Located between the neighbouring resorts of Playa de la Arena and Los Gigantes, Puerto de Santiago offers the best of all three worlds for visitors who don’t mind staying in a hilly location.
The resort is characterised by whitewashed buildings that contrast beautifully with the black sandy beach. It’s a peaceful place with a relaxed atmosphere, and ideal for self-catering as there are a couple of large supermarkets.
It has a small local Blue Flag beach, as well as the bigger one in Playa de la Arena that’s just 10 minutes’ walk away. There is a range of bars, restaurants and cafes to choose from too.
If you want to access the facilities of several resorts, while staying in a central yet quiet part of the coast, Puerto de Santiago in western Tenerife could make the perfect holiday destination.
Weather in Puerto de Santiago
The western coast of Tenerife and particularly the area around Los Gigantes and Puerto de Santiago is considered to be the warmest place in the whole of Tenerife. It’s spring-like or summery weather all year round. Even those who visit in the European winter months of December, January, and February can expect lots of sunshine and many days good not only for sunbathing but also for swimming in the ocean.
Rain is also a rare guest here. We lived in Puerto de Santiago for almost a year and I can count on my fingers the number of rainy days we encountered. Even if it was raining or cloudy, let’s say, in Playa de Las Americas, it was sunny here.
Basically, you can expect the weather to be hot (around 30°) during summer and nice and warm in winter (the temperature rarely drops below 20° during the day). Short sleeves will be fine most of the winter days with a jacket needed in the evenings.
Things to do in Puerto de Santiago
Wander Along the Coastal Path
The coastal walk is easily accessed from Puerto de Santiago, and connects the resort with Los Gigantes and Playa de la Arena. Head north and you can be in Los Gigantes in only 20 minutes, or meander southwards to reach Playa de la Arena and then the local village of Alcala.
On Mondays, Alcala has a bustling market that’s open between 9 AM and 2 PM. If you decide to take it easy on the way back, you can travel by taxi at a cost of around 8 Euros – or catch a bus. Routes 473 and 477 run regularly between the three resorts (more about them later in the article).
Swim and Soak up the Sun at the Beach
Sun-worshippers have three local beaches to choose from – one in Playa de Santiago, one in Los Gigantes to the north and one in Playa de la Arena to the south. They all feature Tenerife’s distinctive black volcanic sand.
Playa de Santiago or Playa Chica
This small, black sandy beach is popular with locals, but can easily become crowded due to its limited size. There is also a lack of amenities. Most visitors tend to prefer the beaches in Playa de la Arena and Los Gigantes.
Location: Google Maps
Playa de la Arena
Playa de la Arena’s black sand, palm-fringed beach is one of Tenerife’s finest. Ultra clean, it has held Blue Flag status for several decades. This beach is ideal for all types of travellers, including families. Close by you’ll find a variety of places for drinks, snacks and main meals. Parasols and sun loungers can also be rented. During periods of peak demand, this beach may become a little crowded, because it’s, without a doubt, the best beach in the area.
You can access Playa de la Arena beach by foot or via buses 473 and 477 from Puerto de Santiago.
Location: Google Maps
Los Gigantes Beach or Playa de los Guios
This is definitely the most picturesque beach in the area and one of the most beautiful ones on the island. Positioned right at the foot of the famous Los Gigantes cliffs, this beach is under 200 metres long and has all the amenities you need.
Because of the cliffs, the beach is shaded in the mornings but is sunny by the time afternoon arrives. Leave a car in the paid parking lot at the harbour (location). Or use buses 473 and 477 to come here from Puerto de Santiago. You can also come on foot but keep in mind that you’ll have to walk uphill on your way back.
Location: Google Maps
Sample a Saltwater Swimming Pool
Tenerife is famous for its swimming pools that are carved from rock and fed by saltwater. Piscina Natural Acantilado De Los Gigantes is positioned just below the Barceló Santiago hotel, in the area where Puerto de Santiago meets Los Gigantes (location). Taking a dip on this large, natural pool can be a most memorable experience.
Additional protection from the surf and spray has been built in by means of human intervention, but visitors should still take great care. Beach shoes are essential and the rocky, uneven bottom can get very slippery. Walking on the stones in bare feet can also cause discomfort. During wilder weather conditions, the waves can also be dangerous. Those who don’t want to swim can simply sit back and soak up the stunning ocean views instead.
Pleasing Panoramas from the Mirador Archipenque
Head north into Los Gigantes before taking an uphill walk to reach Mirador Archipenque (location), the local viewpoint. Your efforts will be rewarded by breathtaking views over the ocean – and the famous Los Gigantes cliffs. Once you arrive at the lookout, there is a cafe selling drinks and snacks to savour while taking in the incomparable views.
Take a Short Trip to Los Gigantes
The neighbouring town of Los Gigantes is a great place to spend a morning, afternoon, evening or entire day. This is the largest and best-known of the three resorts, and it has an appealing, boat-lined harbour as well as the towering cliffs it is famous for. Many visitors like to enjoy a snack, drink or meal at one of the cafes or restaurants here.
Boat trips can also be taken from the harbour, and lucky visitors may have the chance to see whales or dolphins. Food and beverages are provided on board and guests may wish to take a refreshing dip in the sea, as the towering cliffs loom above. You can discover more about Los Gigantes in our guide or check out our most recommended whale-watching cruise.
Explore Magical Masca
The small mountain village of Masca makes a great day trip destination for those staying in Puerto de Santiago. In the past, most visitors descended on this tiny settlement to hike, but this is now more of a challenge as boats have been banned. This means those who wish to take to the trails must now hike back up, as well as down towards the sea.
Nevertheless, this remains a very popular spot and can still become crowded. It’s well worth the effort, due to the stunning natural scenery. Masca’s landscape is characterised by mountains, forest trails, waterfalls and rugged terrain. It is a magical place, abundant in local flora and wildlife. Travellers can also enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants.
How to get to Masca
To reach Masca from Puerto de Santiago, take a bus numbered 325, 461 or 462 towards Santiago Del Teide. Change here, boarding bus route 355 to Masca. You can find out more about transport options later in this article.
It is possible to get to Masca by hire car, but this is not for the faint-hearted due to the steep, narrow roads with hairpin ends. Taking a taxi is also an option, as a local driver will be familiar and comfortable with the route. This should cost about 60 Euros, and you can expect the driver to wait for a few hours while you explore Masca.
See Sunset over the Ocean at Fisherman’s Inn
There’s something incredibly special about watching the sun sink in the sky with the waters of the ocean rippling beneath – and there’s no better place to witness this natural spectacle than at the Fisherman’s Inn.
This local eatery serves up a small but beautiful range of freshly cooked dishes that are bursting with flavour and colour. Offering a warm welcome, this Puerto de Santiago restaurant specialises in Mediterranean, international and seafood dishes – and the sublime views are outstanding.
Taste-test more of Puerto de Santiago’s best restaurants
Make sure you book as early as possible if you want to sample the delicious food served at La Pergola. Previous happy diners describe this place as ‘perfect’, ‘amazing’ and ‘fantastic’, with a ‘beautiful’ and ‘stunning’ setting. A range of artfully presented international dishes are served, and there are good vegetarian and vegan options offered.
If you hanker after some pizza or pasta when on holiday, Domu Mia is the place for you. Located on Calla Angeles, this Italian-style eatery offers the complete experience – checked tablecloths and red and green decor included. The pizzas are so good that even kids have been known to devour the freshly-baked crust. A must for pasta and pizza lovers, and well worth straying away from the seafront for.
Keen carnivores in particular will love Casa Edu, where barbecued meat and Spanish-style dishes are the order of the day. Diners really rate the steaks, pork chops and garlic prawns – as well as Canarian potatoes, an island speciality. Huge portions also add to the appeal, although it’s probably not the best destination for vegetarian holidaymakers.
Best Places to Stay
While many of the best Puerto de Santiago hotels are covered in a separate article about accommodation in the Los Gigantes area, you can find some of our local favourites right here. If you want to be based in Puerto de Santiago, here are our top recommendations.
BEST – Barceló Santiago
This four-star property gives guests the advantage of stunning, sweeping views over La Gomera island and the Los Gigantes cliffs. With a beach only 200 metres away, this property occupies a prime position in Puerto de Santiago.
Facilities include a spa with hot tub, sauna and Turkish bath as well as three outdoor pools. There’s also a poolside snack bar and restaurants serving buffet meals and tapas. The property offers a selection of deluxe, air-conditioned rooms, including some seaview rooms and suites.
MID-RANGE – Aparthotel Los Dragos del Sur
The Los Dragos del Sur aparthotel also offers superb coastal views and a range of amenities. All the attractions of central Puerto de Santiago are also nearby. This three star property offers free WiFi, a gym, outdoor pool, snack bar, restaurant and chill out area. There are one, two or three bedroom apartments sleeping up to five guests, each with a pool or sea view terrace, air-con, satellite TV and well-equipped kitchenette.
BUDGET – Vigilia Park
Vigilia Park occupies a hillside location in Puerto de Santiago, a little way inland. This great value property has a good range of amenities, including a rooftop pool and bar with coastal vistas. With a branch of LIDL next door, this complex is perfectly placed for self-catering holidays in one, two or three bedroom apartments with balconies. Guests also have use of a gym, children’s play park, games room, hot tub, lounge, mini golf and three outdoor pools which are heated during winter. There is also an on-site restaurant.
BACKPACKER – Arena Nest Hostel
Situated close to the beach at Playa de la Arena as well as the amenities of Puerto de Santiago, Arena Nest is a sociable and affordable place for couples, solo travellers and groups to stay. Accommodation options include shared dorms and self-contained double rooms, and it has a shared kitchen, lounge and shower rooms. The hostel provides free WiFi and hairdryers, and also has a tour desk that can assist with booking excursions and further travel.
With branches of LIDL and Mercadona, Puerto de Santiago is a great location for a self-catering break. Having these close by means accessing cheaper products than those typically sold in smaller, more tourist oriented shops. These big stores offer a wide variety of products – all sold at great value prices.
Many visitors prefer to hire a car when visiting the Canary Islands. Rental cars are very affordable here and allow holidaymakers the freedom to explore other parts of Tenerife – at their own pace.
It is also perfectly possible to get around by using the local bus network. There are various bus stops around Puerto de Santiago, so you can simply hop on a bus at the stop closest to your accommodation.
Local bus routes
All buses calling at ‘T’ stops go through Quinto Centenario, Correos and Puerto de Santiago, so it doesn’t matter which one you choose. For those staying on the hill near the San Francisco bus stop, it can be a little more tricky as the best and most frequent bus routes in the area (473 and 477) do not pass there. If this is the case, take a bus numbered 325, 461 or 462 to a more central bus stop so you can then change bus.
The 473 and 477 are the most frequent routes, departing every 40 minutes. They are generally the best option in the area as they can take you to Los Gigantes in the northern direction or to Los Cristianos (473) and Costa Adeje (477) when heading south. Bear in mind that the 477 is an express bus, so it can be much quicker than the 473.
Puerto de Santiago to Puerto de la Cruz
Bus routes 325, 461, and 462 all travel northwards, and they are also infrequent. You may wish, however, to take the 325 if you want to visit Puerto de la Cruz – and it’s a great city to explore. Bear in mind that this trip takes 2 hours, though, and that there are only a few buses running each day. Find out more about the 325 here.
Puerto de Santiago to Playa de las Americas
The 473 is the only bus that travels to Playa de las Americas. To visit this resort, make sure you alight at the Zentral Center bus stop. Alternatively, you could take a taxi, which will cost around 35-40 Euros.
Puerto de Santiago to Siam Park
A taxi to Siam Park will cost around 35-40 Euros, each way. Alternatively, buses 473 and 477 travel to the Costa Adeje bus station (Estación Costa Adeje T). From there, the park is around 10 minutes’ walk away, or you could take a taxi. The 477 is the best bet, as Costa Adeje station is the final destination on this route: the 477 is also quicker than the 473.
Or you can use the official Siam Park bus service which leaves from this area on Thursdays and Sundays. Here is the timetable. Just look for your hotel or find your way to the nearest hotel from the list. Oh, and don’t forget to purchase the ticket at the official Siam Park website beforehand.