Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Puerto for Virgins: 9. Nightlife

The wonderful thing about nightlife in Puerto de la Cruz is that it offers such variety no matter what time you want to enjoy your evening; whether you're an early bird or a night owl; whether you just want to chill, or rave all night. As mentioned previously, a good place to begin the early evening is people watching on the Plaza del Charco, taking a stroll around town (the tourist shops remain open), eating out (if you choose), maybe watch a sunset, and beyond that, it depends what you like and how late you want to stay up, but there are bars and clubs for all tastes. Here are a couple of guides that may help.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Countdown to Carnival: Ritmo y Armonía Comparsa - Tropicana

The comparsas give you the spirit of carnival and while the galas, the opening parade and the main parade are all well known events, one you may have missed out on is the Ritmo y Armonía (Rhythm and Harmony) Comparsas Contest that takes place on the Saturday night of carnival that next year will take place on Saturday, 2 March 2019.

Here is just one of the comparsas from carnival earlier this year.

Most Santa Cruz carnival events are televised via RTVE or RTVC, locally, nationally and internationally or recordings may be found on the CarnavalTVC Youtube channel.

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Tropicana | Ritmo y Armonía | SC de Tenerife 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

Something for the weekend: Puerto de la Cruz Summer Carnival 2018

For the third year running, Puerto de la Cruz is holding a Summer Carnival, which this year is taking place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 14, 15 and 16 September 2018.

This three day event gives tourists an experience of carnival, as well as giving townsfolk another party to look forward to.

The two biggest events will be the Mascarita ponte el tacón (Men's High Heels Marathon) and the verbenas (open air dances).

The Summer Carnival will commence on Friday 14 September at 4pm with an exhibition of carnival  costumes in three of the hotels. At the same, dance workshops are taking place at San Telmo. At 7pm there will be a carnival parade along the Martiánez Promenade and San Telmo to the Plaza de Europa. Between 8pm and 10pm, an exhibition of Murga groups, including Los Mamelucos, winners of an historic triple in Santa Cruz, with the verbena (dancing) kicking off from 10pm in the Plaza de Europa.

On Saturday 15 September 2018 various workshops at San Telmo in the morning. At 5:30pm there will be performances from several comparsas. In the Plaza de Europa, from 6pm, performances by choreographed dance troops. At 8pm in San Telmo, comparsa Guaraní Moana. At 8:30pm the Mascarita ponte tacón (Men's High Heels Marathon) from San Telmo to the Plaza de Europa, finishing with a costume and float party and dancing to various artists and the Orquesta Dinacord from 10pm.

On Sunday 16 September 2018, from mid-day until 2pm and from 4pm until 6pm there will be kids shows, activities and bouncy castles in the Plaza de Europa.

Carnaval de Verano con verbenas y “Mascarita ponte el tacón”

Carnival Queen costume on display in one of the hotels

Carnival Parade on the Martiánez Promenade

Carnival Parade on the Martiánez Promenade

Verbena in the Plaza de Europa

Mascarita ponte el tacón Carnaval de Verano Puerto de la Cruz 2016

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Puerto for Virgins: 8. Excursion to La Laguna, Taganana and Santa Cruz

Real Santuario del Cristo de La Laguna

No matter how good Puerto de la Cruz is (and it is), Tenerife is a whole island full of varied delights to be explored and, even in just a week, you're probably going to want to see at least a little bit of it. Of all the excursions available, I believe that this one provides the best value, as well as the most interesting balance between the island's natural and man-made environments, as well as both historical and modern. We went on this excursion ourselves when we were last on the island in 2016 and had a really good day out.

The trip takes in the old capital of the island and now UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Laguna (or to give the city it's full title, San Cristóbal de La Laguna), a drive through the Las Mercedes forest, in the Anaga mountains and down through Taganana to Playa del Roque for lunch (not included, but worth having). There's then a stop for a photo opportunity at Las Teresitas beach and finally a brief sojourn in the capital, Santa Cruz. You'll be picked up and dropped off at your hotel by coach and chaperoned throughout the day.

In La Laguna you'll most likely be dropped near to the Plaza del Cristo. There you can join the walking tour of the old part of the city, if you wish to do so. We opted not to and stayed around the vicinity of the plaza and had a mooch around the Mercado Municipal (Municipal Market) with wonderful fresh meat, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as clothing and other items. The market building is on the Plaza del Cristo itself. To one side of the plaza is the Real Santuario del Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna (Royal Sanctuary of the Christ of La Laguna), church built in 1580 and houses the image of the Cristo de La Laguna, the most revered and important image of Christ in the Canary Islands. There are bars and cafes around the square where you can sit and get a coffee / comfort break.

At Playa del Roque you'll be taken to a restaurant where you'll get the (optional) set meal. It is very simple, traditional, but wholesome Canarian faye with possibly a potaje (soup) to start, usually fish, potatoes and salad, followed by a desert or ice cream.

The stop at Las Teresitas was only minutes, then we were taken on to Santa Cruz, Tenerife's capital today, and dropped near to the Plaza de España, where we had free time to explore this central part of the city and make yet another stop for the essential coffee.

There is really no need to book this tour in advance as there are numerous excursion shops all around Puerto de la Cruz, but your own hotel reception will almost certainly be able to book this for you, which may give you added peace of mind. They certainly know where you are to be picked up and dropped off, can check bookings, etc., for you.

Video: San Cristobal de La Laguna

Playa del Roque

Playa del Roque

Playa del Roque, Taganana By Winahwaru [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Plaza de España (Santa Cruz de Tenerife)

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Countdown to Carnival: Candidate for Carnival Queen in 2018, Rosalía

Rosalía Barreto Suárez | Gala de elección de la Reina | SC de Tenerife 2018

As we count down to carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019, let's take a last look at one of the candidates for carnival queen in 2018 and her magnificent costume.

The gala to elect the Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2019 is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 27 February 2019. The inauguration takes place on 1 February 2019 and carnival takes to the streets on 1 March 2019.

All dates are liable to change beyond our control

To ensure you see posts as we count down to Tenerife Carnival 2019subscribe to our news feedSubscribe to Secret Tenerife by Email or like and follow our facebook page.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Something for the weekend: Romería de El Socorro in Güímar and the Fiestas de Nuestra Señora de la Luz in Los Silos

Plaza in Los Silos

The Romería del Socorro takes place each year in Güímar on the 7 and 8 September. On the seventh, the icon of the Nuestra Señora del Socorro is brought down from the Church of San Pedro in the town centre to the chapel of the Virgin on the beach of El Socorro. On the following day, the virgin is returned to the church of San Pedro.

Romería de El Socorro | Güímar 2017

Meanwhile, 8 September each year is the día grande (big day) of the Fiestas de Nuestra Señora de la Luz in Los Silos. These fiestas take place from late August, until mid-September, this year culminating on 16 September with the Octava de la Virgen.

Procesión del Día de la Luz - Los Silos 2015

Photo: By User talk:THORtenerife [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Puerto for Virgins: 7. Jardin Botánico / Botanical Garden

Entrance to the Botanical Garden in Puerto de la Cruz by Koppchen

The Jardín Botánico de Puerto de la Cruz (Puerto de la Cruz Botanical Garden), or to give it it's proper name, Jardín de Aclimatación de La Orotava (Puerto used to be the port of La Orotava) was by created by Royal Order of Carlos III on the 17th August 1788, due to the need to cultivate species from the tropics somewhere in Spain with a suitable climate.

This 18th-Century botanical garden with tropical & subtropical plants, including 200-year-old fig tree, is a must visit - especially at the low, low price. The garden is extremely well kept and most of the plants have good labels in Spanish, English and German.

At 20,000 square meters (just shy of five acres), the garden is not overly huge, but reckon on a minimum of a couple of hours to half a day to look round.

There are seats all around the garden and it is a genuine oasis of calm.

Opening Hours: 9.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Closed: 1st January, Good Friday and Christmas Day
Entrance: €3.00

Whilst the Botanical Garden is only 1.5 km (just under a mile) from the Playa Martiánez, most of that is very steeply uphill. This is a job for a taxi, but this won't cost very much. Getting back to the hotel, there should be taxis coming and going to the garden, so you should be able to hail one to get back, or ask the staff at the garden entrance.

Video: Jardin Botánico Puerto de la Cruz

Restful area inside the Botanical Garden

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia) that is a symbol of the Canary Islands.

One of the ponds in the Botanical Garden

The 200 year old fig tree 

Another of the lush ponds

A quiet avenue leading to a statue of the garden's founder, Alonso de Nava-y-Grimón (1757-1832)

A huge aloe

But before you rush to leave the area of the Botanical Garden, if you walk just 350 meters down the road back down towards the town, you'll come to what is, in my opinion THE best cake shop in the world, El Aderno. Have a look at the images of their legendary cakes and then let me know if you can come this close and resist the temptation! (The staff are bound to speak English, so you could ask them about getting a taxi back down to the hotel.)

Chocolate mousse log thing at the Cafe El Aderno

Tarta de Santiago (almond tart) at Cafe El Adero

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Tenerife Fiestas in September 2018

Cristo de La Laguna
September has no public holidays and as ever, the biggest celebrations in the month are the Fiestas de Cristo in La Laguna, the key day of which is 14 September with the military parade, the magna processions, open-air parties at night and the much-awaited firework display.

September has the following municipal public holidays:

3 Sep 18 - Fiestas for the town’s patron in La Victoria de Acentejo
7 Sep 18 - Festival of Nuestra Señora del Socorro in Güímar
8 Sep 18 - Festival of Nuestra Señora de Abona in Arico
8 Sep 18 - Festival of Nuestra Señora de la Luz in Los Silos
8 Sep 18 - Festival of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios in Tegueste
10 Sep 18 - Festival of San José in San Juan de la Rambla
14 Sep 18 - Festival of Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna in San Cristóbal de La Laguna
17 Sep 18 - Festival of Santísimo Cristo de la Dulce Muerte in Guía de Isora
29 Sep 18 - Festival of San Miguel Arcángel in San Miguel de Abona

Cristo de La Laguna 14 de septiembre de 2016

Image: By José1989 [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Friday, August 31, 2018

Something for the weekend: Pinolere Craft Fair and Romería de San Isidro in La Victoria de Acentejo

Pinolere Craft Fair 2018

This weekend on 31 August, 1 and 2 September the year's largest craft fair, the Pinolere Craft Fair, takes place at the Pinolere Ethnographic Museum (Calle Alzados Guanches, s/n, 38310 Pinolere, Santa Cruz de Tenerife). In this 33rd edition, dedicated to the typical and traditional costumes of the Canary Islands, more than 200 artisans are taking part.

33ª Feria de Artesanía Regional PINOLERE 2018

And on Saturday 1 September 2018, the 40th edition of the Romería in honour of San Isidro takes place La Victoria de Acentejo. It starts at 5pm from the Cruz de El Tagoro.

Fiestas de La Victoria de Acentejo

Romería de la Victoria de Acentejo 2013

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Puerto for Virgins: 6. Shopping

Avenida de Aguilar y Quesada
by cinetech
Of course there are shops everywhere, but most of what you'll have seen so far are the touristy type.

Only a relatively short walk away from our starting point, if you turn right along the Avenida de Cristobal Colón (the promenade beside the Playa Martiánez), until you reach the Avenida de Aguilar y Quesada, where you want to turn right and begin walking away from the coast with the beach directly behind you.

This wide street has a pedestrian walkway in the centre - the cars go either side - like a park with palm trees and benches all along it. It does have a gentle uphill slope, but it will be down hill coming back!

Three parts of the way along this road, on the left, you'll encounter the Centro Comercial Las Pirámides de Martiánez (Martiánez Shopping Centre). Yeah, it's a shopping mall with a bunch of franchise stores and a branch of the very reputable Mercadona supermarket.

This might seem very ordinary, but I like seeing what other countries' ordinary looks like, which is often a great source of gifts and souvenirs that aren't just made for tourists.

Avenida de Aguilar y Quesada marked in red.


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