Often regarded as the island’s ‘tourist mecca’, Playa de las Américas is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Tenerife. Developed on the site of an old fishing village in the late 1960s, it exists to serve the masses who flock to the Canary Islands every year, drawn by the warm climate, beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes.
It’s especially well known for its nightlife, with busy clubs and bars lending the whole town a 24-hour party vibe. But if that’s not your scene, don’t let it put you off: there’s more than enough to enjoy here for the whole family.
Read on to learn all about some of the best things you and your family can do with just a day in the town.
Playa boasts six stunning beaches, three manmade and three natural. Most are linked by a long promenade, and visitors are advised to stroll along until they see one that catches their eye.
Surfing, kitesurfing and paragliding are all popular on Tenerife, with powerful Atlantic waves and brisk breezes providing perfect conditions for novices and experts alike. Playa de las Américas and Playa Honda are by far the best locations for these activities, as their lack of coastal barriers lets waves come thick and fast.
Both beaches have equipment available to rent, and activities like scuba diving and jet-skiing are also accessible around the resort.
Further out of town, at the northern and southernmost tips, sit perfect spots for swimming, snorkelling and soaking up the sun. The northern Playa de El Bobo and Playa del Camisón to the south each have sunbeds and parasols available for hire, and breakwaters keep the waves from getting too big and powerful. These areas are great if you’re travelling with young kids.
Top Tip: If you’re into cultural sites or palaeontology, check out the 100,000-year old mollusc deposits at Playa de Guincho. Though this rocky cove isn’t the place to spend a day relaxing, it’s an interesting and unique site.
Parks and Wildlife
Most tourists come for the coast, sure, but the Canary Islands have a lot to offer besides beaches. Explore Tenerife’s unique landscape and see some wonderful wildlife at these two pristine parks.
Central Park of Arona
In this giant 42,000m2 garden, you can wander paths lined with tamarind and macadamia trees and over 40 different species of palm, exploring a more serene and tranquil world in the midst of all the tourist buzz. This is an ideal day out for nature lovers.
Top Tip: Look out for the several playgrounds buried within the park – they’re brilliant for kids who need to let off some steam!
A little way outside nearby Puerto de la Cruz sits this enormous wildlife park. It fits a lot into its 13,500m2 area, including alligators, big cats like jaguars and tigers and the world’s most diverse range of parrots. Wildlife enthusiasts old and young will have a wonderful day exploring this attraction.
Shopping and Dining
Commerce is as important to this tourist town as you might imagine, and the centre is a bustling hub of activity. All the international brands you’d expect are available, and you might even get a few discounts. But for a truly unique experience, come on a Thursday or a Sunday to explore the stalls at the Americas Torviscas Market. Just be ready to haggle!
Catering to guests from all over the world means that Playa has an astonishing range of good food. Friends Lounge Bar & Restaurantis excellent for Canarian cuisine, offering classic tapas alongside standard dishes like burgers and unique twists on classics.
If you’re looking to splash out, El Molino Blancooffers a real fine dining experience, with European, Mediterranean and Spanish-inspired dishes served in a beautiful setting with excellent atmosphere.
Perhaps the best value for money in the area, though, comes from Sushi Amore. You might not expect to find world-class Japanese food in Tenerife, but the chefs at Sushi Amore defy all expectations, with a range of dishes also including spring rolls, miso soup, tempura, gyoza and excellent and unique fried banana desserts.
Where to Stay
While its name is Egyptian, Cleopatra Palace’s style is Roman, with impressive columns and statues of gods surrounding the large outdoor terrace. Even the private bathrooms are furnished in marble! Modern luxuries are available, including free Wi-Fi and satellite TV in each room. There’s also a children’s play area, so the whole family can enjoy this hotel.
Just 600 yards from the beach and a short walk from the town centre’s shops and restaurants, the Olé Tropical offers live music and dancing across several bars. Rooms are air-conditioned and come with flat screen TVs and a private balcony and bathroom.
How to Get There
As one of the UK’s most loved holiday destinations, many airlines offer direct flights to Tenerife South airport, with around 70 journeys available per week even in the off-season. Prices can be as low as £40 for the four-hour journey, though these of course climb up in the busiest months.
Once you’ve landed, why not book a transfer from the airport to town? The 19km journey takes just 20 minutes, and it’s by far the most comfortable and stress-free way to travel.
- UK to TFS flight time: 4 hours 15 minutes
- TFS to Playa de las Américas distance: 19 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 20 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is the best regarded airport transfer operator in various destinations across the globe, and our knowledgeable and friendly drivers are guaranteed to get you where you need to go in comfort and without hassle.