Geography and History
Geography and history
Puerto de la Cruz is a strategic point in the north of Tenerife; close to all the island’s must-see spots.
Its history is a rich tale of travel and travellers. To hear the city’s story is to discover a place with its own unique identity, and in turn a checklist of the world’s countries. This is where tourism began!
Puerto de la Cruz is located in the verdant valley of La Orotava, a great natural basin measuring approximately 150 square kilometres. It was formed by a volcanic landslide thousands of years ago and which now forms a patchwork of vineyards and banana plantations.
The north coast is mainly formed of cliffs, especially at Punta Brava and Martiánez. This doesn´t mean that you can´t enjoy the stunning views of the cliffs from a sandy beach or whilst having a swim in the small fishing port.
Puerto de la Cruz, which at 8.73 square kilometres, is the smallest municipality on the island. You’ll soon notice that no space is wasted here, and there is an abundance of holiday resorts, parks, beaches, botanical gardens and residential areas.
The city is situated in the heart of the north of Tenerife, the most typically Canarian part of the island, and has conserved its local traditions and the Canarian pace of life. If you plan to explore and immerse yourself in the culture and natural beauty, visiting two of Spain’s national heritage sites; El Teide National park and the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna is a must.
To completely understand the nature of the land and its people, you should bear in mind that the present day is closely linked to its history of travellers, the exchange of cultures, and by tourism.
The small fishing harbour transformed into the island’s main gateway in the 18th century; a common place for European commercial ships to stop en route to America and Africa. Wine was the driving force for travellers in the beginning and it brought with it both great prosperity and some downsides.
The first travellers came in the 19th century on board fruit companies’ ships in search of exotic weather and scenery. Along with them came scientists and cruise passengers on their way to other destinations. Many decided to stay and why wouldn´t they? These influential families settled in Puerto de la Cruz and transformed it into one of the most important cities in the Canary Islands during the age of enlightenment.
At the end of the 19th century, serious tourism initiatives were proposed; hotels and a health resort were constructed and it transformed El Puerto into the ideal retreat for Britons looking to recover from breathing disorders and physical and mental ailments. It marked the arrival of great figures in science and politics, and cultured Europeans who had an influence on the city and its habitants.
The great transformation arrived later, during the tourism boom of the 50s. Puerto de la Cruz was declared “a place of interest for tourists” and from then on has been recognised as a tourist hotspot.