It’s often said that you haven’t truly been to Puerto de la Cruz until you’ve visited Plaza del Charco. This pretty plaza lined with cafés, restaurants and bars has long served as a popular meeting point for locals. Use it as an excellent starting point for sightseeing around the city and a perfect place to relax at the end of the day while people-watching.
Plaza del Charco was officially designated as a plaza in the 18th century, although it had already been an important gathering place dating back to the earliest days of the city. It’s said that a pool of seawater used to collect in the square during high tide, the inspiration for its eventual name, which means “pond square.”
Notice the lush yam tree that stands at the center of the square, surrounded by a pool and a fountain. Walk along the paved areas winding throughout the square or sit on one of the 19th-century stone benches. Indian laurels imported from Cuba and palm trees create pleasant shaded areas.
Stop at a café terrace and sip a coffee while watching the activity in the square. Come back in the evening to enjoy a glass of wine while listening to the music of street entertainers.
The square is an ideal place to get a sense of the city before beginning your sightseeing itinerary. Head west of the square to find some of the main shopping streets, along with collections of 18th-century Canarian buildings.
One of the most exciting times of year to visit Plaza del Charco is during Carnaval in the spring, when the square is used for colorful celebrations. Don’t miss Entierro de la Sardina, a lively procession that concludes with fireworks and the burning of an enormous sardine on a funeral pyre. There’s also an amusing men’s high-heeled marathon, which both begins and ends in the square.
Plaza del Charco is located in the center of Puerto de la Cruz. Access the square easily by local bus or taxi.