Puerto de la Cruz

Travel Guide Europe Spain Canary Islands Tenerife Puerto de la Cruz

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Introduction

Puerto de la Cruz (sometimes abbreviated to Puerto Cruz on road signs or Puerto in everyday language) is a city of the island of Tenerife. It is more a family-friendly and older resort than the other tourist areas of Tenerife.

Puerto de la Cruz was established as a fishing village and eventually became the port for the nearby inland city of La Orotava. During the 17th century it developed into the most important port of Tenerife's north coast, used for exporting sugar cane and wine from the Orotava Valley. Over time the city developed a separate identity from that of La Orotava, and finally gained full municipal autonomy in 1808.

In the late 19th century, British elites began to visit, staying in many of the older Spanish manors which had been converted into luxurious hotels. In 1955 mass tourism arrived in El Puerto, or Puerto Cruz, as it is sometimes called, and since then has been the largest basis of the city's economy.

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Sights and Activities

The old port area is bustling and has surprisingly good and interesting shops tucked away among many pleasant bars and bistros. While there are lots of tourists in this area, they are mostly Spanish, and the area is pleasantly free of German and British junk food outlets. Real fisherman still go out from here. As there is so little water space in the harbour, boats are lifted in and out of the water by electric cranes; it's very pleasant to sit with a coffee and watch them. You will still see fisherman gutting squid and scaling fish on the harbour steps. The end of the sea wall by the harbour is a good spot to sunbathe and plunge into the sea, if scarily close to the boats powering in and out of the harbour.

Between here and the Lago Martianez is a fairly tack strip of neon-lighted shops selling two-year-old technology at today's market rates, etc, but overall it's a pleasant walk with some nice churches, houses and gardens in amongst them all.

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Getting There

By Plane

Many people will arrive on a package deal. Some by taxi from the southern airport South–Reina Sofia (TFS IATA), around €100, 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 Los Rodeos (TFN IATA), but on the whole only from mainland Spain. It may well be cheaper and pleasanter to pre-book a return taxi or shuttle bus from Tenerife South and to hire a car locally, than to hire a car from the airport at about twice the daily rate.

For travellers without much luggage, the local Titsa express bus 343 is very cost-effective and efficient , and serves both airports. From Aeropuerto Sur a one-way ticket costs €13.55, and from Aeropuerto Norte €4.75. Tickets can be purchased directly from the bus driver, exact change not required. If you travel with a late flight, be careful: the last 343 bus from Aeropuerto Sur departs around 22:30 - 23:20 depending on day of week. It usually starts from track number 30.

By Car

Puerto de la Cruz is well-connected to the east and west through the TF-5 motorway. The Teide mountain area can easily be reached by just following the TF-21 uphill. Don't listen to your GPS when it proposes leaving that road while you are still within the settled areaː It may be a shorter way to climb up one of the narrow Caminos but it isn't necessarily faster, and depending on how good your navigation system is you might easily end up in a dead end. Driving over the mountain to Los Gigantes will take you over an hour the first time, even if you're brave. If you are nervous, just don't do it as the road winds scarily over high mountains. If you're driving to the Costa Adeje area, it's much quicker to go via Santa Cruz on the motorway, which takes about an hour.

By Bus

Tenerife has a good bus service and all buses stop on C/ Cupido, just across the street from the now defunct bus station in the centre of town. The Titsa Information Centre (☏ +34 922 381 807, M-F 06:00-20:00, Sa Su and holidays 09:00-17:00) has bus schedules and route maps, and sells ten+ cards. A single card can be shared by a number of people.

Note: If you travel to/from Santa Cruz, the direct bus 103 goes by motorway and is quick. The other bus 102 takes maybe three times as long, visiting everywhere on the way, including Tenerife Norte airport and La Laguna. Going south you can take a direct bus (only a few times a day) or change at Santa Cruz bus station.

There are several travel agencies too for tours around the island or to other islands.

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Getting Around

By Car

Hiring a car locally is cheap and easy. Even with a small car (highly recommended!), navigating the old city centre can be tricky, as there are many narrow one-way roads. A GPS navigation system can help here, but don't trust it blindly as the map data may be outdated. Finding a parking spot can be even more of a challenge if you don't know where to look for it. Your safest bet is the huge 3 parking lot near the harbour (free of charge). To get there, enter the Paseo Luis Lavaggi at its far western end. This road already has some 4 parking spaces, but to get closer to the harbour you can go all the way through, turn left at the traffic light and then follow the road up the hill and along the coast. Note that it is not possible to enter directly from the east through Calle San Felipe. Also note that in most maps this is marked as (futuro) Parque Maritimo. Don't get fooled by that, as it has been the future maritime park for decades and will probably remain a parking lot for quite some time.

By Public Transport

The long-distance Titsa buses are used as the local bus service. See above for bus details.

By Foot

Once you get away from the main shopping centre it's uphill all the way, and a fairly steep climb in places.

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Eat

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 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.

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Sleep

Be Live Experience Orotava, Avda del Aguilar y Quesada, 3 (200 m from the beach and Lago Martiánez, 6 km from Los Rodeos airport), ☏ +34 922 368 860, ✉ recepcion.orotava@belivehotels.com. From €60.
Hotel Marquesa, C/ Quintana, 11, ☏ +34 922 383 151. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 08:00-12:00. Built in 1712 as a private manor, the building is named after the Marquesa de Candia, a previous resident. In 1799 the Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt stayed here for five days as a guest of the then-owner Bernardo Cólogan y Fallon. In 1887 it was converted to a hotel. Modern facilities include an outdoor pool, fitness centre, onsite restaurant, non-smoking rooms, and free Wi-Fi. From €61 (doubles).
Hotel Monopol, C/ Quintana, 15, ☏ +34 922 384 611, fax: +34 922 370 310, ✉ info@monopoltf.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. This 250-year-old hotel has modern facilities including an outdoor pool and onsite restaurant. Wi-Fi is €6/day; pets permitted on request. From €45 (singles), €78 (doubles); breakfast included.
Hotel Checkin Nopal, Calle San Juan, 17, ☏ +34 952 917 417.
Hotel Tigaiga, Parque Taoro, 28 (Taoro Park), ☏ +34 922 383 500. A great place to relax. It is surrounded by an extensive subtropical garden and from the heated swimming pool you can enjoy panoramic views which reach from Teide volcano over the Atlantic. From €184 (doubles, half-board).
Hotel Best Semiramis, Calle Leopoldo Cologán Zulueta 12, ☏ +34 922 373 200. Comfortable five-star hotel in the quiet residential area of ​​"La Paz" 1.5 km from the centre of Puerto de la Cruz and "Lago Martianez".

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 13:11 on Apr 7, 20 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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