Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the joint capital city of the Canary Islands, a title it shares with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Often simply abbreviated to Santa Cruz, this popular tourist spot is located in the northeast of the island of Tenerife. Santa Cruz de Tenerife itself has a population of around 200,000 inhabitants. Including the metropolitan areas and suburbs, the population swells to well over 500,000.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife Attractions & Things to do
Currently there are some 950,000 people living in Tenerife permanently, over half of those people live in Santa Cruz and the adjoining suburbs and metropolitan areas.
Tenerife attracts more tourism than any of the other Canary Islands and perhaps more than anywhere in Spain period. This island is packed full of interesting landmarks, great beaches, national parks and the awesome Mount Teide Volcano. Below we provide some information about some of best attractions and things to do in Santa Cruz de Tenerife to keep you occupied during your visit.
Playa de las Teresitas
Playa de las Teresitas is one of the better things to do in Santa Cruz for it’s uniqueness alone. This is the only white sand beach on the whole of the island of Tenerife found in the small town of San Andrés. The distinctive white sand here was imported from the Western Sahara Desert which is located several hundred miles to the east on the African mainland. Las Teresitas is by far the most popular beach in Tenerife and certainly one of the most beautiful. The mini dam was built specifically to break the waves to protect the imported sand from being taken out to sea. This beach measures around 1300 metres in length and 80 metres in width. Las Teresitas has a large car park and the beach itself is one of the best equipped on the island. Here there are several bars for refreshments, toilets and changing facilities so you can spend the whole days without leaving if you wish.
Mercado Nuestra Señora de África
Mercado Nuestra Señora de África roughly translated means “Market of Our Lady of Africa” but is commonly referred to as “La Recova”. This market opened originally in 1943 and is the number one place to buy fresh food from the Canaries and all over the world. The main foods on offer here are fruits and vegetables, various types of meat and fish and many typical market products. Mercado Nuestra Señora de África is set on two levels with a beautiful courtyard in the centre. This market neatly combines the old Canarian culture of the island while continually adding the latest products to keep up with the times. La Recova is open every day during the week from 6am – 2pm with the exception of Sundays when then market opens at 7am. Its highly recommended to arrive before 12pm as much of the produce will be sold and the stalls will be getting packed away.
Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre
The Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre or the Museum of Nature and Man gives a fascinating insight into the history of Tenerife. This interesting museum contains information and artifacts that are related to this volcanic origins of the islands and the native “Guanches” tribe who were the first to settle here. Here you will learn about the Archaeology of Santa Cruz and Tenerife in general but the most interesting things here are related to life sciences. The mummified Guanche is one of the leading attractions of the museum, there are also lots of useful videos that depict some of the ancient processes they would have used during that time. Tickets at time of writing are a mere 5 € with the option of paying a little extra for a guided and narrated tour. It’s worth mentioning that most of the artifacts are not translated to English so a Spanish – English dictionary may be a good idea. The museum website provides a lot more information about what to expect when you visit, this includes useful information about it’s artifacts.