Spain Canary Islands

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

A vibrant port city on a volcanic Spanish archipelago, known for its Carnaval, beaches, and proximity to Mount Teide.

Tips from the community

Tenerife is a beautiful island off the coast of West Africa and is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands. The tropical location is a hot spot for people looking to get off the mainland. The beaches of Tenerife have some of the clearest waters I’ve ever seen, and it’s easy to get lost in the shopping districts as you browse for souvenirs and antiques. And while many areas of Tenerife are ripe with tourists, there is a fair share of locals selling their wares. As a Black woman traveling on your own, you may get a few stares. Despite being off the coast of Africa, the locals of Tenerife still take notice of darker-skinned tourists, especially if said tourist comes off as “exotic.” Here’s where it gets tricky. Many Black travelers will be able to relate to locals asking for a photo, requesting to touch their hair, asking where they’re from, and so on. But the truth is, depending on your skin tone, that attitude can vary from innocent curiosity to disdain. I can only speak from my perspective. As a lighter-skinned, mixed Black woman with European-like features, most of the “ogling” I received abroad was well-meaning, even if it was a romanticization of my ethnicity. But this treatment didn’t just come from white locals, it also came from African migrants. Migrant locals would approach me in wonder, complimenting my lighter skin tone, my features: “You don’t look African! Are you from the islands?” They were often surprised when I told them I was American. These statements were meant to be compliments, but the romanticization of those features that are not “traditionally Black” and lighter skin tones are a prime example of colorism, a problem that exists even within the Black community. Would a Black traveler of a darker complexion have received the same special treatment as I did? Black travel is not a monolithic experience. TIP: Tenerife is a Vacation destination. With a capital “V.” So if you’re not too keen on running into sunbathers and flower-shirt-wearing vacay dads, avoid staying in the busy capital of Santa Cruz. Rather, opt for smaller towns like Puerto de La Cruz or La Laguna for a more laid back, less aggressively tourist-populated experience. And take advantage of the bus that goes from North to South Tenerife Airport to really explore the island. You can either pay for each individual trip or buy a “bono-bus” for 15 or 25 euros. These passes can be used on every route, can be shared between several people, and save about 50 percent on the price of a ticket. 

thegoddess_pallas 3 years ago

From the flamboyant street parades to the electrifying all-night parties, the Carnival de Santa Cruz de Tenerife is considered to be the second biggest of its kind in the world, behind only the famous festivities in Rio de Janeiro. This brilliant spectacle has been celebrated for over four centuries in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, drawing thousands of international visitors in search of fun. For fifteen days every February (the best time to visit Spain), the streets come alive with joie de vivre, freedom, and extravagance. Located just off the coast of Africa, Tenerife’s year-round sun and beautiful beaches make for the ideal getaway.

braedentg 5 years ago

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Guides

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Articles

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