Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The capital of the island and the place where the second largest carnival of the world takes place
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is located in the northeast of the island and the it is the capital of the island. Its deep port has been the reason for the expansion of the city and the port of Santa Cruz is still one of the busiest ports in Spain today. If you go to the Canary Islands from Spanish mainland by boat, your boat arrives in the port of Santa Cruz after almost two days of sailing. In the following paragraphs, we will quickly summarize what you should not miss in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
You can start your tour at Plaza de Espana, which is the largest square in Santa Cruz (and Tenerife) that is located in the heart of the city. In the middle of the square is a large artificial lake and the Santa Cruz sign, where tourists usually take photos of themselves. The surrounding streets are full of small shops and cafés. The streets of Santa Cruz are usually shaded by mature trees, so it is a pleasant walk. Near the square is the port and Auditorio, the most famous building in Tenerife, which will surely remind you of the Opera House in Sydney and it was designed to resemble the sail of a yacht.
Water park Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique
Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique is a water park with several saltwater pools set in beautiful gardens. Admission is only 5 euros for an adult (the price includes a deck chair) and 1.50 euros for a child under 12 years. For more information visit their official website here.
Botanical Garden Palmetum
Palmetum has one of the largest collections of palm trees in the world. It is situated near the port and the water park. The bad news is that the botanical garders are situated on the hill, so it is not really suitable for a stroll. However, you will be able to enjoy beautiful sea view from there. Another great park that is worth a visit is called Parque Garcia Sanabria and is located in the historic city centre.
Church Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion
One of the main monuments of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the church Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion, which was built in the 16th century and it was one of the first churches built in Tenerife. Another remarkable church is Iglesia de San Francisco, which is considered the best example of Baroque architecture in the Canary Islands and which is located in plaza San Francisco.
Market Mercado de Nuestra Senora de Africa
Mercado de Nuestra Senora de Africa is a dynamic food market that you should not miss. It is located in a beautiful colonial-style building and has a unique atmosphere. You will find mainly fruits, vegetables, spices, flowers and some souvenirs.
The second largest carnival in the world
If you arrive in Tenerife in February, you should definitely go and see the carnival. The Carnival of Santa Cruz is the largest in Spain and the second largest in the world, after the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro.
Las Terasitas beach
The main beach in Santa Cruz is called Las Teresitas Beach. It is located on the outskirts of the city and the Anaga Mountains rise above it. It is so beautiful that people consider it the most beautiful beach in Tenerife. It has fine golden sand imported from the Sahara desert, and it is protected by breakwaters so there are hardly any waves. Great beach to go to during the week, but it can get crowdy during the weekends.