Parque Taoro. [Taoro Park]

In the centre of Puerto de la Cruz is a promontory – in olden days called Misery Mount, as it is a volcanic badland – from where one gets the best view of the whole town. This green lung is the Taoro Park which in other times was a residential area for Puerto’s select foreign community. Now a public park, it covers almost 100,000 sq metres, divided into three different sections: los Jardines de La Atalaya, [Vantage Point Gardens], los Jardines del Taoro [Taoro Gardens] and Camino de la Sortija [Hoop Road]. Camino de la Sortija is where the British community used to run horse races , the aim being to catch a hoop on the lance. La Atalaya, the best-tended and most luxuriant part of the park, is criss-crossed by pleasant paths and stairways which meander between springs and waterfalls. At the top of the hill , dominating the whole town is the hundred-year old building which was the first great hotel built in Spain, the Taoro Gran Hotel, until recently a luxury gambling casino. The Anglican Church is in the middle of the park. Due to the lack of special facilities, the Taoro gardens have lately become an athletics ground where a lot of sports enthusiasts come to jog or train. The park still retains valuable remains of the volcanic badland and is being refurbished by the Council.