Puerto de la Cruz
The first tourists to reach Tenerife came to this place, and it has still not lost its intrinsic fishing village feel despite the hundreds of thousands of visitors that come here every year. Its fishing dock remains just as it used to be, welcoming the small fishing boats early in the morning with their fresh catches. The pleasure of sitting peacefully in Plaza del Charco is sublime. And an ice cream in one of the many parlours around it is a truly refreshing treat. And you can also experience the privilege of watching the waves breaking on the shore in Costa de San Telmo, with the spectacular lagoons of Lago Martiánez in view. The whole scene creates a fabulous picture postcard.
Although this is the smallest municipality in Tenerife, covering just 8.7 km2 (3.36 sq miles), Puerto de la Cruz has plenty of appeal with its protected historic quarter and its seemingly endless coast, which is perfect for long, leisurely walks. Puerto de la Cruz spans the coastal part of the Valley of La Orotava in a stunning setting, with the mighty silhouette of Mount Teide rising 3,718 m (12,198 ft) high in the background. Its wonderful climate made this the first tourist destination in the Canary Islands, ever since the British Medical Society recommended it in the 19th century as an ideal retreat. The temperature here ranges from 15 to 22 ºC (59 to 72 ºF), meaning the sea, the fresh air and the relaxed atmosphere can be enjoyed all year round.
This seaside resort, with its long-standing hotel tradition providing accommodation for over 20,000 tourists, has welcomed such renowned visitors as Alexander Von Humboldt, Agatha Christie, William Wilde, Michael Jackson, André Breton and The Beatles, to name just a few. The combination of its flower gardens, black sandy beaches, seaside shopping area and quaint cobbled streets enthrals visitors straight away and provides them with a wide array of activities for the whole family.
Puerto de la Cruz has been considered a National Tourist Interest Site since 1955 because of its tradition as a centre for rest and recuperation and as a holiday destination. Its fascinating and beautifully kept historic quarter, with over 140 protected buildings, is a pleasure for everyone who strolls through it – tourists and locals – at any time of year. Puerto de la Cruz has the most restaurants and shops on the Island, so there are endless options for eating out and indulging in a bit of retail therapy. A visit to the traditional fishing district of La Ranilla is particularly recommendable. Since 2014, La Ranilla hosts the Puerto Street Art exhibition, an open air museum where 13 internationally acclaimed artists have made their mark covering large walls with art.
Puerto de la Cruz is also a wonderful destination for active tourism because it is a great base for visitors to explore the Island's 1000+ miles of trails, with Route 0-4-0 as the ultimate challenge. Its flourishing countryside also makes it the perfect place for paragliding around the slopes of Mount Teide. The sea provides a variety of sports activities, from paddle surf and bodyboarding to scuba diving. Beneath the surface is an underwater volcanic tube known as La Rapadura, which attracts many an expert diver every year. For those wishing to enjoy the pleasures of the Atlantic ocean at a more leisurely pace, there is a choice of options: the natural swimming pools of San Telmo, the beaches made of volcanic sand and the lagoons of Lago Martiánez.
Throughout the year, Puerto de la Cruz hosts several cultural competitions. The most popular contest is the MUECA International Street Art Festival, which takes place in May, as well as the Bavarian Week devoted to German music and gastronomy, which is held at the end of August. Another noteworthy event is the Bach Festival, in December. In terms of the most popular festive celebrations, the Carnival is the undisputed star in February, together with the Exaltation of the Cross in May. The night of 23 June to the early hours of 24 June brings the fun of San Juan, when bonfires are lit on the sea shore and flocks of goats are taken to the fishing dock to be bathed as a tradition which dates back to aboriginal times. In summer, the festivities in honour of Virgen del Carmen take over Puerto de la Cruz during one of the most heartfelt celebrations for the locals. In November, the wineries open their doors to visitors, and people tie scraps of metal and tins together to drag them noisily around the streets. This curious tradition is known as the Fiesta de San Andrés, combining old customs with the experience of tasting young wines.
The pleasant climate and lovely landscapes surrounding the historic quarter of Puerto de la Cruz make a stroll around its streets an undeniable pleasure, as well as sitting down in one of its squares for a break and finding a terrace overlooking the sea for a snack and a drink. Starting from Avenida de Colón, visitors can walk towards the Chapel and the seaside promenade of San Telmo. The walk continues past the cafés and shops along the promenade to the City Hall and Plaza de Europa, adorned with six old cannons. Beside it is the house of Casa de Miranda leading towards one of the city's most picturesque streets, which is still paved with the first cobblestones in Puerto de la Cruz. Following the coastline, visitors will reach the house of Casa de la Real Aduana, which was founded by the fishing dock in 1620. This is one of the most scenic parts of the city's historic quarter and people flock here during the summer months for a swim in the sea. Beside it is the popular Plaza del Charco, and the seaside district of La Ranilla, which houses the Archaeology Museum that opened in 1991 and is also worth visiting. Across Calle Las Damas is Plaza Concejil and the house of Casa Iriarte, a lovely sight that you will see just before reaching the Church of San Francisco.
Puerto Street Art. Discover the city as a canvas.
Puerto de la Cruz, an Atlantic city opening onto the sea, is a fantastic destination for innovative ideas, and wall paintings are one of them. It is no coincidence that the ephemeral Puerto Street Art Museum was born in this city.
- This is one of the most important street art exhibitions thanks to the quality of its artists.
- Its location in the historic quarter of the city enhances the flexible nature of the artwork by adding historical and urban-cultural value.
- The wall paintings all have different styles, covering a range of techniques and all kinds of themes.
- A walk around the full exhibition takes about an hour and a half.
These murals are particularly impressive because of their majestic size and the skill that the artists have used to create these huge works of art. The walls they decorate are located in the district of La Ranilla, in the historic quarter of Puerto de la Cruz, where visitors get the added advantage of wandering through its lovely streets and taking in the city's lively atmosphere, surrounded by a variety of shops and small restaurants.
Puerto Street Art is a chance to rediscover the city from a creative vantage point.
1-. Calle Mequinez, 2
Víctor Ash, Denmark: “La frontera del paraíso” (The Frontier of Paradise)
Ash's murals are timeless classics that linger in the minds of passers-by. His work is immediate and reflects what is happening in society here and now. The author provides no answers or solutions, but rather he questions the current state of affairs and invites passers-by to reflect. This mural represents a living grid in which financial constraints and social prejudice leave paradise out of bounds for part of humanity.
2-. Calle Mequinez, 4
Ro.Ro, Tenerife: “¡Ron, ron, ron, la botella de ron!” (Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum!)
The artist's addiction to Chinese bazaars and to the colour pink leads him to experiment with Playmobil figures and depict scenes using toys. His work is based on painting, photography and murals to create spaces that are full of life, anonymous and human, where figuration becomes the foundation of a story. Nerdy, tropical and absurd concepts are a recurring theme in his work.
3-. Calle Mequinez, 21
Iker Muro, Bilbao: “La Macaronesia” (Macaronesia)
Psychedelic surrealism, Pink Floyd and Dali have inspired this piece, which represents a character floating in space. The theme is forcefulness and colour, and he defines his work as an acid blend of pop elements in which graphic design and illustration collide, explode and merge to create murals full of aesthetic uncertainties.
4-. Calle Mequinez, 66
Sex, The Paint Boy, Madrid:
Ever since he started painting, artist Raúl Ruiz from Granada has turned his passion for art into a way of life. With the simplicity and sensibility of a person who sees the world from a different perspective, Ruiz produces graffiti that combine the intensity of human feelings, expressed in the form of hands, shawls and gazes, with poetry and quotes that lead the viewer to reflect.
5-. Calle Maretas, 11
Juliana, Puerto de la Cruz: “Si puedes soñarlo, puedes crearlo” (If You Can Dream It, You Can Create It):
Juliana is well-known in the art world for her extraordinary versatility and her passion for dream-like themes. Her murals portray a magical reality in which the childish fondness for the world of illusion remains intact. Juliana's work is also recognisable for her own particular way of expressing colours, textures and forms – her hyper-realist dolls and theatrical settings are a trademark.
6-. Calle Peñita, 6
The main figure here is an Atlantic puffin, a bird that lives on the cliffs of the small fishing village of Vik in southern Iceland. The artist has sought to convey the Puffin's relationship with its habitat and link it to his own adventure, as he travelled to Puerto de la Cruz across the Atlantic straight from Iceland. The mural therefore represents his travels by giving details of each of the two fishing towns as if he were a puffin who was lost on the coast of Puerto de la Cruz, since both towns are bathed in the same ocean.
7-. Calle El Lomo, 28
3ttman, France: “Los Magos” (The Magicians)
This multifaceted artist seeks to include in his work all forms of popular expression that affect his everyday life and his many travels to distant lands. He approaches today's reality from a symbolic point of view and experiments with materials as a basis for art. This particular mural shows a family of Canarian peasants as a sign of gratitude to the Island that fostered him.
8-. Calle Teobaldo Power, 28
Kob, Puerto de la Cruz:
Víctor Pacheco started painting graffiti under the pseudonym Kob in his home town, Puerto de la Cruz. During the years he devoted to street art and under the influence of his studies of sculpture and installations, Kob developed an organic abstraction of graffiti writing and expressed his artistic curiosity all over Spain. He has created quite a repertoire of surreal settings, made-up animals, plants and beings of all kinds that are in fact a mixture of different species.
9-. Calle Puerto Viejo, 17
Belin, Jaén: “La eterna juventud” (Eternal Youth)
This Andalusian artist started out in the world of graffiti and has gradually perfected his technique to become one of the most highly rated artists in his field. Belin has taken part in various shows and painting events with his hyper-realistic and impressionistic style, in different countries and cities all over the world. He is now considered one of the best hyper-realists of our time. His work is on display at a number of galleries and museums.
10-. Calle Teobaldo Power, 16
Sabotaje al Montaje, Gran Canaria: “Ritual”
This work represents one of the defenders of ancient traditions such as the “goat bathing” ritual that takes place in Puerto de la Cruz. Matías Mata – who is better known as Sabotaje al Montaje – took to street art in 1990 and has been carrying out projects and taking part in national and international events since 1998. In recent years, he has been developing and experimenting with large-scale murals. Mata is actually the artistic coordinator of Puerto Street Art.
11-. Calle Teobaldo Power, 8
FEOFL!P, Lanzarote: “Navíos volátiles” (Volatile Ships)
This mural intentionally appeals to the viewer's imagination. It represents the moment when the ship is released, leaving the dreams and journeys of these anonymous boatmen adrift. The name of the nearest boat is a reference to the Guanche kingdom that Puerto de la Cruz belonged to, which is where the piece was painted: Taoro (the name of one of the nine Mencey kingdoms that pre-colonial Tenerife was comprised of).
12-. Calle El Lomo, 7
The main characters of Roa's work are large animals in black and white, featuring painstaking detail. His art conveys a hint of irony by seeking to return its urban setting to the use it had before concrete took over, which happens so often in our cement-laden world. This mural is one of the most disquieting in Puerto Street Art. Roa has created art in the streets of cities all over Europe, the USA and New Zealand, and boasts great international acclaim.
13-. Calle Cruz Verde, 3
Liqen, Vigo: “Ánfora voladora (Flying Amphora)
Liqen ranks among the world's top ten graffiti artists and focuses his interests on human existence and life, which is seen as a mystery. His work conveys his curiosity for biology and minute creatures that have survived thousands of years of evolution. In a world dominated by globalising monetary interests, Liqen swims against the tide.