Puerto de la Cruz is located in the Northern part of the island Tenerife and is part of the Canary Islands (Spain). The city is known for tourism, but also for many Northern Europeans who live in the city to survive the cold weather circumstances of Northern Europe. During my International tourism management study at Saxion university of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands I got the chance to do an internship in a five star hotel in Puerto de La Cruz: Hotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden. During my internship I lived for six months in this amazing city. In this article I will introduce the hotel shortly and tell you about ten interesting sites for sightseeing in Puerto de la Cruz.
Hotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden.
This hotel is a well known five star hotel and is part of the brand ‘the Leading Hotels of the World’. Leading Hotels of the world consist out of 410 hotels worldwide. Hotel Botanico (26000 m2) counts 252 comfortable rooms, distributed on five floors and eight meeting rooms. The total meeting surface is 1640 m2 with a maximum capacity of 500 persons. The hotel also offers four restaurants, beautiful sub tropical gardens and ‘The Oriental Spa Garden’, a spectacular Spa of 3500 m² with tropical gardens, beautiful pools, beauty programs, massages, wellness treatments and other services.
During my internship I worked in the restaurants, bar, porter service, kitchen and housekeeping. My tasks differed from serving food and drinks, welcoming the guests, making cocktails, preparing the breakfast, accompanying the guests to the reception and rooms and checking the cleanliness of the hotel rooms. This internship provided me a chance to learn a lot about the different working aspects in a hotel. If you have the chance to go abroad to work or to do an internship, I definitely recommend you to take that chance and go. You will learn a lot, make new friends all over the world and get a wonderful experience.
Ten interesting sites for sightseeing in Puerto de la Cruz.
1. Visit the number two zoo of the world: Loro Parque
If you are going to Tenerife, then this place is a must to visit. Loro Parque is hands down one of the best zoo’s I have been to. The zoo has an extensive and diverse reserve of animal and plant species. You can see different creatures in the park for instance; chimpanzees, gorillas, sea lions, otters, jaguars, tigers, alligators, flamingos, exotic fish, piranhas, sea horses, and various sharks. Next to this, the zoo provides different shows during the day. This include sea lions shows, dolphin shows, parrot shows and orca shows. The sea lion, dolphin and orca shows are really brilliant. Loro Parque was awarded by Trip Advisor as the first best zoo in Europe and the second best zoo of the world.
When you enter the park you can buy a ticket for the ‘Discovery Tour’ including or excluding lunch. This is definitely worth to buy. I bought this extra ticket and got a private tour in the ’employee only’ parts of the zoo. During this tour I visited the sleeping complex of the Gorillas, learned about the food and behaviour of the Gorillas, visited the water purification complex of the penguins and visited the day complex of the Orka’s. The private tour at the complex of the Orka’s was amazing. During the show you will see the Orka’s from above, but during the tour you will go down in a complex and can watch the Orka’s behind a window. Via this, you can see the Orka’s at the same high as you. The Orka’s are very curious animals and will come often to the window to interact with you. I have never been that close to a big creature like the Orca’s. It was amazing! If you also want to experience this, I recommend you to visit the zoo in the early morning or ask the ticket desk for the Discovery tour, because how later you will enter the zoo, how bigger the chance will be that the tickets for this special tour will be sold out.
Every 20 minutes there drives a free express train from Reyes Católicos (city centre Puerto de La Cruz) to Loro Parque. The last train leaves at 18.45 from Loro Parque.
- Loro Parque was awarded by Trip Advisor as the first best zoo in Europe and the second best zoo of the world.
- The entrance fee is around € 34,00 for adults and € 23,00 for kids up to 11 years.
- Children under 6 free entrance.
- Loro Parque is open from 8.30AM to 18.45PM from Monday to Sunday.
2. Watch the sunset or sunbath at Playa de Jardin
Playa de Jardin is the biggest and nicest beach of Puerto de la Cruz. Playa de Jardin means ´Garden Beach´ in English. The beach is surrounded by palm trees and different kinds of flora. At the beach you will find black sand. There is one big restaurant where you can have lunch or buy drinks and snacks. On the beach are sun beds, parasols, showers and toilets available. There is also a lifeguard, because sometimes the waves can become very high, which makes it dangerous to swim. When this is the case, a red flag will be shown at the beach. Playa de Jardin is definitely worth to go to. You can do sunbathing but it is also a very nice beach to watch the sunset in the evening.
3. Enjoy a day swimming at El Lago Martianez
El Lago Martianez is an outside swimming pool complex and it really looks fantastic! There are four big pools and three small children’s pools. The pools are filled with filtered sea water. Moreover, there is a wide range of bars, restaurants, stalls and there is also a casino which you can visit during the day and night.
- El Lago Martiánez was awarded by Trip Advisor as the second best aquatic park in Europe in 2014.
- The entrance fee is around € 5,50 for adults and € 2,50 for kids up to 10 years.
- El Lago Martiánez is open from 10AM to 5PM from Monday to Sunday.
4. Visit la Plaza del Charco during the day or night
Plaza del Charco is a big square in the centre of Puerto de la Cruz. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, ice cream shops and smaller tourist shops located at this square. In the evening, the atmosphere is very cosy.
5. See the skyline of Puerto de La Cruz
On top of the Martianez cliffs, you can see a spectacular view of Puerto de La Cruz. The viewpoint is behind hotel ‘Puerto de la Cruz’. You have to walk some stairs, but the view is amazing.
6. Celebrate Carnival like you have never done before
It is amazing to celebrate Carnival in Tenerife. Usually the carnival is around February and the best place to celebrate carnival is in the capital; Santa Cruz. The celebration of carnival in Santa Cruz is the second biggest in the world. Only carnival in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is more known for its celebration. Next to Santa Cruz, you can also celebrate carnival very good in Puerto de la Cruz. The parades are fantastic and there are many street parties. When you visit the centre in the evening, you will find live music and people dancing everywhere. The atmosphere is fantastic. Next to the dressing up, the carnival in Tenerife has some special traditions like:
- The men have to dress up like woman. Yes, you read it correctly. Most of the men will dress up like woman and will borrow their wife’s clothes and shoes.
- There are funny organised events like heel running for men.
- On ash wednesday, the ‘burial of the sardine’ will take place. On the beach (at the old harbour of Puerto de la Cruz) is a big papier maché sardine. During the night, this will be burned and ends with fireworks.
- The ‘gran cosa apoteosis’ (closing parade of Carnival) is very funny to attend. During the parade, huevos tacos (which are eggshell and cloth balls held together by paste) are thrown onto the passing parade from windows and balconies.
7. Visit the Botanical Gardens (Jardin Botanico)
Jardin Botanico (Botanical Gardens) is located in Puerto de La Cruz. It is a very big garden with unique plants and trees from all around the world. Almost every plant and tree is labeled with the name of the plant or tree in different languages. Moreover, there is a lovely and peaceful pond at the back of the gardens. This garden is a good place to relax and spend one or two hours of the day. There is no restaurant in the garden, so bring some water and food with you. Across the garden, are a couple of restaurants where you can have a delicious lunch or dinner.
- The entrance fee is around € 3,00 for adults.
- The Botanical Garden is open from 09AM to 18PM from Monday to Sunday.
8. Playa de Martianez
This beach is between the Martiánez cliffs and the Costa Martiánez complex. Part of this small, black-sand beach is open to the sea, with excellent conditions for surfing and body surfing. Usually there is a red flag on this beach, and you are not allowed to swim. This is a pity of this beach and therefore, I always preferred to visit Playa de Jardin or El Lago Martianez.
9. Visit the old Castillo de San Felipe
Castillo de San Felipe is a very small old castle (remains of castle) located next to Playa de Jardin. You can have a look inside and read about the history of the castle. It is not very interesting to visit, but if you visit Playa de Jardin, it is worth to have quick look inside this castle. You will cross it anyway.
10. Visit the old harbour
If you have done the nine things above and you still have energy left to explore the city, you could also visit the old harbour of Puerto de la Cruz. It is located next to the ‘Plaze del Charco’. The harbour is very small and is nowadays used to swim and fish.
Puerto de la Cruz is a very nice city to visit during your stay on Tenerife. There are plenty of things to do and the weather is always very nice. If you like to party and would like to visit an awesome night club I recommend Limbo to you. This place is fantastic. Secondly, Blanco is also a good bar to have some drinks.
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