Tenerife is a favourite destination for families, not only for its wealth of natural beauty but also for its many child-friendly attractions. Beautiful Puerto de la Cruz, situated in the north of the island, may not have as many theme parks as southern resorts like Costa Adeje, but it makes up for it with plenty of other ways to keep children entertained. For young families in particular, Puerto de la Cruz makes perfect sense and you’ll never be short of ways to keep a smile on those precious little faces – which makes your holiday all the more relaxing as well!
Talk to the Animals in Loro Parque
Set within 135,000sqm of beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, Loro Parque is the region’s number one attraction. As well as being a sanctuary for endangered exotic species and host to a number of aquatic animal shows in the 1,800-person capacity stadium, the park is home to an authentic Thai Village and one of the biggest icebergs in the world outside the polar region!
- The Orca Show – performances three times a day in the central stadium
- Dolphin Show – the park’s most popular animals perform their captivating show four times a day
- Sea Lion Show – cute and cheeky, the sea lions are a favourite with youngsters
- Penguins – the park’s penguin population is the largest in the world and you’ll have the opportunity to see them in a recreation of their natural environment, with snow machines producing 12 tonnes of snow and ice daily
- Parrots – the park’s many colourful parrots will keep you company overhead, and children will love the baby parrot station and parrot museum
- Katandra Treetops – a ‘free flight aviary’ where you can wander along the jungle walkways and encounter a host of bird species including cockatoos, emus, kookaburras and other tropical species from around the world
- Gorillas – the park is also home to ‘Villa Gorilla‘, with the world’s largest group of Western Lowland Gorillas
- Chimpanzees – the former rescue chimps now live happily in their purpose built enclosure and entertain visitors with their cheeky antics
Loro Parque is open 8:30-18:45 every day. Admission charges: children 6-11 €22, adults (over 12) €33.
Fur and Fauna at Oasis del Valle
Still on an animal theme (because which small child doesn’t love animals?), the Oasis del Valle animal centre’s furry residents might not be quite as exotic as those at Loro Parque, but they’re certainly just as appealing – and the kids get a camel ride thrown in with the entry ticket!
These beautiful botanic gardens are rich in the local flora and fauna of the Canary Islands, with plenty of shaded areas to rest little legs and some lovely winding paths for pony and camel rides. Donkeys, goats, llamas, pigs, horses and camels are right at home in these lovely sub tropical gardens, and there’s a child-friendly café/restaurant so you can make a full day of it without having to take a picnic.
Located at 2, Trasera Camino Torreon, La Orotava. Open every day from 10.00-17.00. Admission prices adults €12, children €6, free for under 4’s.
Endless Water Fun at Lago Martiánez
Possibly the best value attraction in the whole of Tenerife, there’s quite literally endless days of wet and wonderful fun to be had at the ever-popular Lago Martiánez. A well-loved part of the landscape of Puerto de la Cruz since 1977, this massive complex set within lush tropical gardens has no less than seven swimming pools of various shapes, sizes and depths which your kids can take their pick from, and complete with cascading waterfalls to shower under and lazy sun terraces for the parents.
- Artificial lake – the 15,000 sqm artificial lake is the centrepiece of the complex and includes an island in the centre
- Sculptures by César Manrique and other artists – there are sculptures and large artworks all over the complex. Particula favourites with young children are the massive concrete ‘Monumento al Mar o a las Olas’, and the quirky ‘Las Raíces Al Cielo’ (the Roots to Heaven), which depicts five inverted eucalypt trees
- The casino – yes, you read right! The underground casino is situated beneath the island in the lake
- Geyser water sculpture – dead centre of the island, the spouting geyser was designed to change form with the wind and represent the action of a volcano
- Dinosaur pool – the youngsters will love this pool designed especially for them, complete with resident model dinosaur!
Lago Martiánez is open daily from 10.00-17.00, but you can stay until 6pm. Entrance is €5.50 for adults and €2.50 for kids up to 10. The complex has several cafes and restaurants and guided tours of the artworks are available.
As well as these and a host of other child-friendly attractions, if you visit around fiesta time in July, the whole family can get involved in the festivities with street parties, concerts, and carnivals.
Recommended read: Join in the Festivities at the Sardine Festival in Puerto de la Cruz
One thing we can guarantee is you’ll never hear the words “I’m bored” on a holiday in Puerto de la Cruz!
How to Get to Puerto de la Cruz
The Canary Islands are under four hours from the UK by air, and there are plenty of regular direct budget flights to Tenerife’s two airports. If you fly into Tenerife North, it’s just 30 minutes by road to Puerto de la Cruz.
If you’re travelling with a young family, the most hassle free way of getting the kids and luggage to your accommodation is with a convenient shuttle transfer. Our driver will meet you at the airport and take you straight from Tenerife North to Puerto de la Cruz, with no delays or waiting around for public transport to put a dampener on the first day of your holiday.
In terms of public transport, there is a bus service running from the airport to the resort (Route 104 from outside the arrivals terminal to a central bus stop), but you’ll then have to rely on a local taxi to get you to your accommodation.
Where to Stay
Apartamentos Turquesa Playa – With plenty of room for the kids to run around, no less than three pools, a kids’ play centre, mini golf, and a location close to the beach, the Apartamentos Turquesa Playa offers budget accommodation that will have the whole family feeling at home. The spacious apartments are within walking distance to everything – even for the littlest legs.
Apartamentos Casablanca – The roomy, well-equipped accommodation at the Apartamentos Casablanca is ideal for the young, active family. Completely self-contained with a fabulous pool, children’s entertainment programme, and an onsite café, you’re also just a 10 minutes’ walk from the fabulous Lago Martianez swimming complex and the beach – although you may never want to leave!
Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden – For the discerning family, the Hotel Botanico y Oriental Spa Garden offers luxury for the parents and a gorgeous natural setting for the children to stretch their legs. With spacious family rooms opening out to the gardens, free unlimited spa access, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the exotic décor and ambient surroundings set the tone for a relaxing family break.