Castillo San Felipe. [Saint Philip’s Castle]

Castillo San Felipe. [Saint Philip’s Castle]

Castillo San Felipe. [Saint Philip’s Castle]

On a site next to Playa Jardin, this is a colonial-type fort built in the XVIIth Century to defend the Old Harbour from corsairs and pirates. It is one of the four forts which formerly defended the town. The fortress represents the town’s most important defensive bastion, built in the middle of the XVIIth Century to protect the ships seeking refuge in the harbour. It is sited at the mouth of the San Felipe barranco, about 900 metres from the town centre. Work commenced in 1641 and finished in 1655. It is shaped like an irregular pentagon with a masonry parapet. As well as a defence work , in the course of its history it has been a hospital, infirmary, store, citadel, gun club and a restaurant. In the 1990s it was restored by the Council and turned into a Municipal Cultural Centre, a wonderful setting for concerts and art exhibitions. 50 metres from the Castle stands the old Polvorín [powder house].

The Coastal Path

The Coastal Path

The Coastal Path

Near the Hotel Semiramis in the La Paz housing estate is where an old footpath starts. It runs along the Yeoward coast, goes under the Main East Road via a tunnel, crosses the La Arena barranco and leads to the lovely, black sand beach at El Bollullo. The path leads onwards to other nearby beaches: Los Patos and El Ancón. This footpath, much used by tourists, is about two kms long. It runs part of the way through banana plantations with spectacular views along the coast and up to the mountain tops above La Orotava.

Paseo de la Costa

San Telmo [Saint Telmo]

San Telmo [Saint Telmo]

San Telmo [Saint Telmo]

The San Telmo promenade is a picturesque pedestrian promenade along the very edge of the shore, lined with shops. It gives access to a cove of the same name, with natural sea-water swimming pools and is one of the preferred bathing areas among the locals. One end of the promenade is guarded by the Chapel of San Telmo, founded about 1780 by the guild of sea-going traders and dedicated to the Dominican friar San Pedro González de Bromista o San Pedro Telmo (also known as Saint Erasmus in English), patron saint of seamen. The image of the saint preserved in this small shrine dates from the end of the XVIII Century. The grounds of the small plaza surrounding it accommodated the San Telmo battery. Of it remain a few vestiges, such as the lookout post and part of the pitch-pine palisades which in earlier times guarded this small fortification, one of four built along the coast of the former Harbour of La Orotava to repel pirate attacks. The San Telmo battery defended the ships which anchored opposite the Chapel in the Limpio del Rey cove. At the other end of the San Telmo promenade is the Punta del Viento [Windy Point] viewpoint, called that way because it faces into the prevailing wind. From here there is a grand view of El Boquete, the San Telmo beach, and the whole of the Martiánez Complex. Many tourists congregate at this point to watch the spectacle of the waves breaking against the lava crags. The “Spectator” sculpture by Puerto artist Arnoldo Evora stands at one of the terrace’s corners.

Plaza del Charco. [Pool Square]

Plaza del Charco. [Pool Square]

Plaza del Charco. [Pool Square]

This is the nerve-centre , the heart of Puerto de la Cruz, the place where the visitor gets a feel for the pulse of our busy, cosmopolitan town. Its construction cannot be dated with any precision. As an open space for meeting it existed from the earliest times, but it did not exist as a real square until the XVIIIth Century. Important renovation was carried out in 1835, the walkways were paved in 1911 and the fountain installed. A bandstand was built in the XXth Century. Throughout its history it has had a variety of names, depending on the political situation, but among the locals it has always been known as the Plaza del Charco or Plaza del Charco de los Camarones [the Shrimp Pool Plaza], because during periods of heavy sea swell, the waves came into this space through the harbour mouth, causing a large tide pool where they could catch shrimps. In the shade of the Canary palms and the magnificent laurels brought over from Cuba in 1852, next to the impressive yam plant , another of the town’s beloved symbols flourishing by the fountain for over a century, the benches are the scene of animated conversation or a quiet snooze. Other characteristic features are the central area of volcanic gravel, the outer walkway and the “Dinámico” cafeteria, one of the most popular in town, the newspaper kiosks and the children’s play area. The Plaza was largely renovated at the beginning of the 1990s, whilst still keeping the traditional elements.

Square of  Víctor Pérez

Square of Víctor Pérez

Square of Víctor Pérez

Es la más pequeña y la más recoleta de las plazas del centro urbano portuense. Situada en frente de la iglesia de San Francisco y la ermita de San Juan, fue construida en 1904 en honor al médico que se distinguió entre los principales promotores del Gran Hotel Taoro, y pionero del turismo en esta ciudad. En el punto central tiene también una fuente rematada con ñamera.