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.
The history of tourism begins in Puerto de la Cruz
The history of Puerto de la Cruz is the history of traveling and travelers. Knowing it is discovering a city with its own identity. Its present is linked to traveling history, to the exchange of cultures and tourism. Puerto de la Cruz has attended to the first ones, being a faithful witness to the birth of tourism.
The small fishing shelter became the entry point to the island during the 18th century; almost mandatory stopover on the trade routes from Europe to America and África. Wine was the main engine of development at the beginning and it brought with it prosperity, but also difficult times, since competing producers, such as Italy or Jerez, began to emerge after the loss of the colonial markets of Portugal and England.
The first excursionists arrived in the 19th century aboard the steamers of the fruit companies; they wanted to enjoy the good weather and the landscape, so exotic and attractive. With them, scientists and cruise passengers arrived, on their way to other latitudes. Many stayed. Why wouldn’t they! The settlement of influential families turned Puerto de la Cruz into one of the most important cities in the Canary Islands, especially in the Age of Enlightenment.
At the end of the 19th century true touristic initiatives began to emerge; hotels, the spa and other attractions to visitors were built. Moreover, Puerto de la Cruz is the destination chosen by the British to recover from respiratory illnesses and other ailments of the body and spirit. Then starts an era in which great figures from European Science, Politics or Culture left their mark on the city and its inhabitants.
The great transformation came later, with the tourism boom, during the 1950’s. The municipality of Puerto de la Cruz is declared ‘Place of Tourist Interest’ and, since then, it is known as ‘The Tourist City’.
A privileged site
The city is located in the heart of the north of Tenerife, the most authentic facet and the one that has known better how to preserve traditions and the rhythm of the island. It sits in the lush of La Orotava Valley, a large depression of approximately 150 square kilometers, lined with vineyards and banana plantations, that was created by a volcanic landslide millions of years ago.
Its 8,73 square kilometers turn Puerto de la Cruz into the smallest municipality in the Canary Islands and it makes you think about how well used are every one of its meters: touristic complexes, leisure parks, beaches, a botanical garden, residential neighborhoods…
Its coast, as is the case throughout the north of Tenerife, is steep, especially in Punta Brava and Martiánez, for this reason, you can lean out and contemplate the infinite sea from its many natural balconies. If you prefer it, you can enjoy the impressive views of the cliff from a sandy beach, or take a quiet bath in the pier between fishing boats.