Tenerife Tales
An Ex Pat´s Life On A Rock In The Atlantic by Sue Havenhand

Loving Puerto de la Cruz

I have loved Puerto de la Cruz since the first time I saw it. It is far prettier than the purpose-built  south of the Island  – and Puerto has not grown and stretched itself out beyond all recognition.
The first tourist resort in the south was Tenbel, in Costa del Silencio. The fishing village of Los Cristianos became popular, and then the “fun city” of Playa de las Americas was born. In the words of the Spice Girls, two became one, and its now unclear where one ends and the other begins. But that’s still not enough. Travelling westwards, Playa de las Americas runs into Puerto Colon, which runs into Torviscas, which runs into Fañabe, which runs into Playa Del Duque, which runs into La Caleta. The whole shebang is now one huge stretch of developed coastline.  All very well if tourism figures are also on the increase, but what if they stay the same – or fall even?? Many, many more beds, bars, restaurants and businesses vying for an ever decreasing slice of the euro pie. 

In contrast the north has lush green trees and grass, lots of it, and the buildings in the old town are quaint and have so much character – it’s gorgeous.
There are ghosts, of course of a lucrative tourist trade long gone, with  seventies style high-rise hotel and apartment blocks looking sad and empty. I believe that some 25 years or so ago it was the Island’s only tourist resort, and that coach trips ran along the undeveloped south coast, stopping off at Tenbel for a glimpse of things to come.
So what went wrong for Puerto? Well, it’s before my time here, so I can only pass on what I’ve been told. A long-term resident here told me that prior to moving here many moons ago, he and his wife holidayed every year in Puerto. Steadily, major investment was flowing into the development of the south. One particular year they called their travel agent to book their annual break, only to be told Puerto de la Cruz was “unavailable” and that “nobody was going there anymore”. And so Puerto was cut adrift by the big boys, desperate for a return on their investment in the south. How sad!
Credit where it’s due, the Germans have never lost faith in Puerto, obviously not swayed by the hype – so good for them. In fact, in my opinion it is rising from the ashes and  is very much an international resort these days –  if they could just get rid of the unused tower blocks which scream “failure”, then I feel it would have even more appeal. 

The fabulous Loro Parque is just a dream – It’s slogan “The Must of Tenerife” is spot on, especially since the 4 Orcas, direct from Seaworld Florida have taken residence.

So, you holiday makers adventurous enough to hire a car, do yourselves a favour and take a ride up there, it’s a fabulous drive along the coast, and even Mount Teide looks bigger and more majestic from it’s northern side – you won’t be disappointed I guarantee.


9 Responses to “Loving Puerto de la Cruz”

  1. Hi Suzy, I’ve always loved PDLC. I love your comment about the whole shebang …….. I thought that was an Irish one. Hats off to you Girl. Jack

  2. It’s charm is in the architecture, plants and old-world atmosphere. Thank you Suzy for this great article highlighting the appeal of Puerto.

  3. spot on piece kiddo..i think thats why we love san miguel so much, it has the same olde worlde charm as puerto. a gentler, slower pace of life, time to catch your breath..well done,young skywalker..feel the force! x

  4. I love PdlC but only for a day or two, why is it so green? It gets it´s fair share of rain…. What is there to do once you have been to Loro Parque and the Lido…. there are gardens, lots of them Jardín Botánico, Risco Bello, Sitio Litre, and Park Taoro. If a tourist asks what else is there to do there is always visit La Oratava a see the gardens of Hijuela de Botánico or sit in the squares and people watch. These days rightly or wrongly, tourists want more and it should be provided for them without having to travel to the opposite side of the island.

    • Well, some need more, some just want to chill and dont even leave their hotels, whichever side of the island they are on. Fair play though, of course there is more to do in the south, but for me, I just feel like I´ve escaped when I venture “up north”. Thanks for the comment though 🙂

  5. Good luck on your new blog Suzy!

    As a full-time resident of Puerto de la Cruz for the past 26 years I have also seen a certain decline in tourism but have always found the city to be a lovely place in which to live with many sights which may not be found immediately by holidaymakers or part-time residents. And only a short drive away there are villages and country roads where one can experience rural Tenerife and its landscapes. I find Puerto to be a perfect home base for short jaunts up and down the coast which usually in a fish lunch somewhere. I love living here.

    But I agree, the town needs some renovation.


  6. Love your blog Sue, its really informative & interesting
    We visit Tenerife at least twice a year & its great to get a bit of info on the island from a resident. We did spend a week up North a few years ago, it was lovely, but much prefer the south

  7. Nice blog about Puerto, Sue but it’s interesting how when British people talk of tourism, they tend to talk about the Brits.You quite rightly mentioned the German visitors, but not the Spanish mainlanders who flock to the town during summer months and give it a buzz that you don’t find in any other resort on Tenerife.

    As for things to do, somebody mentioned that there were gardens, loro Parque and the lido – add to that museums, art galleries, god knows how many fiestas in a year and lively bars and clubs (but only after midnight and very, very Spanish). I’ve been here for six years and have to say I’ve never tired of finding things to do.

    And at the moment (last night’s weather excepted) am buggered because of the ‘things to do’ – Carnaval anyone?


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