The same port where cruise ships dock today has been integral to the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife for centuries. Indeed, this colorful port of call – which boasts museums and beaches alike – has always relied heavily on its proximity to the sea for its livelihood. With a popular that exceeds 220,000 people, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is hardly a quiet, out of the way place. However, it’s the city’s vibrant atmosphere and welcoming locals that help give it so much of its charm. Indeed, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the best places to find yourself on this chain of volcanic islands.

Sightseeing & Things To Do

Viewing the impressive Mount Teide – which rises a majestic 12,402 feet above Santa Cruz – from the cruise ship simply doesn’t do it justice. In fact, the only way to really get a feel for the stunning nature of the topography of Tenerife is by getting off the cruise ship and exploring. Whether you want to learn a bit about the history of the Canary Islands – or if you just want to nosh on some delicious local cuisine – Santa Cruz de Tenerife will not disappoint.

Whether your ship ends up docking close or far from all of the action, you absolutely must get off it and explore Santa Cruz de Tenerife a little bit. There are many splendid options, including:

Plaza de Espana

History buffs – and those who would simply like to learn a bit more about the culture and story behind the Canary Islands, Tenerife and Santa Cruz – should high tail it over to the Plaza de Espana. This old section of the town features a conveniently compact selection of great museums and old buildings.

Loro Parque

If you’d like to get a bit of fresh air while taking in a pleasant mix of different attractions, visit the Loro Parque. Marvel at the huge population of parrots that help make this wildlife park famous or check out some sea lions, dolphins or other kinds of marine life. Loro Parque is a fabulous way to introduce yourself to the wildlife of this gorgeous region.

San Cristobal de la Laguna

The oldest town on Tenerife – and its original capital – is located only five minutes away from Santa Cruz. San Cristobal de la Laguna is by far the most picturesque, quaint town to explore on the island.

Museo Militar de Almeyda

As peaceful and serene as Santa Cruz de Tenerife may be today, it has a long, bloody military history. Learn a little bit about it by stopping in at this compelling military history museum.


You’ll have little trouble finding touristy shops in which to purchase a bevy of souvenirs while visiting Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Why not experience the other side of shopping in this scenic town by hitting its local market? This is where the locals trade their goods and wares; you’re not going to find kitschy tourist things, but you will be able to sample a lot of different fresh local produce and see how people on this remarkable island live their lives. The people watching here is nearly as much fun as the shopping!

Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship

The name of the game in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is definitely silver. It is plentiful and very reasonably priced all over town; you’ll be certain to track down a piece of silver jewelry that you will cherish for years. No real treasure hunting is involved, happily, because silver is so incredibly abundant on Tenerife.

Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine

The cuisine of the Canary Islands is absolutely delectable, so be sure to hit a few of the local restaurants and food stands to try a bit of it out. One of the especially delicious local favorites is called Rancho Canaria, which is a vegetable and meat soup that is as savory as it is filling. Or try out the Cazuela Canaria, a kind of fish stew that is well loved among locals and visitors alike. You definitely won’t be wanting for tasty things to eat when you visit Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

When, Where, and How

When To Go

While the Canary Islands enjoy some pretty fantastic weather all year long, if you have a choice in the matter you should try to visit sometime between November and February. It is not excessively hot or humid during those months, and it tends to be a lot drier, too. You’ll find that being outdoors during those months is very pleasant, indeed.

Where You’re Docked

Cruise ships that arrive in Tenerife dock at its large, U-shaped harbor. The only problem that may arise occurs when a ship has to pull in at the farthest end of the U. In that case, passengers have to trek quite a ways to get over to the main sights of Santa Cruz. However, the walk is well worth it – and shuttles are often available, too.

Which Cruise Ships Go Here?

A lot of the most popular cruise lines have itineraries that feature stops at Santa Cruz de Tenerife. A couple examples of the major cruise lines that stop in Santa Cruz de Tenerife are P & O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Fred Olsen Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Cunard. However, there are many other choices in terms of dates, ships, days in port and at sea when it comes to Santa Cruz de Tenerife.