If you’re wondering what to do in Santa Cruz and have a driver's certificate, then strap an oxygen tank to your back or a snorkel to your face because Tenerife’s warm, crystal clear waters (that are year round!) are an underwater paradise. There are a ton of different spots that suit divers of all experience levels to put down the anchor and plunge into the watery deep. Tenerife boasts a superbly diverse marine life. The El Condesito, a cargo ship that sank in the 1970s, is popular amongst divers and is home to trumpetfish (over a meter in length), octopus, sardines, barracudas, eels and even rays. As you swim through the hold of the wreck, you can also see how the cement sacks the ship carried have solidified over time. And, for those more experienced divers, a little further on there is a 36-meter drop where you can explore black coral. It’s a spectacular way to enjoy Santa Cruz sights!
If you’re all about beaches, then forget about things to do in Tenerife, grab your towel, sunscreen and flip-flops because you're in for a treat. Santa Cruz de Tenerife boasts 61.7 kilometers of beaches (a lot for a small island) and there’s something for everyone. Teresitas’ one mile long stretch of golden sand imported (yes, imported) from the Sahara sits below the Anaga Mountains and is the perfect spot to catch a tan. Head to Tajao for a place to sit by the sea and enjoy fresh, locally caught seafood in a setting defined by its wind-sculpted Jablé rocks. The tamarisk trees and whitewash houses that line the beach of El Puertito make it feel a world away from the Santa Cruz resorts. This calm cove is a perfect place for a dip and if you’re lucky, you might spy green turtles swimming in the waters too. And, for the windsurfers out there, El Medano beach will cater to your needs.
What to do in Tenerife? Easy, head to the Teide National Park, it is the highlight of any trip to Santa Cruz. The mountain that lends its name to the park is an active volcano and the highest peak, not just in the Canary Islands, but all of Spain. Covering 189.9 sq km, Teide National Park is a natural wonderland with some beautiful and strange landscapes. You can explore barren badlands and deep-set ravines where you can marvel at the soft folds of pahoehoe lava and the lunar-looking lapilli. Fourteen plants found nowhere else on earth exist here as well as nearly 1,000 Guanche (indigenous people of the Canary Islands) archaeological sites. For the hikers amongst you, you can hike to the peak. For everyone else, take the cable car to one of two platforms and enjoy magnificent views. So, make the most of your Santa Cruz vacation and be sure to check out this phenomenal national park.
However, the pre-Hispanic history of the area carries on by the legacy of Tenerife natives “Guanches” (from Guan Chenech which means 'man from Tenerife'). The city has flourished mainly thanks to its naval activities and, despite modernization and globalization, managed to keep its exotic vibe and charming ambiance. In fact, in 2012, The Guardian included Santa Cruz on its list of the five best places to live in the world!
The city is a hive of activities and experiences waiting to be discovered. Santa Cruz has it all from a number of museums, and art galleries to Sunday markets, seaside promenades, golden beaches and a plethora of convenient day trips. So, whether you want to spend your days dozing off under palm trees, following the footprints of art and history or diving into lavish nature, you won’t have to lose too much time finding what to do in Santa Cruz. Better yet, if you happen to be visiting the city in February, the Carnival of Santa Cruz will sweep you off your feet with colors, music, costumes, and spectacular parades. To be honest, with over a million international attendees, it’s one of the top things to do in Santa Cruz.