Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Islas Canarias, Reino de España

Puerto de la Cruz (which in English translates as and was formerly known as "Crossport", although nowadays it is usually known in all languages by its Spanish name) is a city and municipality located in Spain, on the north coast of Tenerife island, in the Orotava Valley. It is located 4 km (2 mi) west of La Orotava, and 37 km (23 mi) W of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and 25 km (16 mi) from Tenerife North Airport both on the TF5 Motorway. In Spanish the inhabitants are known as portuenses. The municipality is the smallest in area in Tenerife.

The population is 31,830 (ISTAC, 2003), its density is 3,646.05/km² and the area is 8.73 km2 (3 sq mi). The elevation is 9 m (30 ft) MSL. The lowest point is the coastal Atlantic zone, the highest is Las Arenas, a volcanic cone with an elevation of 249 m (817 ft). Farmland is tucked into the valley areas and within the Atlantic coastal zone; urbanisation covers much of the area and the terrain rises rapidly to the south.

Prior to the development of hotels and buildings, much of the area consisted of agricultural land. Considerable fiscal pressure led to the land being developed and the population shifted from rural to urban and tourism. The population is mainly urban today.


The city's origins date back to the early sixteenth century, it existed in 1502 in the coastal port activity, while the dependent population center of La Orotava. It is in 1603 when he decided to bring a specific location in Puerto de la Cruz to build a church and its corresponding square.

A mid-seventeenth century the neighbors began to express his desire to become a distinct place, receiving the Royal Provision of Felipe IV on May 3, 1651, which empowered them to appoint village headman. Plaza del Charco. In 1880 he built his central stack

Until 1772 belonged to the municipality of La Orotava under the name Puerto de La Orotava. Although this year proceeded with the election of a municipal corporation elected by the residents, it was not until 1808 when it obtained a full municipal autonomy, changing at that time the name to the current Puerto de la Cruz.

It was originally a fishing village that grew as local trade was increasing. The port became the most important of the island when a volcano eruption destroyed Garachico in 1706. The sugar trade gave way to wine, this time settling in a large social and economic development.

Tourism is beginning to have an important role in the local economy in the late nineteenth century. It was in those years when he built the Grand Hotel Taoro and began to remodel old family houses, as Marquesa or Monopol, to transform them into the first hotel in the city centers. Finally, the real tourism boom came in the 50's of XX century, when the city began its transformation into tourist reference point of the island and the archipelago. Made in turn will trigger an explosion with serious conditions at the urban natural environment, both coastal and agriculture.

During the second edition of Ecological Film Festival of Nature in Puerto de la Cruz, taking the trip of several people invited to give lectures and provide round tables, announces the Tenerife Manifesto (May 29, 1983). This text is a precursor of political ecology in Spain, which would initiate a process leading to the founding of the political party of the Greens.


Tourism is an important industry in Puerto de la Cruz, as evidenced by the number of large hotels on the skyline.

Puerto de la Cruz is frequented by the Northern European during the winter months, due to its mild climate, and is particularly popular over Christmas and the new year periods.

The Western European tourist contingent to Puerto de la Cruz tends towards more mature couples, in comparison to resorts such as Playa de las Americas.

The summer months sees more Spanish tourists, particularly during the very hot month of August on the Spanish mainland.


The Tenerife Airshow (Festival de Aeromodelismo) (Spanish for 'Aeromodelling festival') is held every year in near the harbour, usually in Europa Square. The airshow celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006.

El Carnaval, held every year. Ash Wednesday is in the middle of Carnival. "La Embarcacion de la Virgen del Carmen" (The Sea-setting of the Virgin Carmen), is held July 16. It has become in latter years "la Fiesta del Agua" (The water party), where copious amounts of water are thrown at the festivities.

It is preceded by "La Sardinada" (The Sardine Festival), where sardines are fried and sold the night before at San Telmo.

Hundreds of people congregate in Charco Square and its fishing port, where festival goers participate in games (like the popular run-along-the grease-pole, where people have to run along a greased pole and catch a flag to win the game, very humorous).

Because of the normally mild weather, people go in T-shirt and shorts, or just bathing suits, and enjoy a quick dip in the waters of the port to help cool down in the usually good July weather. The event starts around 12-1 o'clock in the afternoon and lasts till around 10-12 o'clock at night.

At the height of "La Sardinada", a large papier mache sardine is wheeled through the streets, brought to the waterfront, "blessed" with "holy water" (normally petrol or lighter fluid) by a man dressed as a Bishop. The sardine is then set alight, to huge applause. After this, a huge firework display ensues. The event is known as the "Burial of the Sardine".

Amongst the crowd at this event, "professional mourners" will be found. These are invariably men in drag, wailing, for comic effect.

Although the Burial of the Sardine rarely starts on time, the event always attracts crowds, and it is advised to arrive early at the harbour.



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