Santa Cruz de Tenerife Travel Guide
  • Photo: Andrei Nekrassov / Shutterstock

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Although Tenerife's busy capital is smaller, quieter, and less attractive than Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, it has its share of worthwhile attractions and elegant monuments. Until 1833, the island's capital was La Laguna, not Santa Cruz, making the latter "new," at least by Spanish standards; the city's oldest buildings (the fishermen's houses on Calle de la Noria) date to the 18th century. At the busy Plaza de EspaƱa, modernized in 2006 by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, there are several pedestrian streets leading north and to the area west of the port, where you'll find the city's stunning auditorium and maritime park. Be sure to go for a stroll down the ramblas, long, tree-lined boulevards that fall steeply from the north end of the city to the sea.

Santa Cruz is also an ideal home base for adventures into the Parque Rural de Anaga (Anaga Nature Park), one of Tenerife's most scenic and untouched corners. If you can brave the white-knuckle switchbacks, you'll be rewarded with subtropical forests, volcanic formations, and charming villages.

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