Chica, and Playa Maria Jimenez. These are beautiful beaches with warm water that’s ideal for swimming. Here you will also find sunbeds, showers, and all the other amenities you could wish for. There is also a great playground for kids right by these beaches.
Go Flora-Spotting at the Botanical Gardens
The Jardin Botanico is one of the loveliest Puerto de la Cruz attractions of all. Here you can see various species of subtropical and exotic flora. The gardens are well-planned with pleasant, shady pathways between the trees. Find it here on Google Maps.
Enjoy the Exotic Orchid Garden
An 18th century mansion, a cafe, colourful floral displays, and a fish pond all await at the orchid garden in Puerto de la Cruz (Google Maps). The serene setting makes this a peaceful and picturesque place to spend time in.
People-Watching in Plaza del Charco
This is the main town square, and is lined with restaurants and bars. There is also a nice kids playground and the Columbus shopping centre here.
Location: Find it here.
Relax at the Natural Rock Pools
The local rock pools – or Playa San Telmo (location) are a fun place for swimming and fish spotting.
Wonderful Parque Taoro Waterfalls and Views
Parque Taoro offers magnificent, panoramic views over Puerto de la Cruz. Waterfalls, wildlife and a lovely cafe await those who make the trip.
Where: Find it on Google Maps here.
Take a Walk on the Wild Side
If you fancy hiking, we highly recommend the route leading to the three wild beaches of Playa El Bollullo, Playa Los Patos and Playa del Ancón. The trek is well worth it for the stunning views. You can find a full map of the 10km loop here.
Spectacular Sunsets and Sax at Mirador de la Paz
This elevated spot is known for unparalleled sunsets. A local musician often plays the sax during the evening, and you can see the coastline, paragliders, and resort from up high.
Location: Google Maps.
Agatha Christie Stairs
These stairs decorated like the spines of books are located near Mirador de la Paz on Calle San Amaro (Google Maps) and are an Instagram favourite.
Explore the Local Street Art Scene
You can find the local street art to the left of Plaza del Charco when heading towards the shore on the streets of Calle Mequinez, Calle del Lomo, and others. Collect a map from Tourist Information by the harbour (location), or simply wander around Puerto de la Cruz old town while remembering to look up.
This Catholic house of worship is the main church of Puerto de la Cruz. It has attractive gardens, three naves and an original Mudéjar ceiling.
Location: Google Maps
Climb Castillo San Felipe’s Battlements
This castle is a small, square fortress that was constructed for defensive purposes. It can be found right by Playa Jardin (location), and there is a cannon here plus great views from the parapets.
Hike the Rambla de Castro Trail
This protected natural landscape is in the Los Realejos area of northern Tenerife. You can access this coastal path by taking a 10-minute drive to the small Rambla de Castro car park. There is also some parking at Restaurante Mirador de San Pedro. Avoid weekends: it’s often packed and you won’t be able to park.
Bus line 363 will also take you there. Alight at the San Agustin stop, and from there you can take a short paved walk to the start of the trail.
Adventurous types may also choose to hike from Puerto de la Cruz to Rambla de Castro, and this very beautiful route is highly recommended. Find the trail map here.
A few points are worth noting. Though the trail starts further away, many people set out from a hole in the fence by the Maritim Hotel. To access this via the 381 bus, the stop to get off at is Maritim. It’s not a loop, so you’ll walk for half of the total 9 kilometres in each direction. Alternatively, hike to the Rambla de Castro car park and catch a 463 bus from the San Agustin stop to return to Puerto de la Cruz.
Visit Other Towns Near Puerto de la Cruz
Other towns to visit near Puerto de la Cruz make a great day trip. La Orotava is the closest, and thus the first port of call. Garachico, San Cristobal de la Laguna, and Santa Cruz are also worthwhile and each of these takes around 30 minutes to drive to.
Restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz
In terms of consistency and value for money, this is one of the best restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz. It’s a small place that specialises in Mediterranean cuisine and offers gluten-free and vegetarian options.
This contemporary eatery is one of the top spots in Puerto de la Cruz for authentic Spanish tapas. The food is delicious and you can also sample local wines.
This one is located just outside Puerto de la Cruz. Contented customers say it’s worth making the short trip to try Spanish and Swiss specialities and enjoy the countryside setting.
The paella, tapas, cocktails and sangria at La Marea come highly recommended. There are menu options to suit all and the location is very central.
Black Sea is a Puerto de la Cruz eatery serving seafood, steaks and fusion cuisine. The food really has the ‘wow’ factor and the restaurant is located near the Botanic Garden.
Cafes and Pastry Shops
Do try a barraquito coffee during your visit if you can: it’s a very popular beverage here in Tenerife.
Puerto de la Cruz Nightlife
While Puerto de la Cruz is not known for nightlife in the way that some southern resorts are, there are some lively spots to be found. Try popping into the venues dotted around Plaza del Charco, or you could sample the following.
This Irish pub is often seen as the place to party in Puerto de la Cruz. It’s located close to the harbour and has a great atmosphere.
Live music is often played during the evenings at the Cafe de Paris, creating a lively ambience. All day dining is also available and customers recommend the cocktails.
Shopping in Puerto de la Cruz
If you want to shop for self-catering or simply indulge in a little retail therapy, there are several shopping options in and around Puerto de la Cruz.
La Villa shopping mall is near the town, and there are lots of clothing shops and restaurants in the resort. The Columbus Plaza shopping centre is also in the centre of the town on the Plaza del Charco. Another option is the Centro Comercial Martiánez, a small shopping centre near Lago Martiánez.
The best supermarkets in Puerto de la Cruz are Mercadona inside the Centro Comercial Martiánez, Hiperdino on Avenida Melchor Luz, and Lidl on Cam. Burgado. A large Alcampo supermarket can also be found at the La Villa shopping mall.
If you have a car and are staying in Puerto de la Cruz, I highly recommend visiting the La Guancha farmer’s market at weekends. Here the freshest fruits and vegetables are sold very cheaply by the farmers who grew them. It was the best farmer’s market on the island for us – and we visited many.
Tenerife South Airport to Puerto de la Cruz
The bus from Puerto de la Cruz to Tenerife Airport South (TFS) is the 343. Fares are EUR 9.55 with a ten+ card or 13.55 without. The journey time is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
A taxi from TFS will cost at least 100 euros.
While the best way to explore Tenerife is by car, you can still get to Teide from Puerto de la Cruz without one. There is a daily bus service, the number 348. This departs once a day at 09:30 and returns from Teide at 16:00. The price is 6.20 and the ten+ card is not accepted on this route. When you get to Teide, you can also use the 341 route to get around.
There is a direct bus route operating between Puerto de la Cruz and Siam Park daily. This departs from Hotel Maritim at 08:10, stopping at other hotels en route and reaching Siam Park at 10:30. You can see the timetable here.
The price is EUR 15 for adults and EUR 10 for children aged between 3 and 11 years. It’s free for kids under 3. You’ll need to purchase your bus tickets via the Siam Park website – then call +34 922 38 14 33 to confirm your travel.
There is a train taking passengers from Plaza de los Reyes Católicos in Puerto de la Cruz to Loro Parque and back. It operates every 20 minutes. The first train is at 09:30 and the last one from Loro Parque at 17:30. Find further information here.
Getting Around Town
Buses are also a great way to travel inside the town itself. You can plan your journey using the official Tenerife bus website TITSA or on a mobile device via the app. There is also a useful map. Choose your starting point and destination and it will show which buses you need to take.