The Martiánez Beach
This is Puerto’s traditional bathing beach, and the centre of the tourist boom which the town underwent in the 1960s. Also known as La Barranquera, being the mouth of the Martiánez barranco, this is a natural beach of black volcanic sand, protected in part by an artificial breakwater. The name of this emblematic place is a popular derivation of the name of the original owner of this strip of coast: Martín Yanes. In 1768, the battery of San Carlos [Saint Charles] was constructed in the middle of the beach, but washed away in the torrential rains of 1828. In 1769, a project was drawn up to build a large harbour here, but the idea never came to fruition for lack of Government support. Between 1912 and 1936, there existed a curious leisure centre opposite the beach, built by Guillermo and Gustavo Wildpret, “The Thermal Palace”. This was a prefabricated wooden building equipped with an endless array of facilities and services (dining room, billiard hall, gymnasium, bathing halls, tennis courts, croquet and bowls, guest rooms and the ‘Petit Park’). The theatre hall, in regal style, provided seating for 400 people and was brilliantly decorated by the famed Tenerife watercolourist Francisco Bonnín. Here the townspeople attended stage events, functions and sports tournaments, particularly during the Festivities of San Juan and the Gran Poder de Dios. When this important leisure centre had disappeared, the first Martiánez swimming pools were constructed under orders from the Economic Directorate in the 1940s. At present, at one end of the sea-walk which runs along the beach, there is a bust in memory of Isidoro Luz Carpenter, during whose period of office as Mayor, Puerto de la Cruz really took off as a tourist destination.