Beach escapades are always a treat – the sun, the sea and the pure indulgence of doing nothing! This time, we checked out one of the more popular (if not most popular) beaches at Tenerife, Playa de Las Américas, widely known for their beautiful stretches of golden sand beaches.
Where is Tenerife?
Tenerife is one of the seven and largest Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. The Spanish island is blessed with sunshine all year round and famous for its lovely beaches throughout the island. Although there is no best time of the year to visit, the busiest times are usually December to February and May to October.
How to get to Playa de Las Américas
There are two airports in Tenerife – Tenerife South Airport (Reina Sofia) and Tenerife North Airport. Most of the nicer beaches are closer to Tenerife South. It takes about 20 mins and €25 (one way) by taxi from the South airport to Playa de Las Américas.
Welcome to Playa de Las Américas
Playa de Las Américas is on the south coast of Tenerife and has six beaches of which three are man-made golden sand beaches with imported sand from Africa and the other three are natural black volcanic sand beaches. I particularly love the mushroom straw huts, and how neatly they are dotted all over the beach. This is definitely not a common sight outside of Asia. The icing on the cake? Playa de Las Américas is also reputed for being the hotspot to party on the island.
The waters at Playa de Las Américas are relatively calm and there are plenty of activities for people of all ages. Jet skiing, wind surfing, banana boating, sailing, diving, parasailing, fishing, dolphin watching and even water themed parks, Siam Park and Aqualand, which are popular with the children.
Explore the beaches to the left and the right of the main beach. The beaches stretch on for several kilometers so it can easily take 1-2 hours to stroll from end to end. It may not seem obvious but the sun rays in Tenerife can be quite potent. Remember to apply sun-block and keep hydrated. You will find that there is no lack of drink kioks on the beaches. Alternatively, pop into one of the many cafes and pubs along the stretch to rest your feet or laze by the bars.
The walking street
The walking street is lazy in the day, and comes alive at night. Nightlife resolves around the Veronicas Strip, Starco Commercial Centre and the Patch where there are plenty of bars, restaurants and night clubs to choose from. Clubs open till 3-5am and the range of drinks is comprehensive, if not slightly more creative.
What to eat
Seafood is fresh and cooking techniques are mostly simple. Do try the black ink squid and local wrinkly potatos, Papas Arrugadas, that are covered in salt and served ready unpeeled. Also enjoy authentic paellas on this island. Meals are often served with the Canarian sauce dips, Mojo, which usually come in a set of 2 or 3. Each sauce has a different texture and taste (garlic, coriander, paprika?) and these dips are an absolute delight with almost anything.
All about the money
The island uses Euros. Credit cards are widely accepted although most require the credit card chip and pin. Food and drinks are not exactly cheap at Tenerife, particularly at Playa de Las Américas since it is relatively commercialised. Expect to pay British pub prices at minimum. It is also common practice to leave a 10% tip.
Tenerife is a hidden gem in the Atlantic sea, mostly undeveloped except for the touristy areas and is probably more well known in the European and British space. While it might not be worth a trip all the way from the rest of the other world, the tropical weather, stunning golden sand beaches and sparkling clear blue sea puts it in the list of beautiful beaches to visit. The beaches at Playa de Las Américas are perfect for those seeking a laid back and fun-filled vacation as the area is nicely built up with cafes, pubs and activities for anyone of all ages to enjoy from day to night. Tenerife will make a rocking weekend getaway and can suit an extended beach vacation for travellers who intend to further explore the island.
For more information, you can visit the Canary Islands Official Tourism Boar http://www.turismodecanarias.com/canary-islands-spain/
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