Tenerife is generally a safe place to visit but as always, beware of pickpockets. Walking alone late at night is not advisable as there are a sizeable number of illegal immigrants and local youths who have been known to take advantage of the lone late night reveller. Taxis are widely available, and not too badly priced though a taxi from the southern airport to Puerto de la Cruz is VERY expensive.
The local police take a dim view of any form of trouble, and will arrest not just the culprits but anyone they suspect was involved. This will involve at least a 24 hour stay in the local jail and usually a fine, but it will not be a life-scarring experience. They will also arrest anyone who tries to sleep on a beach at night.
Take note that when walking through Playas De Las Americas there is a lot of clubs round here and some drunkeness in the night hours.
There are no scorpions or snakes to worry about. Mosquitoes can bite at night, especially away from the coast, but they do not carry malaria.
Do not take electrical items, credit cards or large amounts of cash to the beach if you plan to leave your goods unattended while swimming.
The sun is extremely hot this close to the equator so use plenty of high factor sun cream and do not sun bathe between midday and three o’clock (this is when the beaches are busiest anyway).
The island has suffered from cottaging gays (many locals as well as imports mainly from Scotland and Northern England), so much so that men´s public toilets have had to be patrolled by policemen (notably the La Laguna bus station).
Many, many shops on the island selling electrical and optical goods as well as cameras. You may think you are getting a bargain from these smooth talking salesmen but you aren’t. You will overpay for something you could buy cheaper at home and even cheaper off of eBay. Your goods may be faulty. Your guarantee will probably be worthless. These shops are everywhere in the tourist areas and so many people have been cheated by them for so many years.
If you are holidaying in Tenerife you are probably going to be approached by “scratchcard touts” whose main aim is to part you with several thousand pounds for worthless contracts for time-share apartments. This view is backed up by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) who suggest that every year 400,000 UK consumers fall victim to these scams in destinations such as Tenerife, the Costa del Sol and Gran Canaria. On average each victim loses more than £3,000. Bogus “scratchcard touts” offer cards that will always be a winner, but to collect their prize, people need to attend a lengthy presentation and are persuaded into signing a contract for an “exclusive” club on the basis of false claims as to the price, range and quality of holidays available. The OFT’s is advising people to ask three simple questions: can you take away the contract to consider at your leisure? Is everything you were promised in the presentation in the contract? Do you know exactly what you are getting for your money? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then simply walk away.
The other main irritant on Tenerife are the Lookey Lookey men who try to sell you sunglasses, watches and cheap jewellery. They spend their days and nights trawling through the resorts approaching people on the beeches; or while walking and sitting at restaurants. A firm ‘No Gracias’ or ‘No Thanks’ is enough to deter them from further approaches. It is not a good idea to start bartering with them, as you will never get rid of them.