Some choose to lose themselves amidst the lush greenery of the forest of Agua García. Others prefer to explore the magnificent Hamilton Gardens. But there are, of course, other options such as a tour of the historic quarter, with various attractions such as the Parish Church of Santa Catalina, La Alhóndiga and El Calvario. And for those who enjoy spending long days by the sea, there are two fabulous bathing areas: Mesa del Mar and El Pris.
Tacoronte lies in the north of Tenerife, next to the municipalities of El Sauzal, El Rosario and La Laguna. The highest point is 1,200 m (3,940 ft) above sea level and there are impressive cliffs on the coast. The municipality covers 30.09 km2 (11.62 sq miles) and is divided by several ravines. Two of Tacoronte's most popular bathing areas are Mesa del Mar, with a large black sandy beach, and the fishing quarter of El Pris, with a considerable tradition involving water sports such as scuba diving and water skiing. The hillsides are mostly used for farming, especially vineyards as the area produces some internationally acclaimed wines.
The Guanche people who once inhabited the municipality that is Tacoronte settled in the lands that are now the districts of Juan Fernández, Guayonje, El Pris and Mesa del Mar. They chose the area because of its good weather and the protection of the rugged coastline, whose cliffs are considered an Asset of Cultural Interest as an archaeological site. After the conquest, Sebastián Machado took over the territory of Tacoronte and together with other local residents he founded the Chapel of Santa Catalina.
Routes around the municipality
One of the most popular routes for exploring the old quarter of Tacoronte starts at the El Cristo sanctuary and the former Monastery of San Agustín. The walk then journeys along Calle José Izquierdo, past the Hamilton Gardens park, which houses a wonderful array of Canarian flora. The park fronts onto Calle Calvario, where walkers can visit the building of El Calvario and La Alhóndiga, which was once used as a communal granary. There are two options from here: The first is to head back to the El Cristo sanctuary, while the other carries on along Calle El Calvario towards El Sauzal, to the Parish Church of Santa Catalina, which is considered one of the most important churches in the Canary Islands.
Another option is an interesting route that takes about six hours on foot starting from the Tacoronte Tourist Information Centre, located opposite the station. The walk has been conceived to explore the municipality's major historic landmarks, leading visitors along Calle Ismael Domínguez to La Casona and the Church of Santa Catalina. From there, it continues to El Calvario, containing a series of religious sculptures, where walkers can stop for a rest under the shade of its trees. After passing along the streets of La Herrería and Los Perales you come to the Chapel of San Jerónimo, followed by the Chapel of San Juan a little further along. The trail then heads towards the Farmers Market and the Chapel of La Caridad.
Approved trails in the municipality
There are stretches of several approved trails in Tacoronte, such as the GR 131 Anaga-Chasna, the PR-TF 25 from Las Raíces to Acentejo, and the PR-TF 25.6, which is a circular trail known as Lomo La Jara.