Puerto de la Cruz – The Cultural Canvas

Historical Heritage

Tracing its roots back to the 1500s, Puerto de la Cruz was initially a humble fishing village. Over time, it evolved into an important port for the rich sugar trade in the 16th and 17th centuries. This early economic significance laid the foundation for its later development into a favored destination for European health tourists in the 19th century. The town’s transformation from a small fishing port into a bustling hub highlights its resilience and adaptability through the centuries.

San Telmo beach in Puerto de la Cruz

San Telmo beach in Puerto de la Cruz

Tourist Hub

Renowned for its stunning black sand beaches like Playa Jardín, a creation of the esteemed Canarian artist César Manrique, Puerto de la Cruz is a testament to harmonious urban and natural aesthetics.

Its lively seafront promenade pulsates with energy, offering an immersive experience of local life and culture.

Lago Martianez, Puerto de la Cruz

Lago Martiánez by César Manrique

Lago Martiánez: Lago Martiánez,  the masterpiece of the illustrious Canarian artist César Manrique, is a marvel of design and ingenuity. It isn’t just about water and sculptures; it’s an entire leisure complex. The area includes a casino, several restaurants, and cafes, making it a perfect destination for both day and night entertainment. The integration of art, architecture, and nature, along with the comprehensive facilities, makes Lago Martiánez a must-visit attraction in Puerto de la Cruz, appealing to both locals and tourists alike.

Loro Parque: This world-renowned zoo and marine park is a beacon of wildlife conservation and a major attraction, celebrated for its diverse wildlife, particularly its parrot collection.  There are however concerns about its ongoing sea life show and the welfare of the orca and dolphins that are kept in captivity.

Botanical Gardens: Established in the 18th century, the historic Botanical Garden of La Orotava is a botanical treasure, housing an impressive collection of tropical and subtropical plants from around the world.

Puerto de la Cruz old town

Puerto de la Cruz old town

Architectural Charm

On one end of twon you will find the modern hotels but it is the old town area, with its traditional Canarian architecture, that is the most charming. It is a picturesque blend of colonial buildings, quaint plazas, and winding cobbled streets, embodying the town’s rich history and culture.

Locals dresses in Canarian traditional clothes walking in the street in Ouerto de la Cruz

Traditional Canarian costumes in Puerto de la Cruz old town

Cultural Vibrancy

Puerto de la Cruz bursts with cultural energy, hosting numerous festivals and events. Notable celebrations include the vibrant Carnival, the July Fiestas of the Virgen del Carmen, and the visually stunning Corpus Christi flower carpets.

Adding to its artistic allure, the town is also home to the “Puerto Street Art” project, transforming its walls into a dynamic canvas of culture since 2014. This initiative, supported by local authorities and artists, has turned the city into an open-air gallery, showcasing a diverse range of murals by internationally renowned artists.

Conejo en Salmorejo in Canarian style

Conejo en Salmorejo in Canarian style

Gastronomic Delights

Foodiess will not be disappointed with their stay in Puerto de la Cruz. Leave your accommodation, throw a stone, and you will hit a good restaurant. The town boasts an array of excellent seafood restaurants, traditional Canarian cuisine, and a lively nightlife scene with numerous bars and clubs.

Look out for:

Fresh Seafood: Being a coastal town, Puerto de la Cruz offers a wide range of fresh seafood dishes. Local restaurants often feature freshly caught fish like vieja (parrotfish), cherne (wreckfish), and atún (tuna). These are typically prepared grilled, baked, or in stews.

Conejo en Salmorejo: Rabbit in salmorejo sauce is a popular dish in Tenerife. The rabbit is marinated in a sauce made from garlic, paprika, vinegar, and spices, then fried or stewed.

Papas Arrugadas con Mojo: A Canarian staple, “wrinkled potatoes” served with mojo sauce (a spicy garlic sauce), is a must-try. The potatoes are boiled in saltwater and served with either red (mojo rojo) or green (mojo verde) sauce. Restaurants in Puerto de la Cruz often have their own unique recipes for mojo, making it a special treat.

Desserts and Sweets: Puerto de la Cruz offers a variety of Canarian desserts, such as bienmesabe (a sweet almond dessert), frangollo (a milk and cornflour dessert), and quesillo (a type of caramel flan).

Puerto de la Cruz is a delightful blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary excellence, making it a captivating destination. From the artistic streets adorned with vibrant murals to the tranquil waters of Lago Martiánez, every corner of this town tells a story of tradition and innovation.