The Church of San Franciso and the adjacent former convent are two of central Santa Cruz's nicer buildings. They date from the 18th century and the latter now houses the museum of fine arts. Behind these buildings is the Plaza del Principe, mentioned later, a pleasant city centre park. Entrance to the museum is at that side, and the building looks totally different from there with its rendered walls.
Santa Cruz de tenerife is realy beautifful town,but I think that this natural treasure is more important.This is the highest peak in the Spain,and one of the most strange places I have ever been.I think you should go there and see what a nature can do.
- National/State Park
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.
A rather more appealing and unspoilt side of Santa Cruz can be found around the cathedral, Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Conception. The streets and squares around the church are quiet and peaceful and are the home to some nice cafes and bars that come alive late in the evening. The church has a simple beauty about it, helped I think by the white rendering whereas a lot of other Tenerife churches are left in their natural black/grey stone colour that makes them look quite drab.
The church contains a relic of the Santa Cruz de la conquista (the holy cross of the conquest) after which the city was named.
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).
There is different kinds of boats to go out on the open see. You can see dolphins & whales (but think the whales is on the ships that goes furter in) The Pirate Boat is for 3 hours with a lunch included, The Photo Safari is for 2 hours & the Masca los Gigantes is for 5 hours with a lunch included.
Designed by the Lanzarotian architecht Manrique who was also responsible for the similar park at Puerto de la Cruz, the Parque Maratimo is the lido of Santa Cruz.
It looks a very picturesque and enjoyable place, but at the time we visited it was a howling gale (look at the plams in the picture) and the lido was closed. As well as swimming and sunbathing there are restaurants cafes there so you can get a meal while you top up your tan. Some pools at the outer extremities are lapped by the ocean waves, to make it feel just a little like you are swimming on the open waves.
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
Other things to do on Tenerife
There is a lot you can do on such a small island! There is a few museums, Quad Safari, The Quard Park, Underwater Scooters, Horse Riding, The Monkey Park, Jeep Safari's, Living Stones Walk & Discover, Bananera Atlantic Gardens, The Aquapark & Loro Parque & lots more. You can get all your info at the info exhursions in Tenerife. Most of the places got a free bus to take you to the them or will come & pick you up at your hotel.
Plaza de Espana
Plaza de Espana is Santa Cruz's main plaza, dominated by the memorial to the men who fell fighting for Franco during the civil war and by the Cabildo Insular, the rather sombre looking neo-classical building that is the seat of the Island's government. The pair are well matched and make a quite striking sight, though not to everyone's taste.
There's not much else to the plaza, it being taken up largely by a taxi rank and a car park, but the adjacent Plaza de Candelaria offers cafes, shops and outdoor eating.
Ermita de la Virgen de la Regla
This small red & white church stands by the road opposite to the Auditorio. It looks totally lost and out of place amongst the building work that is going on there. I hope that when whatever construction is going on there is complete, the Ermita weill be left unspoiled and easily accessible. It was built in 1643 and is one of the city's oldest surviving buldings.
Plaza de Candelaria
Plaza de Candelaria is perhaps a little disappointing, dominated as it is by the modernist concrete hi-rise that contains shops, cafes and apartments. Much of the rest of the square is concrete too, though the Casino in the bottom corner of the plaza is rather more attractive. Outdoor cafes line one side of the square and from the square lead the main shopping streets of Santa Cruz, all of which are pedestrianised and which have some rather nice shops. On the side of the square, opposite the buildings shown in the picture, is the Hotel Plaza where we stayed for two nights. It too was an ugly concrete block from the outside, though thankfully more attractive inside. It seems that not much thought for aesthetics went into Santa Cruz as it grew during the Franco years, but then the same can be said for many towns and cities throughout England, so who am I to criticise.,
Castillo de San Juan
This is the sole remainder of Santa Cruz's forts and dates from 1679. Built from the black basalt rock that forms the basis of so much of Tenerife's historic buildings, it is also known as Castilla Negra (the black castle). It was once the centre of Santa Cruz's slave trade, where Africans were traded on route to the Caribbean. It didn't look like you can visit the castle, but it makes a picturesque and sturdy counterpoint to the gleaming white edifice of the Auditorio next door.
I'm fascinated by docks and by shipping, and the bigger the better. Santa Cruz is the main port of Tenerife, and the only port at which heavy cargo vessels call. The harbour is full of container ships, oil tankers, LNG transpots and general cargo vessels. There are also a few ferries, cruise ships and a yachting marina, so boats of every shape size and purpose.
The harbour and docks hugs the seaward side of the city for several km in each direction of the centre (Plaza de Espana), the uglier side of things (oil processing etc) taking place at the two extreme ends. The container dock is quite close to the city centre, by the Parque Maratimo and the Auditorio, from where this picture was taken.
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