Tenerife is made to be felt with all five senses; to be eaten in bites; to travel all over it by sea, land and air; to get lost and find yourself; to fix your eyes on the horizon and move forward until the sun goes down.
I think this is the only way I can describe everything that awaits you on a trip to this wonderful island of the Canary Islands, although perhaps it is best to let the amazing experiences that you can live there speak for themselves: here is the list of the top 10 activities to enjoy your trip to Tenerife.
1. Catamaran trip to whales and dolphins natural habitat
The first experience on the list is to do on the first days of your trip, to leave all the stress behind and disconnect: you'll have beautiful views of Tenerife rising to the summit of Mount Teide, feel the sea breeze and the sun's glow on your body. Nothing says 'vacation' like this catamaran ride along the Costa Adeje where you can lie on a sofa with a drink and relax.
But if that wasn't enough, part of the ride will take you into the natural habitat of the many and varied marine animals that inhabit Tenerife. You will be able to see whales and dolphins around the catamaran, and snorkel to see turtles and all kinds of fish.
2. Paragliding across Tenerife
The island of Tenerife is one of the most impressive places in the world in which to paraglide. For its great weather and gentle wind currents, which also makes these experiences something totally safe.
You can do a paragliding flight over Costa Adeje, perfect if it is your first time, since its duration is somewhat reduced and you will avoid the probability of getting dizzy or tired, but you will still enjoy incredible views and an experience full of adrenaline touring the entire southwest coast of the island from the air.
But if you dare with the main course, the premium paragliding flight from Teide to Puerto de la Cruz will take you to over 2,000 meters above sea level before launching you into the void to glide through the air currents for about 40 minutes. Seeing Teide from a bird's eye view is one of the most magical experiences you can have on the island, with the sea stretching out to the horizon and the wonderful landscapes of Tenerife at your feet.
3. Race the waves on a jet ski
If paragliding over Tenerife was to experience the feeling of freedom of a bird, cutting the waves on a jet ski is the closest thing to being a dolphin. Speed and adrenaline go hand in hand in a tour where you will see cliffs, sea caves and the splendid island of Tenerife rising in front of you.
In this 2-hour jet ski tour you will live an adventure along the coast discovering the secret places hidden among the cliffs in the company of a guide, while you feel the speed at the wheel of the motorcycle.
If you want to add a snorkeling experience to your adventure at sea, this jet ski safari from the port of Las Galletas will take you at full speed to the high seas where you can dive into the water and discover the impressive marine fauna that inhabits the depths of Tenerife.
And if you just want to ride a jet ski and race with your friends, this jet ski experience will put you behind the wheel of the jet ski on a full speed route to the beaches of Las Americas and La Caleta, splitting the sea in two as you go.
4. Jeep excursion to Teide and Masca
Another experience full of adventure and strong emotions, this time by land. In this Jeep excursion to Teide and Masca you will go from your hotel to the summit of the volcano crossing roads, forests and impressive volcanic landscapes.
Once there, you will explore the Teide National Park stopping to admire its whimsical rock formations, its fauna and flora, and the views of the rest of the island.
Crossing the park you will reach the village of Masca, hidden among the mountains and full of treasures, although only figuratively as this place used to be a pirate hideout several centuries ago. You will taste the typical coffee of the islands, the barraquito, and have lunch in a restaurant of pure Canarian gastronomy, before heading back through the ravines.
5. Day trip to La Gomera from Tenerife
La Gomera is Tenerife's little sister and one of those places whose beauty overwhelms you without remedy. The lush vegetation that extends as far as the eye can see just makes you want to explore and get lost, and for that I recommend a couple of excursions from Tenerife:
On this day trip to La Gomera from Tenerife you'll take the ferry to the island and set course for Garajonay National Park, one of the treasures of the Canary Islands. Think of a jungle lost in time (literally, as only laurel forests remain here), a peak from which to observe the whole island, and a volcanic earth that looks alien, and you'll be imagining this wonderful place.
Within the National Park itself there are a number of viewpoints from which to look out over breathtaking views. The viewpoint of Degollada de Peraza is perhaps the most famous, from which you can see the majesty of the Barranco de la Laja.
Beyond the park you can visit, on the same excursion, the villages of Las Rosas and Agulo where you will see how life develops in this remote place, and how the silbo gomero is still used as a form of communication. You will also pass through some key places in the life of Christopher Columbus, who stopped in La Gomera before setting sail for the Americas.
Another option to visit this beautiful island from Tenerife is to take a Jeep excursion to La Gomera from Tenerife, with a slightly different route but in which you will also explore the Garajonay National Park and its laurel forest, and the beautiful Hermigua Valley with volcanic rock formations that hold curious stories.
6. Excursion to El Hierro from Tenerife
El Hierro is an island of lookout points with dizzying views, pristine beaches, and landscapes so dramatically eroded by lava that it makes sense that, before Christopher Columbus discovered America, this place was considered the end of the world.
On a full-day excursion to El Hierro from Tenerife you can explore its beautiful trails, part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which will take you past lookout points from which you'll see wild, unspoiled beaches and the tropical landscapes of the interior, past enchanting aloe vera farmlands, deep green forests of juniper and laurel, and remote cliffs where you'll find hermitages, tiny houses and caves.
7. Kayak and snorkel in Los Gigantes cliffs
A must in this top 10 of activities in Tenerife. The cliffs of Los Gigantes are the perfect place for this experience, which you can combine with snorkeling to discover what is hidden in the vast underwater world of the island.
Besides being a fun activity to do with family or friends, in a kayak experience with dolphins and whales you will be able to spot the many cetaceans that inhabit the depths in this beautiful corner of the Atlantic. While you navigate, the guide will tell you the history of the cliffs and the Anaga Peak, which were the first places on the island to emerge to the surface at the dawn of time.
8. The starry sky on Teide, seen from the telescope
Few experiences reach the level of watching the sunset from Teide with a glass of champagne and then admiring the night sky and all its constellations. If this sounds good to you, this night excursion to Teide with an expert astronomy guide is the perfect plan to include in your trip to Tenerife, especially as a couple.
The experience starts with a pick-up at your hotel from where you will go to the Teide National Park. There, you will make a short route before sunset, at which time you will sit at a viewpoint to watch the sky turn pink and orange and slowly fade into night.
At that moment, you will head to a high place that will serve as an observatory and then a whole spectacle will begin in front of your eyes. Thanks to the very low light pollution of the island, it is possible to see up to 83 different constellations from Teide, for which your guide will tell you how to find them and the history behind each one.
9. The complete tour of Tenerife
Whether you are going to be in Tenerife for a few days or one or two weeks and want to explore the island in depth, I recommend you to take this complete tour of the island of Tenerife that will take you to Teide, Icod de los Vinos, Garachico and Masca, some of the most beautiful corners of the jewel of the Canary Islands.
Starting from Vilaflor, from where you have an amazing panoramic view of the island, you will head to the Teide National Park, where you will climb the volcano by a route full of volcanic landscapes that make this place so beautiful. Once you reach the top, you will understand why it is one of the most visited protected areas in Spain: you will have the feeling of having risen above the Earth.
Then you will visit Icod de los Vinos, famous for its sweet malvasia wines and for being the place where the ancient dragon tree, an ancestral tree and symbol of the island, is preserved. You will continue the route to Garachico, a village that was reborn from its ashes after being completely covered in lava in the Trevejos eruption in 1706, known as "the Canary Pompeii". Today, the village is a charming place with a beautiful church.
To finish the excursion, you will visit Masca, a village at the top of a ravine where you will feel like you have gone back in time. This place, which was originally a pirate hideout, became over the centuries a tiny village where you can easily imagine the times of looting, pillaging and rum.
10. The ascent to Pico Anaga
Anaga is a beautiful rural park located in the northwest of Tenerife. Crowned by the peak of the same name, through it run several mountain or coastal trails that will take you to know an area forgotten by most tourists.
Therefore, I do not want to finish this list without recommending an excursion to Anaga peak, in which you will start the day visiting San Cristobal de la Laguna and its local market, visit the laurel forest of Mercedes and feel its intense aroma and color, and cross the Natural Park of Anaga to the beach of Roque de las Bodegas, at the northern tip of the island and one of my favorite places in Tenerife to take pictures.
From there, you will retrace your steps and visit the beach of Las Teresitas, whose golden sand was transported from the Sahara desert, and stop at some other points of the island back to your hotel, such as Candelaria, whose basilica is a place of pilgrimage to see a black carving of the Virgin.