Tenerife is the biggest of the Canary Islands and covers several cities, which may mean having to organise your trip carefully. Understand that Tenerife, was not too long ago, a simple banana growing region that has recently been boosted into a major tourist city thanks to globalisation and cheap flights. The booming tourism is what helped the city develop new housing and real estate.
The native language is Spanish though in the southern cities of the island, English is commonly spoken by everyone. In the Northern parts of the island, English is not a given.
The freedom to explore the entire island may be something worth planning for and in that case you ought to consider renting a car. Traffic is not overly congested and taxis tend to be expensive. Renting a car has its advantages and all the more so if the hotel you are staying in provides scooters or bicycles for rent.
Walking the island will only give you limited views. Many tourists prefer to see the waters themselves and so rent motorised watercraft or charter yachts so they can see the islands from the water.
Just as the weather affects the north and south sides of Tenerife, so too is the population of both slightly different. You will find that younger tourists tend to frequent the south side of the island, while older visitors and larger families prefer the area of Puerto de La Cruz. The south may be preferred because of its long summer season, its lack of strong winds and its ideal beach weather that lasts most of the year. The only cold months are in January and February, and this is the likeliest time for rain to come.
The northern side of the island tends to have more natural greenery and more in the way of local culture. There is a spring mood here, with real Spanish culture in place of the touristy attractions. The weather is also more volatile in the south, though it’s slightly cooler.
If you prefer to walk most areas then you can arrange for an airport transfer by way of shuttle bus, limousine, coach or minibus. Companies like Tenerife Airport Transfers are onsite to help with arriving passengers.
If you prefer to travel the remote northern locations and all through the island, then a hire car may be better suited. TITSA buses actually do cover a large portion of the entire island and they travel routes frequently. If you intend to use the bus a great deal opt for a BONO travel card that lets you save on a series of rides, up to 70 percent off individual transfers. The good news is that only one card is required, even if you have a sizable group. There is also a tram line that goes between Santa Cruz and La Laguna, which is also part of the BONO card coverage.
In terms of navigation, it may be better to trust local city dwellers or to use a tour service, as many tourists have stated that TomTom and Garmin maps are not very accurate in terms of finding stores and restaurants.
How safe are you in and around the El Teide volcanic region? You are flirting with danger but that’s precisely why many tourists come to El Teide – and remember that it is a dormant volcano and one that hasn’t erupted in many decades. Just to put you at ease, the locals are being extra careful and not allowing people to go into the crater for the slight risk of anything happening.
In fact most of the island is safe to visit and is not really dangerous in comparison to the average big city. Tenerife does have occasional problems with pickpockets. It is also not recommend that a tourist walk alone at night, not so much because of the locals, but because of the high number of illegal immigrants and some of the more reckless youths who may take advantage of tourists.
In fact, it’s safe to say that rowdy tourists stand a better chance of being arrested than they will be exposed to danger. Local police are quick to apprehend suspects as well as culprits in the view of protecting tourists who are invaluable to the island’s economy. Local law enforcement is strict, so stick to the rules and please avoid sleeping on the beach at night as this is against the law.
While you are generally safe even among the nightclubs and bars, expect to run into a few drunken tourists and locals late at night, though they rarely cause any serious harm. There are no wild animals attacks around the populated areas but mosquitoes can be a consistent pest. Perhaps it’s best to apply repellent to avoid that problem later on.
Because of the strength of the sun’s rays, and the close location to the equator, it is not recommended that tourists sunbathe between 12 PM and 3 PM. Use common sense and do not leave valuables unattended, especially on the beach.
You may also notice that many merchants are willing to sell you electronic devices for surprisingly cheap prices. These are usually scams or at the very least, you are over paying for cheap equipment. Bring your own electronics from home and avoid buying anything more elaborate than food or a handcrafted souvenir.
Avoid anyone on the beach that tries to sell you contracts for time-share apartments, as the UK’s Office of Fair Trading has stated that some 400,000 UK consumers fall victim to these scams in destinations such as Tenerife and other islands. Scammers generally say vague things and are unwilling to let you read contracts at length, so always take the contract home for review—if you bother to consider the suspicious offer at all.
Prostitution is legal in the city and island of Tenerife, as are high-end massage services that go wild and luxurious with the decoration. It is not necessarily the safest of tourist activities, however, and caution is strongly advised. Along the way through nightclubbing, you might also encounter unique drinking and sex package deals, such as a wine tasting event with live erotic entertainment as with Wine & Sex, associated with Bodegas Monje.