The bustling capital city of Santa Cruz is located on the eastern tip of Tenerife and is home to one of the most historically important harbours in the Atlantic Ocean. The city rapidly developed in the 19th century, as fleets bound for the Americas would regularly stop here, helping to firmly fix this destination on the world map. Today, it is a vibrant and cosmopolitan hive of activity, full of interesting places to visit, attractive architecture, great shopping and an abundance of excellent restaurants. The harbour is a gateway into mainland Spain and a stop off point for cruise liners travelling to the Caribbean.
One great way to explore the city is by taking an open-top bus tour where you can jump on and off, taking in important landmarks en route. Culture is alive and well in Santa Cruz and among the riches on offer are the Auditorio de Tenerife (Auditorium of Tenerife), the Parliament buildings of the Canary Islands, several La Laguna University faculties, not to mention the exciting shopping area in Plaza de España (Square of Spain) on the seafront which leads up to Plaza de la Candelaria (Square of Candelaria), where you can buy international brands at tax free prices. In addition, the tourist board is located in the city and here you can collect maps, street plans and other information.
Every year in February or March, Santa Cruz turns into party town with the arrival of carnival. For weeks the streets and plazas are transformed into one big festival – and they really know how to celebrate here! People come from all over, dress up in colourful costumes, take part in the parade and sing and dance until the early hours. It really is a great time of the year to visit this exciting capital city, with a carnival celebration that is considered to be one of the largest in the world.
Santa Cruz is also home to Playa de Las Teresitas, an unspoiled beach that remains resolutely beautiful with palm trees dotted around the large expanse of golden sand. It sits below the lush forests of the Anaga Mountains, which protect the bay from winds. The turquoise waters are lovely and calm; you can play volleyball, take part in aerobic classes if you are feeling active or simply relax in the sunshine.
This capital city is a great place to explore; from the cosmopolitan feel of the exclusive shopping areas to the laid back beach. That is why so many people come here for a day, no matter where they are staying on the island. Have a look at some fantastic hotels in Tenerife in top resorts here.