How it all started
After really enjoying my short Coworking Trip to the Azores in January I decided to plan a longer coworking trip for March. At first, I wasn’t sure where to go but I wanted it to be an island. I thought about Cyprus first but then chose Tenerife over it because that way I was also able to practice my Spanish. On the website of joinmytrip I found my travel buddy and flat mate so the adventure could begin! It turned out to be one of the best choices I ever made!
In this post I’m writing about my experience of living on Tenerife during Covid and without tourists for the past three months. Please find a detailed list of contents below.
- Public Transport on Tenerife – how to get around
- Where to stay on Tenerife – my favorite place to live and work as a Digital Nomad
- My favorite Hikes and Trips on Tenerife
- A Digital Nomads guide to Puerto de la Cruz – best beaches, bars and restaurants
- Typical Food on Tenerife
- Micro climate – Tenerife’s weather
- Travel Map
Public Transport on Tenerife – how to get around
After landing in the south of the island I took a Titsa bus for about 5€ to get to the northern part which took about one and a half hour. Usually, there’s a direct connection but due to Covid this line wasn’t running. If you’re planning on getting around by bus you need to buy a Titsa card and load it with money or you won’t be able to purchase bus tickets currently*.
*Update: You’re now able to pay with cash directly when entering the bus again.
There is also the option of renting a car but my flat mate already had one rented for us. In the following months I rented a few cars at different companies so I can highly recommend Autoreisen as the cheapest option (even under the age of 25) with full insurance. A more expensive option would be Cicar which has more places to rent and drop of cars. I’m always travelling low budget so I don’t always have my rental cars fully insured but if you go to Tenerife it’s a must. People tend to break into cars a lot here and sometimes even destroy rental cars for no reason so make sure there are no valuables in the car at no time as well.
The bus system on the island is great but if you want to reach less crowded and beautiful hidden beaches there’s just no bus that takes you there so a car makes a lot of sense.
After one long hike we also got back home by hitch hiking which is not very common on the island but people are willing to help you and drop you off on their way.
Where to stay on Tenerife – my favorite place to live and work as a Digital Nomad
Our apartment was located on the top floor of a red building in the heart of a small town called Los Realejos which is only a ten minute drive away from Puerto de la Cruz – the biggest city in the north of the island.
In general, Tenerife can be divided in the northern part where I stayed and in the southern part where most of the tourists stay and the big hotel chains are located (Los Cristianos, Playa Las Americas and so on).
I chose to stay in the north because that’s where you will find less tourists and more locals. A lot of Digital Nomads live in Puerto de la Cruz so there’s a huge community of people to hang out and explore the island with.
From our apartment we had ocean view on the right and the mountains on the left looking over the small town. We had a great view on one of the famous Dragon Trees “Drago Milenario” (The most known one stands in Icod de los Vinos). During the day we heard the kids playing on the school yard next to our house, sometimes they had little concerts. At night we heard the frogs croaking and the dogs barking in the neighborhood. That’s why I chose the town over the city. I stayed on Tenerife for three months in total – however I had planned to stay only one. After one month I liked this island so much and I felt like I haven’t done and seen everything I wanted to (it’s hard to explore an island with a full-time job) so I just extended. For my second month I moved to the city center of Puerto de la Cruz close to Plaza del Charco which is the perfect location to live. To be honest, it was nice to live in the center but it was too loud even during the night so I moved back to the country side in Los Realejos for my third month.
My favorite Hikes and Trips on Tenerife
In the following I will try to summarize my favorize hikes and trips on the island but there’s also a detailed travel map at the end of this post. You can save the spots from there in your own map.
1. Parque Los Lavaderos
My very first hike on the island was a short one. We parked our car at a soccer field in Los Angeles (yes, there’s a small town called Los Angeles on Tenerife) and walked through the beautiful nature towards Parque Los Lavaderos where we had some wine with sunset view on Teide peaking through the clouds.
2. Rambla de Castro
In my lunch breaks I used to walk down the coast on the famous Rambla de Castro which is a connection between Puerto de la Cruz and San Juan de la Rambla. I totally recommend walking along this path at least once because there are so many beautiful things to see along the way. Close to our house there was an old industrial ruin located which is now called Casa Hamilton or La Gordejuela. But there’s also a waterfall at Playa Castro, Roque Chico and Roque Grande (two giant rocks in the ocean) and the beautiful sunset spot at Mirador de San Pedro. Along the coast towards San Juan de la Rambla there’s also Las Aguas and Playa El Socorro – a great spot for surfing.
When I arrived in Garachico I felt like I’m walking through Mexico or another Latin American town as the architecture, big places and palm trees really reminded me of places I’ve been to I Mexico. There’s a lot of cozy restaurants and cafés around.
I have a special bond to this place as my beloved camera including lens was stolen here out of our trunk. But Masca is definitely worth a visit and looks like I imagine Machu Picchu in Peru to look like. The road that takes you to Masca is an adventure itself and offers a lot of stunning Miradores (viewpoints)
5. Road trip to El Médano via Teide
On my day off I decided to go a little road trip across the island with some friends. We left Puerto de la Cruz early and drove all the way up towards the landscape around Teide where we had a coffee with a stunning view. On our way we passed several viewpoints again and took some photos above the clouds. It was super sunny all day but at the same time very windy. This area around the crater is always great for trips and hikes – there’s so much to explore!
6. Mesa del Mar & El Pris
It takes only 20 minutes from Puerto de la Cruz to get to El Pris where you can park your car and walk towards Mesa del Mar to swim in the nature pools in the ocean and enjoy the view. I was lucky to even see a waterfall due to the melting snow from the mountains. In general it’s a rater short hike and there’s not much to do besides some very good fish restaurants on the way.
7. Hike from Cruz del Carmen to Chinamada
This hike took us 3,5h as it was 13km and 500 height meters but it was totally worth it! The hike starts with walking through a foggy fairy forest which really reminded me of Madeira. Then you just hike towards beautiful landscapes until you reach Chinamada – a very small town that consists only of cave houses into a mountain with view on Punta del Hidalgo.
8. La Orotava & Humboldt Mirador
La Orotava is a small town above Puerto de la Cruz with a beautiful center of very old houses and churches that is worth a visit.
At this point I need to mention that I haven’t done a lot of Geocaching before but on Tenerife you can discover so many extraordinary spots thanks to Geocaching. Like the one above the Humboldt Mirador in La Orotava that you can see below. Would you be brave enough to walk that bridge?
9. Finca La Bonita in Las Galletas
We went to the finca for horse riding as in my opinion this is the best place to do so on the island. But they also have a banana plantation that you can visit. We went for a ride-out in the beautiful volcanic desert area around Las Galletas and through some banana plantations until we reached a little lighthouse at a hidden beach. I also recommend this area for hiking if you’re not up for horse riding as you won’t meet any tourists here. If you’re up for a longer hike you can walk all the way towards Palm-mar and have delicious tacos at Frutopia or enjoy the beaches there.
10. Playa Las Américas & Los Cristianos
I don’t wanna talk much about the area around Las Américas as it’s a typical tourist area with hotel and restaurant chains like you know it from other places. But it’s a great spot to learn surfing or to catch some easy waves if you’re not a pro yet. Los Cristianos is closeby and almost the same but there’s one beach, Playa El Callao, that is not too crowded and great to watch sunsets as well.
11. El Sauzal
There’s a breathtaking sunset spot in El Sauzal that you reach by walking down the hill from Mirador de las Breñas towards the rocks and caves in the ocean. Depending on the tide you can do some climbing around the cliffs here or even jump and swim in the ocean. There are ladders to get you out of the water safely afterwards.
But you might also wanna come here during the day as the Costa de Sauzal offers great cliffs for jumping or spending the day – you can even swim inside one of the caves.
My favorite beach on this island is located in Bajamar! It’s full of locals and surfers and watching the sunset from here is just amazing!
13. City Trip to Santa Cruz, La Laguna & Las Teresitas
Santa Cruz is the capital of Tenerife and therefore its biggest city. Here you find everything that you would find in any big city on the mainland. What I really liked was the Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África. Sanat Cruz’ architectural highlight is the Auditorio and if you’re already here I recommend eating at the Buddhabar right next to it.
San Cristobal de La Laguna is a smaller town closeby which is full of students and cozy bars. Playa Las Teresitas is a special beach on Tenerife as it’s the only yellow-sand beach between all the black sand beaches. It consists out of sand from the Sahara desert once brought here by ships. It’s a tourist attraction and therefore is always crowded.
14. Punta de Teno
One of my favorite trips was the one to Punta de Teno in the north west of the island. This part can’t be reached by car at all so you can either get there by walking, biking or taking a bus from Buenavista del Norte, which we did. The bus takes only 15min and costs 1€. I totally get why this part of the island is protected! The water is ice-blue and clear, you can see Dory fish and other fish swimming around the reef if you look underwater, take a dip or visit the lighthouse. Note: There are no bathrooms and you can’t purchase food or drinks so better come prepared.
15. Hike up Teide at night
Not 100% legal but a great experience: hiking up the volcano Teide at night! Doesn’t sound special at first? Think of seeing the milkyway above your head and feeling like you’re on top of the world when you look down on the clouds and the whole island around you. If you’re not up for this very exhausting hike there’s also the option of taking the cable car – teleferico – for 21€ one way. The tickets should be purchased online in advance but if you hike up during the night like we did you can be sure that you will get a spot in the first one going down at 9am.
Another option is simply driving up Teide at night to watch the milkyway above you and enjoy the silence on top as every noise gets absorbed by the lava rocks in the crater.
But make sure not to miss out on the sunrise and sunset up there:
16. Hike from Iqueste to Playa Antequera or El Semaforo
Starting from the sweet town Iqueste you start hiking up the hill after passing another beautiful coast. Once you’ve passed by some caves you get to overlook the whole coastline and at one point the way splits and you need to decide weather you wanna continue all the way to Playa Antequera – a beach that can only be reached by hiking up and down a mountain (6h total) – or if you want to take the easy route towards El Semaforo which is and abandoned building on a cliff from where you can look down on Playa Antequera.
17. Hike to Montana Negra
Starting from the picnic area in La Montañeta close to Chinyero this hike takes you through a beautiful pine forest until you reach the black volcano top of Montana Negra. It looks so surreal with the light green trees growing in the black lava ground.
18. Playa Amarilla
One of my favorite spots on the island that I discovered way too late and only thanks to some Instagram pictures that linked the location. I believe this place is not very know under tourists (yet) and can be reached by hiking along the stunning rock formations for about ten minutes. Once you got there you also have the option of snorkeling or boldering.
19. Hike to Paisaje Lunar
This hike starts in Vilaflor and takes you through a foggy forest until you reach the famous moon landscape which is way smaller than we expected. But nonetheless, the hike itself is great as well.
20. Playa Bollullo
Playa Bollullo is only a short drive or hike away from Puerto de la Cruz and unfortunately most of the time very crowded. Anyways, it’s a beautiful beach and I strongly recommend the restaurant Chiringuito Bollullo Beach closeby.
21. Hike from Taganana to Playa de Tamadite
From what I can tell you the hike from Taganana to Playa de Tamadite one way is hard and long enough so you better be a good hiker if you want to complete the whole roundtrip hike. The path leads through a tiny valley until you reach the beach. Note: This is not a beach for swimming as the current is very strong here.
22. Mamio Verde Finca
At Mamio Verde you can book several adventures and trips which I’m not a fan of usually but one day I went to their finca for horse riding closeby Puerto de la Cruz and I was really impressed by how well the animals are treated here. On the finca they don’t only have horses but also peacocks, geese, dogs, lizards and more. It’s a great experience riding your horse above the clouds looking down on the ocean below.
23. Canyoning in Arico
Canyoning – such a cool thing to do! We did abseiling along the whole canyon so at around 5 spots starting with the highest at about 30 meters.
Unfortunately the forest around Arico (5km2) where we did it were destroyed by a wild fire only a few days before. This makes me really sad when I hear that it’s the tourists that leave their trash in the nature and don’t respect the country they’re visiting! Even a piece of glass can lead to a fire in these hot regions.
24. Abades (snorkeling & Lebra town)
Abades is known for its abandoned buildings known as the “Lebra town”. These buildings were built as a place for all people suffering from Lebra to live in but what happened was while there were still building the town Lebra was no longer an issue on the island so all the buildings have never been finished or used. Today they offer a great spot for Geocaching. The beach below is one of the best spots around the island for diving and snorkeling. If you’re lucky you even get to see a sea turtle.
A Digital Nomads guide to Puerto de la Cruz – best beaches, bars and restaurants
If you’re planning to come to Puerto de la Cruz as a Digital Nomad to work you might be wondering: Where do people hang out here? What’s the best place to work from? And how’s nightlife?
Starting with food: El Limón and Roots are the go-to’s for the best vegetarian and vegan food. I also recommed the restaurants Grupo Compostelana and Restaurante Divino on Plaza del Charco. My favorite food though were the Arepas in Vene Canarias. Poco Loco would be your go-to for Mexican tacos.
Typical bars where to find Digital Nomads at night are Sharks & Shakes, Delocos or Paraguitas.
I found a good wifi to work in Delocos and in the Ébano Café but there are also Coworking Spaces like Coworking in the Sun or Colivings available.
Typical Food on Tenerife
After I arrived we went to a Guachinche where I tasted the typical salty potatoes for the first time (Papas arrugadas). I was very surprised by how cheap the food was in the Guachinche in general. These Guachinches can be found everywhere around the island and it’s where the locals eat so they serve only local food. There’s a lot of local farming so a lot of farmers markets as well where you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables and more. As Tenerife is part of Spain they have some very good Taco places as well and since it’s an island you will also find fish restaurants here and there – but less than expected.
Baraquito is a known drink for Tenerife. It’s basically an Espresso with Licor 43, Condensed Milk and normal milk.
Micro climate – Tenerife’s weather
Tenerife has a special local set of atmospheric conditions so there are a lot of weather changes and that’s called micro climate. Your best option is to always bring everything – just in case. There might be sun in the morning but a heavy thunderstorm 30 minutes later. Up in the mountains it’s very windy most of the time, in the Anaga mountains you can even watch the clouds moving (I have video proof!).
Sometimes, especially during the summer months, Tenerife has sandstorms bringing Sahara sand which is called “Calima”. During these days you can see the shape of the sun very clear as the whole sky is very foggy and blurry.