Tenerife Travel Guide

If you are a first-timer to the Canary Islands, you may not be sure where to adventure to first. Tenerife is a great place to visit if you are new to the Canary Islands altogether or if you have visited the Islands before but are looking for a new exciting place to explore. Today we’ll share a guide for your first trip to Tenerife to take all of the stress out of planning and ensure that you have a fantastic trip.

Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

Puerto de la Cruz Tenerife


There are a few things you’ll want to consider before venturing into Tenerife. The first and probably most important is brushing up on your Spanish. Tenerife is not as popular as an option as the Southern Islands for tourists. This means that you’ll find yourself immersed by locals and local culture, which is great if you don’t like visiting areas that are overpopulated by tourists.

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However, this also means that there will be more people speaking Spanish than English. Learning some functional Spanish words and phrases will help you to have an easier experience in Tenerife and is a kind gesture that shows that you appreciate the local culture.

Something else to think about is the time of year that you will be visiting. If you plan to visit during a festival like Carnaval, you’ll want to pack an elaborate costume to fit right in with the locals who love to celebrate.

Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tenerife Carnival – A Famous Island Attraction

Places to Go

When you first arrive in Tenerife, it may be a good idea to harness all of your energy and excitement and explore the island on foot. A lot of the island is accessible via foot and when you decide to just get up and go, you will find a lot of cool sites that you may not find on tourist websites or in brochures. Allow yourself to get lost in the winding streets and alleyways for the off the beaten path experiences!

If you prefer to have a destination to walk to, you can find a lot of great historical sites around Tenerife. Some of these sites include shrines, water canals, merchant trails, and Lagars. A lagar is a large wooden wine press! You’ll find walking paths all throughout the island that can lead you to some of these fun historical treasures.

While covering the island by foot is a viable option, there are some places that are more easily accessed by car. Renting a car is a great option if you are looking to experience sites outside of the city. One of the spots you could venture to in your rental car is the Siam Water Park which claims to be the most spectacular in all of Europe! A bit of history on the water park is that it was opened by Princess of Thailand Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, so it should definitely be fit for a royal!

Siam Park Tenerife

Siam Park Tenerife

If you are a nature lover, you can easily spend the day searching for a Dragon Tree. Dragon Trees are native to the Canary Islands and are one of the natural symbols of Tenerife. Specifically, the millennial dragon tree (drago milenario) is located just North of Tenerife which is believed to be 800 years old. When you make the journey to visit this tree you’ll be immersed by its size and the nature surrounding it!

While you have a car you should also take a break from city life and venture to a park. Specifically, Teide National Park allows you to travel above the clouds (literally) to get a breathtaking view of Mount Teide and it’s surrounding scenery. This park is unique because the changing atmosphere creates different scenery at different times of the day. However, the road to the summit is quite long and challenging, so you’ll need a serious backpack and hiking gear before you sign up for that.

Where to Stay

There are a wide variety of lodging available in and around Tenerife. Since there are a lot of options, you’ll be able to find a place to stay that is in your budget. One great option is the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife. At the Hard Rock Hotel, you’ll find sleek and modern accommodations along with delicious food options. If you are taking a family trip to Tenerife, the Hard Rock Hotel also has activities for kids and teens.

Hard Rock Cafe Tenerife

Hard Rock Cafe Tenerife

If you are looking for a lodging option that is rich in the local culture, be sure to check out Finca El Picacho. This option has it’s own nature preserve onsite which hosts fresh bananas, jasmine, and figs! Finca El Picacho offers apartment-style accommodations with delicious local cuisine. It is great for those who are eager to explore Northern Tenerife.

On the higher end of the scale, the Royal Garden Villas and Spa offer 28 private villas, each with their own private pool. You won’t find luxury like this anywhere else!

Overall, Tenerife is a fun and exciting place to visit in the Canary Islands with hotels available for any price point and an abundance of activities to explore by car and foot!

Nick loves backpacking and is currently travelling through Tenerife where he explores the island in detail. He is also the founder of GlobalBackpackers.com where he shares his experiences with fellow travelers.
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