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.