Playa de las Americas Travel Guide
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), and has grown vastly during its 30 years of existence. Today, it covers three different zones: the original Playa de las Americas, San Eugenio, and Toviscas. There are three natural beaches in the resort area and four man-made ones, all of which are covered with dark volcanic sand, and are extremely crowded during the summer season. The las Americas beaches are linked by a long promenade, which winds along the busy waterfront, and is 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, so they can make the most of the Playa de las Americas' many bars, entertainment venues, shops and sports facilities. Visitors shouldn'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 holiday, the resort will exceed expectations.
There's 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 Costa Adeje 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 that cater for every taste. Travellers can choose from dozens of fast food stalls and restaurants along the seafront, with options including English breakfasts, Indian, Chinese and Italian cuisine, as well as excellent tapas and local Canary Islands fare. 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. Many of the bars have good live music. The streets are packed with revellers until the early hours, particularly during the busy summer months.
Las Americas has entertainment for visitors and holidaymakers of all ages, including tennis courts, amusement arcades, bowling, and go-karting, and water sports such as jet skiing, windsurfing and scuba diving can be arranged from the beaches. Those travelling with children will want to visit one of the water parks, as both Siam Park and Aqualand have amazing water rides. Other popular things to do in las Americas include bungee jumping at the Sky Park and swimming with dolphins at the Aqua Park. There's 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; 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, and it's best to be firm but polite with them to avoid getting into a conversation. Promotions staff outside the bars and restaurants 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.