Puerto de la Cruz is more a family and older resort than the other tourist areas of Tenerife.
Many people will arrive on a package deal. Some by taxi from the southern airport (very expensive) and some by bus via Santa Cruz bus station (easy to do if you do not have too much luggage). Some airlines now fly in by the nearer northern airport.
Once you get away from the main shopping centre it´s uphill all the way, and a fairly steep climb in places. Tenerife has a good bus service and there is a bus station in the center of town. A number of travel agencies if you need them too for tours around the island or to other islands. Note. If you travel to Santa Cruz, the direct bus goes by motorway and is quick. The other bus takes maybe three times as long, visiting everywhere on the way. Going south you can take a direct bus (only a few times a day)or change at Santa Cruz bus station. Buy a Bono card (you only need one for a number of people) which can save 50-70% on fares as well as save on museum entries. An oddity is that you can get a direct flight to Venezuela from Tenerife which accounts for a fair number of Venezuelans on the island.
You have to travel if you want a beach so many use the Lido area or hotel pools for lounging around in the sun.
Loro Parque – A large zoo with shows from many of the inhabitants. Named after the parrots who the park started with there are now also penguins, dolphins, whales, sea lions and plenty other animals.
Beware of queues on entering where they insist on taking your photo with a parrot which you can buy at large expense later, or you can just turn left at the entrance and avoid this.
€24 for adults or €12 for children, you can also buy inclusive coach trips from Costa Adeje/Las Americanos which will take you there for the day and back (about 90 minutes travelling each way).
The usual Spanish knick-knacks and tourist tat. British newspapers. Steer clear of cameras, binoculars, etc from Asian dealers which are not a bargain like they may first seem. You can almost certainly buy them cheaper back home and take them back if they are faulty. Many shops shut for a few hours from midday.
There are lots of good, affordable restaurants offering typical Canarian and Spanish food in Puerto de la Cruz, especially in the old part of the town. Expect to pay between 15-20 EUR for a meal consisting of grilled fish, Canarian potatoes, mineral water and maybe even a starter such as a bowl of Gazpacho soup. Of course most international kitchens are represented too. Food hygiene standards are good, so it’s generally safe to eat just about anything.
Whatever you like is here though you´ll normally have to go down south for “happy hours” and the disco scene.
Better to book before arrival as a tour or on the internet. Some agencies do long lets. Remember that it can be a long way up a steep hill back to your hotel/apartment if you are at the back of town or “German Town” as some call it because of the number of Germans who have bought apartments there.
Some people who have hired cars here have been told to leave nothing in them overnight and to even leave them unlocked as that way they do not get their windows broken by people looking to steal from them.