Puerto de la Cruz is the second largest tourist city on the island with accommodtion for around 30,000 tourists. In contrast with the modern resorts of the south, El Puerto has had a great tradition as a place opf relaxation since the end of the last century when the spa, which today is the Hotel Casino Tauro, was built. The accommodation offered in Puerto de la Cruz is also different from most of the other places in the islands since hotels predominate over apartments.
The lushness of the gardens and the agreeable atmosphere are very special features of this city, which has lively places to stroll around. In the evening the streets near the Plaza del Charco and the promenade are pleasant places of enjoyment where one can eat at any of the many open air restaurants, all this in a pleasant climate and with the ever present sea.
The city hourses a number of buildings of great historical and artistic value such as the church of Nuestra Señora de la Peña, la Ermita de San Telmo, el castillo de San Felipe, la casa de la Aduana and the old quay where small fishing boats are still moored.
One of the greatest attractions of el Puerto is without doubt the Lago Martianez. This series of seawater pools conceived by the Canary artist Cesar Manrique forms an extraordinary spot for bathing and resting in the sun. Harmonising his architecture with the exotic vegetation of the volcanic coast Cesar Manrique created his most beautiful project.
Besides the Lago, Puerto de la Cruz has small beaches of volcanic sand, the best ones being Playa Jardin and Martianez. On the outskirts of the city the botanical gardens and the Loro Park are a must for the nature lover. The botanical gardens founded in 1788 harbour an enormous number of trees and plants from every corner of the planet thanks to the bening climate of Tenerife. Loro Park is another tropical garden with the largest collection of parrots in the world, a parrot show and an excellent dolphinarium.
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