|Puerto de la Cruz (pop. 33,000) is the main tourist resort of the Northern part of the Island and started life as the Port for La Oratava. There’s a great mix of old and new, fortunately a lot older and typically Canarian looking buildings than new but saying that, a great choice of new and modern hotels. There’s a lot of green around the city, more “plazas” (Squares) than anywhere else and the botanical gardens that date from 1788. The city is surrounded by banana plantations and bordered by the sea, but also the very scenic Oratava valley and Esperanza forest.
|For almost 100 years the city has been a popular tourist destination. There’s an endless and excellent choice of restaurants and bars, good night life and the small, natural beaches are of black volcanic sand. There’s no reef to protect them from the harsher tides so they are not always safe for swimming but to compensate for this, the internationally renowned Canarian artist César Manrique designed a large open-air seawater swimming pool in the town called the “Lago de Martianez”. A very impressive public pool only a few meters from the sea with plenty of room to swim and sunbathe. Plaza del Charco in the center is a picturesque and peaceful place to meet, have coffee or during the evenings, watch the street artists that perform there. To the north of the city and the main tourist attraction here you’ll find Loro Parque, a spectacular zoo where you could easily spend an entire day.