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Tenerife Travel Guide

Tenerife — Visas and Vaccinations

As with anywhere in the EU, North American visitors can holiday in the Canary Islands visa-free for a stay of up to 90 days upon presentation of a passport. Australians, and many other nationalities, can also visit visa-free, while British and EU visitors need a permiso de residence permit for stays spanning beyond 90 days.

Health and Safety

Muggings and violent crimes are rare in Tenerife, although pick-pocketing is common in busy tourist areas, particularly so in Veronicas (Playa de las Americas) and the commercial center of Los Cristianos at night. These areas are more rowdy than other parts of the island and the odd fight can break out. Scams are also rife here, such as timeshare units—initiated through a winning scratch card—though these cons are more an annoyance than anything else.

Health wise, there are good clinics with English-speaking staff in all resort areas, while Playa de las Americas, Puerto de la Cruz, and Santa Cruz all have hospitals. Note that pharmacies often close on Saturday afternoon. Health standards and facilities are on par with most of the EU. Non-EU visitors in particular should have medical insurance.

The main threat is from the sun, with Tenerife being at a similar latitude as the Northern Sahara. Ocean breezes mask the true heat index, so always wear sun block. The tap water is potable, albeit salty, and restaurants are monitored for hygiene. Always check food is piping hot from stalls at the markets and in the entertainment areas.

Roads in Teide National Park are winding (especially the route from las Americas) and dangerous when wet, while the routes around the west are also more hazardous than normal. It’s better to park in car parks than on the street.

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