Nestled in the heart of Tenerife’s dramatic west coast, Puerto de Santiago is a hidden gem in the Canary Islands. This picturesque village combines the old-world charm of a fishing village with the modern amenities of a contemporary resort. Imagine whitewashed houses standing in stark contrast to the black volcanic sands and colourful fishing boats bobbing up and down in the water and you won’t be far off. If you’re in search of a tranquil destination for your 2017 holidays, Puerto de Santiago could be the perfect fit.
Puerto de Santiago sits next to neighbouring resorts Playa de la Arena and Los Gigantes. Between these three settlements visitors have access to a vast selection of both natural and manmade attractions. Lounge on the black sandy beaches, walk through the craggy ravines to visit bustling local markets, or venture out into the sea on a boat tour of this rugged coastline. Shopping, dining, and family entertainment await you in this area of natural beauty.
Most popular hotels in Puerto de Santiago
Vigilia Park Apartments
Puerto de Santiago, Tenerife
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: GMT +0
- Average flight time: 4h 45m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
With a prime location in a scenic area, Puerto de Santiago offers a wealth of natural attractions. Chief among these is its small crescent-shaped beach with calm, clear water lapping the shores. Life revolves around the water here, and you can visit a local fishing museum or take a boat out to navigate the waves. A number of diving schools are in operation, along with whale and dolphin-watching tours. Neighbouring Los Gigantes is a short stroll away and it’s known for its imposing cliffs. These offer numerous viewpoints of the coastline, along with walking trails and a concrete-walled marina below.
The main street in Puerto de Santiago is lined with a smattering of well-stocked shops, selling souvenirs, fresh produce, and various sundries. If you’re craving a wider selection of retail offerings during your Puerto de Santiago holiday, you can head over to Alcala, just 10 minutes away. A market takes place here every Monday, offering handmade leather goods, colourful handicrafts, and elaborate jewellery to take away with you.
Wine and Dine
Whether you’re craving tapas or Tex-Mex, you’ll find a restaurant to tempt you in Puerto de Santiago. The seafront offers the widest selection of eateries, all of which have inspiring views to go along with your meal. There’s a strong international influence to suit the crowds of summertime visitors. English breakfasts are served all day in these casual eateries, and you’ll also find Chinese, Indian and Italian options.
It would be a shame to miss the chance to try the local Canarian cuisine, however. One local delicacy that visitors and locals alike can’t get enough of is “papas arrugadas”. These are potatoes that are cooked in a layer of salt, which makes them wrinkly and seasoned to perfection, and served up with a side of spicy red or green mojo sauce and grilled sea bass. Naturally, fresh seafood makes an appearance in local menus as well. Don’t leave without trying a fragrant platter of paella, washed down with locally produced wine.
Puerto de Santiago holidays are a good fit for the whole family. This resort town is safe and sheltered, with a pocket-sized beach that allows you to keep an eye on the little ones while they paddle around. For sun and fun, it can’t be beaten. There’s a good range of different family-friendly accommodation on offer, including self-catering villas and all-inclusive resorts. Look for family holiday packages that include children’s clubs and activities, allowing them to blow off steam while the grownups relax.
One activity sure to delight all ages is a whale watching trip. The stretch of Atlantic in between La Gomera and Tenerife is one of the best places in the world to spot bottlenose dolphins, and you may also see pilot whales, orcas and sperm whales. These wildlife watching tours depart from Los Gigantes, a few minutes away from Puerto de Santiago. For something a bit different, drive 30 minutes down the coastline to Siam Park. This Thai-themed park showcases temples and plenty of thrill rides.
Action and Adventure
Adventure abounds in this rugged landscape. Los Gigantes draws visitors from far and wide, who are keen to take a walk along its rock formations and venture into the area’s volcanic caves. Another exciting day trip you can take on your Puerto de Santiago holiday is to Mount Teide. This is the third highest volcano in the world, making it a must-see attraction for thrill seekers. The hike to the top takes about five hours and rewards you with spectacular views. There’s also a cable car if you are short on time. Either way if you choose to travel here, the mountainous landscape offers lush pine forests and fields of wildflowers.
The wild Atlantic Ocean is another source of action and adventure here. The water sports centre at Playa de la Arena provides lessons for beginner divers, or you can hire equipment for water skiing and windsurfing. Take a ferry to the next island of La Gomera, where you can trek through Garajonay National Park before returning back to Puerto de Santiago by sundown.
Life's a Beach
Puerto de Santiago’s beach may be small in comparison to higher-profile resorts, but it’s certainly clean and super convenient. All the beaches in this region of Tenerife feature distinctive black-tinted sand, a product of the island’s volcanoes. If you’re in search of a larger beach to spread out on, you can take a 10-minute walk over to Playa de la Arena. This beach was awarded Blue Flag status in 1989, and there are plenty of amenities to make your time more comfortable. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available for hire, and the beach is rimmed with casual restaurants where you can indulge in a cool ice cream or a sizzling platter of grilled seafood.
Los Gigantes offers a third beach for your holidays in Puerto de Santiago, should you tire of the other two. With the famous cliffs towering overhead, you’ll be able to enjoy moments of solitude or try your hand at the local water sports. Diving, kitesurfing and snorkelling are all on hand here, and the beach tends to be less crowded than popular Playa de la Arena.
Puerto de Santiago isn’t known for its hedonistic, all-night dance clubs, but there’s still a buzzing nightlife scene here. The majority of the village’s pubs, bars and music venues are positioned at its waterfront. One highlight here is Route 66, a US-themed rock music venue decorated with memorabilia. It’s popular both for its generous happy hour deals as well as its live music. The local band, Old Dogs, New Tricks, draws visitors to the dance floor on a nightly basis.
For more party options, you can hop in a taxi to make the five-minute journey over to Los Gigantes. This town’s Avenida Jose Gonzalez Forte boasts a varied selection of nightclubs and bars. These tend to be open later into the evening than the more sedate options in Puerto de Santiago. No matter where you end up, try a ‘Black Magic Cocktail’, a Tenerife concoction that blends peach schnapps, rum and vodka.
With year-round warm weather, spectacular beaches, and amazing food, Puerto de Santiago is a great destination for your next romantic getaway. Couples will definitely enjoy holidays in Puerto de Santiago, with its idyllic atmosphere and charming villas winding their way up the cliffs. Spend your day together at the beach, or poolside at the hotel soaking in the Tenerife sunshine. The region is well known for its outstanding restaurants, making it the perfect location for a romantic dinner for two. Book a table at one of Puerto de Santiago’s standout seafood restaurants, and admire the sunset as you treat yourself to perfectly presented tapas. Alternatively, visit the farmers’ market and stock up on a rainbow of fresh produce to make your own picnic.
There are plentiful day trips to inspire romance – Garachico is just one example. Located an hour outside of Puerto de Santiago, this town is surrounded by lava-formed rock pools. The shallow, crystalline water in these pools is perfectly heated by the sun, making them ideal for a dip.
Tenerife has long drawn international artists to its shores, lured by its incomparable volcanic scenery and atmospheric natural lighting. The boutiques on Puerto de Santiago’s main street showcase work from local artists, as does the weekly Alcala market. You can also view Renaissance-era mansions, convents and churches in the well-preserved town of La Orotava. This is just over an hour’s drive from the village, making it a popular day trip for culture enthusiasts on their Puerto de Santiago holiday.
The village is home to the only museum in this area, dedicated to the region’s fishing heritage. It’s located right next to the main beach. At this Fisherman’s Museum, you can view intriguing artistic works as well as exhibitions showcasing facts about the generations of fishermen who have called Puerto de Santiago home. Rotating exhibitions include sculptures, photographs, and paintings, ensuring that there’s always something new to see here.