The Best Zoo in the world!! (Parque Las Aguilas)
Parque Las Aguilas is the best zoo I have been to. It has a variety of animals, birds, bird shows, bob sledge, adventure Jungle Raid, water scooters, view points over Tenerife & Restaurants.
- You can see more photos of Parque Las Vguilas @ my travelogue. -
- Adventure Travel
There is many Divers Clubs to choose from. We went with Neptune Divers. We saw Small Baracudas, a small seahorse & a few other fishes.
You can go for Try Dives, Shore Dives, Boat Dives, Wreck Dives, Night Dives & courses are available.
- Diving and Snorkeling
February is Carnival Time
From January 26th until 21st February in Santa Cruz de Tenerife it's carnival time. It is the second biggest Carnival in the world next to Rio de Janeiro and is a MUST SEE at least once.
This is the link where you will find the full programme.
- Arts and Culture
Belenes (Nativity Scenes)
It's the time of year when the traditional Belenes are opened to the public, they are Nativity scenes, they can be in door or out door, some are the normal Nativity Scenes eg. Mary,Joseph and baby Jesus being visited by the three kings, other like the famous San Mathias Belen is like a miniature working village, they are all really great to see, some areas they are judged as to the beat in the area and the local villages take it all very seriously.
- Arts and Culture
Fine Arts Museum and Galleries
The Museo Municipal de Belles Artes is a pleasant place to spend some time, especially on a hot day. This is Santa Cruz's main Fine Art Gallery. Many of the rooms are air conditioned, a welcome respite from the heat! Entry is FREE, opening times Monday to Friday 10am to 7:30pm. Entrance to the Gallery is through a rather insignificant door to the back/west, facing a leafy plaza.
When I visited there was an extremely wide variety of art on display. This included an intriguing video installation and some 'post humana' (whatever that means) photographic collages and models. The permanent collection of old paintings was impressive, particularly the oldest, a vibrant oil painting triptych by Dutchman Pieter Coecke, dating from the early 1500's. To top it all there was a fabulous modern painting by local artist (and lecturer) Pedro Gonzales, an enormous aerial view of Santa Cruz.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
History of the Canaries and the 'Guanches'
Santa Cruz is the location for the 'Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre', or in other words the 'Museum of Nature and Man'. This is a quite fabulous museum packed full with relics, pictures, videos and displays about the archaelogy, flora, fauna, anthropology and sociology of the Canary Islands.
I was particularly facinated by the history of the Guanche people, who inhabited the islands before conquest by Spain. There are maps of the islands and models of the early settlements, bones and mummies of the Guanche dead and more earthenware pots than you can shake a stick at! Descriptions are mainly in Spanish, though there are information sheets in several languages and also audio guides available.
The Museum building is arranged around two leafy courtyards and on three floors. There was plenty of construction work taking place around the Museum, I think they are extending it. Admission (2009) was 3 euros (FREE on Sundays), a bargain for all that well-presented information! Opening hours 10am to 8pm, closed Mondays.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
New Green Tourist Information Centre
If you have a guide book published before 2008, it will probably be out of date. Mine told me that the Tourist Office was located in the Palacio Insular on Santa Cruz's Plaza de Espana.
In fact in the last couple of years the Plaza de Espana has been redesigned and redeveloped. It is now a vast, cool, circular bowl of water and around the edge are several interesting Statues, monuments and buildings.
In July 2008 the Tourist Office moved into one of the beautiful new pavilions on the water's edge. The new pavilions are by the well-known Swiss architects, Herzog and DeMeuron. These small buildings are covered in plant life, growing out from little pockets of soil on the outside walls. They look particularly beautiful in the arid heat of Tenerife! I believe the second pavilion was used as a small art shop. Lovely additions, another good reason to visit Santa Cruz!
Parque Municipal García Sanabria
It was named after the Mayor who approved its creation in 1926. It occupies 67,200 m^2.
There is a great variety of plants. The tropical and subtropical species grow in abundance. Species that are common in the city are well represented in the park: Phoenix canariensis (Canary palm tree), Delonix regia (flamboyant, a tree with nice red flowers), Spathodea campanulata (Fountain tree of African Tulip Tree), Ficus microcarpa (Indian Laurel or Banyan) and Bougainvillea.
Other species are Tamarindus indica, Hibiscus elatus, Cocos nucifera (coconut palm), Dracaena marginata (Madagascar Dragon Tree), different palm species from the Palmetum of Santa Cruz, bamboo, roses, cactus, cycas, etc. There is also a space with species from the Mediterranean such as olive trees and aromatic plants.
The Anaga massif (Macizo de Anaga) is at the northeastern end of the island. A cloud lives there perennially and allows the growth of the Laurisilva, a type of humid subtropical laurel forest. To go there from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, follow road TF-11 to San Andrés, then the road goes into the massif. After some km, there is a crossroads. You can follow TF-134 to descend towards Taganana, reach the coast and find some small villages and black beaches at the mouth or the gorges. If you go to the west following TF-12, there is a viewpoint from which you can see San Cristóbal de la Laguna. Taking TF-13 you will arrive to Tegueste and Tejina, in the west slope of the massif.
Parque Marítimo César Manrique
The Parque Marítimo César Manrique is a leisure park designed by the architect César Manrique, whose aim was to recover the surroundings of the city.
The park is very close to the Auditorium. It consists of swimming pools, leisure areas, sports facilities and restaurants.
The Auditorium of Tenerife
The Auditorium of Tenerife was built in 2003, designed by Santiago Calatrava with the shape of sails.
There is a concert hall and an opera hall. It reminds to the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, a work of the same architect.
Mercado de Nuestra Senora de Africa
The market building in Santa Cruz is lovely. "The Market Of Our Lady Of Africa" is surrounded by a wall that is entered via a lovely archway (which unfortunatley was covered in scaffolding) and inside stalls fill the courtyard and shops line the outer wall. The whole place is decorated in this somewhat moorish looking pink & white rendering, which is very attractive, and the square is dominated by the clock tower,
As always the food in the market here looked streets ahead of what we get in the UK, most notably the fresh fruit and veg, which is so loevly it made me wish I was self catering.
On the Sunday there was a flea market taking place in the streets between the Cathedral and the Market.
This is the Rambla General Franco, most often just abbreviated to "Rambla". It's a wide boulevard which has a road at either side and down the middle a strip of what is almost parkland punctuated by kiosks every few meters. The kiosks sell everything from newspapers to ice cream to snacks and drinks and there are benches all along the Rambla too.
On the outside of the Rambla, across the road, the entire length is lined with bars, cafes and restaurants of various size, style and quality. This is one of the major nightlife centres of the city, and can be quite busy by day too. The hole-in-the-wall cafes seemed to be doing a roaring trade, though as a vegetarian foreigner I wasn't too tempted to go into one (see Restaurant tips).
This is the bullring of Santa Cruz. As far as I can tell it's no longer in use, well certainly not for bullfighting anyway. It stands on Rambla General Franco, which is a long, wide boulevard that arcs around the top of the city.
In the suburban areas around Plaza 25 de Julio there are a lot of very attractive mansions and townhouses. I guess this is one of the top addresses withing the city and it's certainly a different world to the concrete hi-rise of some other parts of Santa Cruz.
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