Photo of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Visit Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Santa Cruz de Tenerife is situated on the north-east of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife. It is situated in a large bay with the sea in front and the Anaga mountains behind. It is on the north-east of the island and is one of the busiest ports in Spain.

Explore Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Spain This Way comment: If you are in the north of the island come to Santa Cruz for a day to explore the shops and the architecture and the colourful food market.

Santa Cruz is not really a tourist destination in itself however it is a great base for exploring the north-east of the island. It is also great for shopping. Start at the Plaza d'Espana, down by the sea and head up towards the Plaza de Candelaria. Keep an eye out for some lovely modernist buildings.

The Plaza d'Espana is the largest plaza in Europe and has an artificial lake. It is at the heart of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and a pleasant place to spend some time.

For shops the Calle Castillo is the main street and for restaurants head to the Avenida Maritima on the seafront.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

One of our favourite attractions is a visit to the Mercado de Nuestra Senora de Africa, a large market selling foods and spices. It is very colourful and has a fantastic choice. Sit down at the bar in the middle and enjoy the activity around you.

Be sure to visit the Tenerife Auditorium which is a beautiful building a little bit like the style of the Sydney Opera House. The Tenerife Auditorium is the main venue for the Canary Islands celebrated Classical music festival which takes place every year in January/February. This can be found at the Port of Santa Cruz.

Also at the Port is the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique which is a kind of upmarket water park with over 20000 square meters of saltwater pools and other facilities. The park was designed by Cesar Manrique who is a well known Canaries architect.


Next to the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique is a large botanical garden called the Palmetum de Tenerife and contains one of the world's largest collection of palm trees. On the other side of town the Park Garcia Sanabria is also a nice park and has gardens and fountains and is pleasant for relaxing.

Just behind the seafront and between the Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique and the Plaza d'Espana is the museum of Man and Nature which is an excellent museum tracing back Canary Islands history to pre-Hispanic times and looking at the flora and fauna of the islands.

Santa Cruz Beaches

The best beach near Santa Cruz is Las Teresitas, 8 km to the north. This is the most popular beach on the island. It is a man-made beach which was enlarged in 1973 with the addition of 4 million sacks of Saharan sand! It is a beautiful beach with a mountainous backdrop, lots of palm trees and plenty of beach activities. It also has a backdrop of the beautiful Anaga mountains.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife


This is the most popular festival on the island and is particularly big in Santa Cruz. There is a large procession with floats, fantastic costumes, music and partying. Carnival takes place in February.

Carnival in Santa Cruz is one of the biggest in the world, indeed it is considered to be second in popularity after that of Rio de Janeiro, and is being considered as a UNESCO World Heritage event.

Where to visit nearby?

Loro Park is a wildlife park near Santa Cruz with excellent sea-lion, dolphin and whale shows. There are lots of other animals to see including the world's biggest collection of parrots. There is also a very large penguinarium with a reproduction of the climate of the Antarctic and so lots of snow every day. The park gets very busy so be prepared to queue.

Take a trip into the Anaga mountains which are very beautiful and protected because of their ecological importance. These mountains are spectacularly beautiful in places.

La Laguna is a beautifully preserved elegant town and its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. La Orotava is another elegant town well worth a visit.

Of course the unusual landscapes of the Teide National Park is a must when you visit the island of Tenerife.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Western Canary Islands guide.

See also: 

Photos of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • santa-cruz-concepcion
  • santa-cruz-de-tenerife
  • santa-cruz-parque-garcia-sanabria
  • santa-cruz-plaza-espana
  • santa-cruz-plaza-espana1
  • tenerife-beach

Map of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and places to visit


Santa Cruz de Tenerife places to visit

La Laguna

La Laguna

La Laguna,San Cristobal de La Laguna,was originally the capital of Tenerife this inland town remains the cultural capital of Tenerife.

La Laguna guide
Anaga Rural Park

Anaga Rural Park

The beautiful Anaga Rural Park is home to the Anaga mountains and the ancient Mercedes forests.

Anaga Rural Park guide
La Orotava

La Orotava

La Orotava has wide streets, handsome squares and lovely churches and like Puerto de la Cruz is beautifully situated at the foot of Mount Teide.

La Orotava guide
Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is a lovely little harbour town situated at the foot of Mount Teide. It has colourful stucco buildings and lots of attractions nearby.

Puerto de la Cruz guide
Loro Park

Loro Park

Loro Park is one of the top attractions of Tenerife. It is a large zoo with a dolphin display and tree-tops jungle walkway.

Loro Park guide
Park Teide

Park Teide

In Park Teide is Mount Teide, a dormant volcano and the highest peak in Spain. The park is a treat and not to be missed.

Park Teide guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Western Canary Islands