Tenerife in 4 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and one of the islands with the most attractions to offer. Here I tell you what attractions you can visit in a 4-day itinerary.
Getting to know Tenerife in 4 days seems a difficult mission but with the right itinerary and an intense tour, you will be able to visit as many attractions as possible during your short stay. For that, the ideal is to divide the island by sectors and assign one to each day.
Among the best things to see and do in Tenerife are a tour of Santa Cruz, the Teide National Park and its peaks, the Siam Park theme park and the villages in the north of the island. In between you can visit pyramids, rocks and caves that will show you that Tenerife is an island for everyone.
Day 1: Tour Santa Cruz, visit the Palmetum, have lunch at the Municipal Market and take a swim in the César Manrique Park
Your first day on the island will start with a walk through the main streets of Santa Cruz, where you can begin to explore and learn about the history and culture of Tenerife. You will also be able to visit the Palmetum, have lunch at the traditional Mercado Municipal Nuestra Señora de África and spend the afternoon at the Parque Marítimo César Manrique, to take a swim and relax.
Tour Santa Cruz de Tenerife
This trip starts in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is the most important city of the island and a refuge of the ancient culture of the Canary Islands. This is a tour that you can do on foot or by bicycle, to visit the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción and the Plaza de España, two of the most representative sites of the city.
Visit the Palmetum, the largest botanical garden in the Canary Islands
Among the same streets of Santa Cruz, your next stop will be the Palmetum of Santa Cruz, located in the area of Puerto de Honduras, is a botanical garden of 12 hectares of extension that makes it the largest in the Canary Islands and a refuge for palm trees and local flora.
The Palmetum is one of the most important projects in the Canary Islands, because in a few years it managed to transform a garbage dump into a natural space for visitors. It is currently the most representative green lung of the city, besides being the largest botanical reserve of tropical palms in the world.
Visiting the entire Palmetum will take you approximately 3 hours and is one of the best things to do in Tenerife. The park is open to the public every day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm and general admission has an initial cost of 6 euros.
Lunch at the Municipal Market Nuestra Señora de África
After touring the Palmetum, at lunchtime you can visit the Municipal Market Nuestra Señora de África, located a few streets away. There you will discover, as its name indicates, many of the African roots that Tenerife has because of its proximity to that continent, as well as the best local gastronomic products.
I recommend you try the eclectic dishes of Bokanka, the Latin American delicacies of Antojitos de mi Tierra and the tapas of Gastrobar El Gusto por el Vino, if you prefer a more Spanish option.
After eating, I suggest you spend some time strolling through its galleries to get to know the place better.
- Opening hours: every day from 6.00 am to 8.00 pm.
- Address: Av. de San Sebastián, 51, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Museum of Nature and Archeology, one of the best museums in Tenerife.
Take a swim in the César Manrique Maritime Park
After lunch, I suggest you spend the afternoon at the Parque Marítimo César Manrique, which is a large complex of swimming pools for adults and children, with solarium areas, children's playgrounds and gastronomic services. Visiting the Parque Marítimo is an ideal option if you plan to tour Tenerife with children.
The Parque Marítimo César Manrique, is a few streets away from the Municipal Market and you can get there in a 10 minute walk or by city bus lines 914 and 921 to Tres de Mayo station.
This park can also be an alternative if you plan to visit Tenerife in December or in the months when the beaches have a windier or colder weather, as it has heated pools where you can take a relaxing swim.
- Opening hours: every day from 10.00 to 19.00 hours.
- Price: from 5 € per person.
Dinner at the García Sanabria Park
Once you finish the visit in the Maritime Park, you can close the first day by having dinner in some of the restaurants and bars in the area of García Sanabria Park, one of the most popular nightlife areas of Tenerife.
Day 2: Visit Teide National Park, Roque Cinchado and the Pyramids of Güímar
If the first day's tour of Santa Cruz de Tenerife did not seem adventurous enough, get ready because during the second day I will propose an itinerary through the nature of the Teide National Park, which contains the highest peak of Tenerife, and in addition, you will also be able to visit other places such as Roque Cinchado and the Pyramids of Güímar.
Visit the Teide National Park, the highest peak in Spain
Teide is the highest point not only in Tenerife, but also in Spain, as well as the third highest volcano in the world. Inactive for over 200 years, it is now a must-see for tourists touring the Canary Islands, since from its peaks you can contemplate one of the best views of the Atlantic islands.
Teide is located about 65 kilometers south of Santa Cruz and the best way to visit it is on an organized excursion, although you can also get to know it on your own traveling by car along the TF-21 in a 1 hour and a half trip.
If you decide to take one of the many excursions to Teide available, you can walk the hiking tra ils accompanied by an expert local guide, who will give you information about one of the most representative sites in Spain.
Teide Cable Car
During your visit to the volcano you can also choose to ride the Teide Cable Car, which in a 10-minute ride connects the base of the National Park to La Rambleta station, which is located a few meters below the peak.
This is the most accessible way to reach one of the highest points of Teide and costs approximately 49 euros per visitor, including access to the Mirador de Pico Viejo.
Along with the rest of the Teide Park, this is one of the best places in Europe to contemplate the stars at night. One of the best ways to do this is with an organized excursion focused specifically on this activity.
Take a trekking route through Roque Cinchado
In the heart of the island, inside the Teide National Park and next to the volcano, you can visit the Roque Cinchado, one of the most emblematic rock formations of Tenerife.
The Cinchado belongs to the Roques García group, although it has a unique shape, with a narrower base than the peak, which distinguishes it from the rest and makes it an attraction in itself.
At Roque Cinchado, which is located at an altitude of 2100 meters, you can get some of the best photographs of Tenerife. During full moon nights, the Natural Park offers excursions to contemplate the field of stars that form in the sky.
Visits to Roque Cinchado are usually combined with the Alto de Guajara, which is the highest peak of the natural amphitheater of Las Cañadas del Teide, and with hiking excursions in the Montaña Blanca and the Lunar Landscape.
Visit the Pyramids of Güímar
On the way back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, along the TF-1, you will find the Botanical Garden and Ethnographic Park Pirámides de Güímar, a large open-air museum built around the six pyramidal structures oriented towards the sun, according to the astronomical calendar, and which were built in the 19th century by the Guanche Indians.
These pyramids are the main attraction of Güímar, in the west of Tenerife. The facilities also include the Ethnographic Park, the Casa Chacona Museum and the poison garden, which is the best known of the park's botanical gardens.
You can visit this site every day from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm and general admission costs approximately 13 euros.
You can tour the Pyramids of Güímar with an audio guide and marvel at one of the few indigenous ruins that are still standing in the Canary Islands and that preserve the Guanche culture in Tenerife.
Day 3: Visit Siam Park, take a whale watching excursion and tour the beaches of southern Tenerife
After an adventure tour, for the third day I propose an itinerary through the south of the island to visit what is considered the best water park on the planet.
Also, in this area you will be able to visit some of the most beautiful beaches of Tenerife, such as Playa de las Americas, Playa del Duque and Playa Fañabe.
Visit Siam Park, a theme park with Thai architecture
The water park Siam Park is not only one of the best theme parks in Tenerife but also one of the best in the world, according to internet votes that are repeated every year. Located in Costa Adeje, in the south of the island, you can reach it from Santa Cruz by car on the TF-1 route in a journey of just under 1 hour or by bus on lines 110 and 111 to the Magma station.
The Siam Park is a thematic water park inspired by Thai architecture where you can surf waves up to 4 meters high, relax on the natural white sand beach and feel the adrenaline of Tower of Power, a 28-meter attraction where you can speed through an aquarium full of sharks and rays.
This park is an ideal place to visit with the family and is open daily from 10.00 to 18.00 hours. General admission tickets cost approximately 40 euros for adults and 28 euros for children.
Take a whale and dolphin watching excursion
The Canary Islands is one of the ideal places for whale and dolphin watching and Tenerife is no exception. Therefore, from Puerto Colon, a few streets away from Siam Park water park, you can book a whale watching excursion, which is an ideal plan if you are touring the island with children and want to know the different species of whales that exist in Tenerife.
On the island there are whale watching excursions for everyone and at different prices, although I recommend those that sail along the coast of Tenerife, as you can see cetaceans in their natural habitat and being a smaller boat you can see dolphins and whales up close, and even in some options you can live a snorkeling experience, if weather conditions permit.
Also note that the best time to see whales and dolphins in Tenerife is between December and June, during the winter and spring seasons.
Tour the beaches in the south of Tenerife
When you return from the whale watching excursion, you can have something to eat in the area of Costa Adeje and then visit some of the beaches in the south of Tenerife, where you can take a swim in warm and crystalline waters and also wait for the sunset. Some of the ones I can mention:
Playa de las Americas
Playa de las Americas is the most famous in the south, stretching from the mountain of Chayofita to the Barranco del Rey. In the area you will find a variety of pubs, bars and restaurants, as it is one of the main places of entertainment in Tenerife.
If you prefer a quieter option you can visit Playa del Duque, north of Siam Park. It is a beach enclosed between artificial cliffs, with crystal clear and warm waters, wide spaces for relaxation and with a smaller influx of tourists.
If you want, instead, a more traditional beach, you can visit Fañabé, which is little known by tourists and usually frequented by locals. There, in addition to rest areas, you can find some of the best kayaking and snorkeling experiences in Tenerife.
Day 4: Visit the Cueva del Viento and the route through the villages of the north of Tenerife
For the last day I propose an itinerary through the north of the island, to visit the Cueva del Viento, which is the largest volcanic tube in Europe and one of the largest in the world.
You can't miss the picturesque villages of San Cristobal de la Laguna, Puerto de la Cruz, Icod de los Vinos and Garachico, so you can get to know a different profile of Tenerife.
Visit the Cueva del Viento
The Cueva del Viento, which for years was considered the largest volcanic tube in the world, is a residual formation of the lava flows of Pico Viejo, which is located next to the volcano Teide and is one of the highest peaks of Tenerife. This tube, which has an extension of 17 kilometers, is a natural spectacle of chasms and lava terraces that also serves to analyze the volcanic origin of the Canary Islands.
At this site you can also take some of the best photographs of Tenerife and take a guided tour in which you will learn about the findings of fossils and other paleontological treasures in one of the points that for years was forgotten on the island.
Keep in mind that the visit through the Cueva del Viento can take you between 3 and 4 hours, depending on the pace of walking, and that it has a medium-high difficulty due to the winding terrain and the confined spaces inside the tube, which is presented as a journey into the bowels of the earth.
- How to get there: You can get to the Cueva del Viento by car from Santa Cruz on the TF-5 road in a journey of approximately 45 minutes or by bus lines 108 and 102 combined with line 360.
- Price: The general entrance fee is approximately 20 euros.
Tour the route of the villages of the north of Tenerife
To close the tour of Tenerife and know an alternative profile of the island, an ideal option is to visit the northern towns, which away from the most bustling beaches offer good food, great scenery, paradisiacal routes and a lot of attractions.
Icod de los Vinos
The first nearby village, located three kilometers from the Cueva del Viento, is Icod de los Vinos, the site of the famous Drago Milenario tree , which is the oldest in the Canary Islands. There you can also visit the historic center, visit its tascas for lunch and if you are a nature lover you can also visit the Mariposario del Drago, one of the largest in Spain.
In Garachico you can visit a village that was rebuilt on the ashes left by the eruption of the Trevejo volcano, and also a picturesque place where the Castillo de San Miguel and the Parque de la Puerta de la Tierra stand out , as well as the viewpoints that offer a wide panoramic view of the island and the natural pools of El Caletón, created by volcanic lava.
Puerto de la Cruz
Puerto de la Cruz, located 30 minutes by car from Garachico, is the tourist emblem of the north of the island, as it has a seafront promenade with the Castillo de San Felipe and some of the best beaches in the area, such as Playa Jardín or Playa de San Telmo.
San Cristóbal de la Laguna
The last stop before returning to Santa Cruz will be in San Cristóbal de la Laguna, located almost on the outskirts of the capital, a town with colonial-style streets that once became the capital of Tenerife. There you can visit the Cathedral, the Casa Lercaro and the Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena, as well as bars and restaurants where you can dine and toast the intense tour of Tenerife.
And that's how this 4-day trip to the best places in Tenerife ends. Enough time to get to know and enjoy much of the culture, history and fun that the island has to offer, although I'm sure you'll want to come back!