Playa de las Americas is Tenerife's largest tourist playground, a purpose-built hedonistic haven for holidaymakers of all ages who come here for fun in the sun from all over the world. The resort is situated in the south of the island near the Tenerife South Airport (Reina Sofia Airport). It has grown vastly during its 30 years of existence and now covers three different zones: the original Playa de las Americas, San Eugenio, and Toviscas. There are three natural beaches in the resort area and three man-made ones, all covered with dark volcanic sand and extremely crowded during the summer season. The las Americas beaches are linked by a long promenade, which winds along the busy waterfront, backed by dozens of high-rise hotels and holiday apartment blocks. A mini train runs around the resort stopping at scheduled points every hour, and there are plenty of free buses to assist visitors in getting around, making the most of the Playa de las Americas many bars, entertainment venues, shops and sports facilities. Don't expect to soak up much authentic Canarian culture while holidaying at Playa de las Americas, but for those who enjoy the hullaballoo of a packaged, carefree summer vacation, the resort will exceed expectations.
There is a vast array of shops in Playa de las Americas and holidaymakers can indulge in the delights of duty-free shopping in the numerous electrical stores and clothing shops. Shoppers should be aware that salesmen can be quite aggressive. It's best to bargain hard and remember that the shop next door probably sells the same stuff. The supermarkets offer most of the well-known brands, many imported to cater for the British tourists. Those in the mood for some haggling should go shopping in Las Americas Torviscas Market (Thursday and Saturday from 10am); there are great bargains to be had and it's perfect for presents, but shoppers should get there early as it can get very crowded. A trip to Santa Cruz (one hour by bus) is worthwhile for those looking for designer clothes.
Playa de las Americas has top-rated restaurants in which holidaymakers can dine. There are restaurants in las Americas catering for every taste; along the seafront are dozens of fast food stalls and restaurants advertising English breakfasts and Sky TV, and international dishes of all varieties are also offered including Indian, Chinese, Italian, and excellent tapas and local Canary Islands cuisine. Many of the better restaurants are located in the Torviscas areas and in the neighbouring resort of Los Cristianos. There are also some nice restaurants overlooking the marina in Puerto Colon.
With more nightclubs than some British cities and some of the best nightlife in Tenerife, las Americas is a honey pot for those looking for more of a nocturnal holiday. The area known as The Patch is the best place to start the evening as most of las Americas' bars are located within easy walking distance. The Patch also has a fine choice of nightspots and most bars have a happy hour or two. The most popular are Rags and Linekers, dance bars that play a good mix of Pop, R&B, Dance and 80s party music. Many of the bars also have good live music. Later on, the Veronicas complex and the Starco Commercial Centre are the places to head to for a good party. The streets are packed with revellers until the early hours, particularly during the busy summer months. Tramps is the largest club on the island and very popular. There are also two casinos at the resort.
Las Americas has entertainment for visitors and holidaymakers of all ages including tennis courts, amusement arcades, bowling, water parks and go-karting, as well as all sorts of water sports which can be arranged from the beaches, including jet skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving and banana boat rides. Some popular things to do in las Americas include bungee jumping at the Sky Park and swimming with dolphins at the Aqua Park. There is an 18-hole golf course on the way to Los Cristianos and horse and camel riding can be arranged nearby. Boat trips leave regularly and bottlenose dolphins and whales are often seen. Other popular excursions include a trip to the capital, Santa Cruz, and to the Mount Teide National Park.
The resort is built on the side of a hill and many apartments require a steep walk up from the beach. The accommodation near the centre can be very noisy until the early hours. There are hundreds of touts trying to sell everything from trinkets to timeshare apartments. It's best to be firm but polite and avoid getting into a conversation with them. There are promotions staff outside the bars and restaurants who are also quite insistent, but it can be worth chatting them up as they sometimes offer free drinks. Visitors should be aware of con artists.