Top attractions in Tenerife

Can’t decide how to spend your time in Tenerife? Start with this list of the most popular attractions to get started planning your trip.

Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz. Photo by szeke

Tourism is more prevalent in the south of the island, which is hotter and drier and has many well developed resorts such as Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos. Los Cristianos is home to two world-class beaches: The main beach (Playa de Los Cristianos) is a sandy beach sheltered by the Harbour and boasts a number of facilities including watersports, beach volley ball, showers and a children’s play area. Las Vistas Beach is located in the next bay beyond the harbour and is man-made, protected by break-waters, it also boasts a number of facilities including watersports, showers and a tourist information site.

Playa de las Teresitas, an artificial golden yellow beach with Sahara sand, exudes Caribbean feeling and is considered as the most beautiful beach of Tenerife. It is one of the few beaches on Tenerife that do not have the black, volcanic sand that most of the rest of the Canary Islands have. The beach is situated right next to Santa Cruz (7 km) in San Andres and attracts both, local and international visitors.

Playa de Los Cristianos, Tenerife

Playa de Los Cristianos. Photo by Mike__Lawrence

The area known as Costa Adeje (Las Américas-Los Cristianos) comprises many world-class facilities and leisure opportunities besides sea and sand, such as quality shopping centres, golf courses (9 in the island), restaurants, waterparks, animal parks, and a theatre suitable for musicals or a Congress Hall, all in a very characteristic Las Vegas-like aesthetic. In the more lush and green north of the island the main development for tourism has been in the town of Puerto de la Cruz. The town itself has kept some of its old-harbour town charm mixed with northern European influences. Still, the tourist boom in the 60’s changed the outlook of the town, making it cosy and cosmopolitan at the same time, and a favourite for the more mature traveller (notably the German and Spanish tourist).

Playa de Las Teresitas, Tenerife

Playa de Las Teresitas near Santa Cruz de Tenerife.. Photo by Michel Sakr

The beautiful little village of Masca may be somewhat difficult to reach but it is well worth the journey, which takes you through deep ravines interlaced with lush green flora and winding roads with hairpin bends.

The Pyramids of Guimar refer to six rectangular pyramid-shaped, terraced structures, built from lava stone without the use of mortar. They are located in the district of Chacona, part of the town of Güímar on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. While the structures have been dated to the 19th century, their original function has not, as yet, been fully explained.

The small resort of Los Gigantes has one of the most stunning backdrops of any town on Tenerife. The town is named after, and lies at the foot of, the imposing cliffs of the same name which are best experienced up close from a boat.

Acantilados de Los Gigantes

Acantilados de Los Gigantes. Photo by Daniel Gaínza

Mount Teide or, in Spanish, El Teide, is an active though dormant volcano which last erupted in 1909 from the El Chinyero vent on the Santiago (northwestern) rift and is located on Tenerife, Canary Islands. The volcano and its surrounds comprise the Teide National Park (Parque Nacional del Teide in Spanish). The park has an area of 18900 ha and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on June 29, 2007.

The botanical gardens in Puerto de la Cruz provide a good substitute to beach relax if there is cloudy weather in Tenerife. You can find all the plants from subtropical parts of the world as well as some of the plants specific only for this beautiful canary island. The gardens are a tranquil leafy oasis with all sorts of unusual plants to discover. Look out for the sausage and drunken trees and the 200 year old fig tree, said to swallow tourists who are accidentally locked in. Especially beautiful are the lotus flowers. Although none in this botanic garden boast the senior-citizen status of Icod de los Vinos‘ El Drago Milenario in neighbouring Tenerife which, despite its name, is between 300 and 400 years old.

Flamingos, Loro Park

Flamingos at Loro Park. Photo by Olaf A. Koch

Loro Parque (Spanish for “parrot park”) is a zoo located on the outskirts of Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife. Since 1972 when it opened at the size of 13,000m2 with a mere 150 parrots it has grown to 300 species and sub-species, making 3,000 in total, (700 of which are located in the park) and a vast 135,000m2. This collection is claimed to be the largest in the world. Also, on the subject of records, the park has: Europe’s largest Dolphin show pool, the world’s largest indoor Penguin exhibition, the longest Shark Tunnel in Europe, the largest Thai village outside Thailand, and is the only place in Europe to feature an Orca Ocean.

Roques de Anaga, Tenerife

Roques de Anaga located off the north-east coast of Tenerife. Photo by Berthold Werner