San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a discovery type of tourism for families in the north-east of Tenerife.
Tenerife is a classic destination for family tourism. If your plans include getting to know the most genuine island off the conventional tourist circuit, San Cristóbal de La Laguna will not disappoint with its slow, sustainable and accessible approach.
This city, declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, is widely known for its historic centre. The original layout served as a model for the urban planning of the cities of the New World. That is why it is not strange to find similarities with Lima, Cartagena de Indias or San Juan de Puerto Rico when wandering through its streets.
The omnipresent memory of a colonial past, its historical-cultural heritage and the always vibrant life of its streets, make this city a real magnet for visitors to the island.
La Laguna is a surprising place that deserves to be rediscovered as a family if you have already visited it on other occasions. Beyond the limits of the town centre, the city spreads out into fertile agricultural land, climbs up to the Anaga Countryside Park, which has the status of Biosphere Reserve, and finds its confines in an uncrowded volcanic coastline, awarded with a blue flag.
We recommend some of the best plans to discover La Laguna as a family with a “slow” approach.
FREE GUIDED TOURS
A guided tour is one of the best ways to approach a place. Not only do you get to know the key sites, but they are always an opportunity to meet other families while en route.
In La Laguna, the Concejalía de Turismo offers free guided tours in different languages. In this format, you will be able to discover the historic quarter of the city with official expert guides who will reveal the secrets of every corner of the city to you.
Feeling my city. Accessible tourist routes
Exploring La Laguna without barriers is possible thanks to this programme of accessible and guided tourist routes. “Feeling my city” aims to bring the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of the town closer to people with special needs. Barrier-free tours, interpreter guides for deaf-blind people, sign language interpreters, adapted easy-to-read material for people with intellectual impairments and special transport with an accompanying service are some of the aids offered by the place for people with different abilities.
Punta del Hidalgo
Beyond the historic quarter, a guided tour of the coastal town of Punta del Hidalgo can be booked. The area has evidence of habitation since pre-Hispanic times and is known for its volcanic ponds, a natural swimming pool and lively coastal environment where fishing tradition is long-established. This experience will bring you closer to the marine culture and the traditional ways of life related to the coast. To finish, be sure to try the local coastal cuisine in any of the restaurants in the village, where fresh fish is served with the traditional mojos and papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes).
If you are interested in the countryside, a walk through the agricultural landscapes of La Laguna with an ecotour can be an interesting experience for the whole family. You will discover the areas where local products are grown, you will also learn how to appreciate the heritage present in the area and you will even have the opportunity to visit archaeological sites and aboriginal ruins.
Three two-hour free ecotours are available in different areas: Tejina, Jóver/Barranquera and Valle de Guerra.
Booking of free tours and ecotours: https://turismo.aytolalaguna.es/visitas-guiadas-gratuitas/
AMARO PARGO’S GAME
Link to promotional video: https://youtu.be/8nCO8EwQ8Zw
An original and fun way to discover the heritage and culture of the historic quarter of La Laguna on your own is El tesoro de Amaro Pargo (Amaro Pargo’s treasure).
Amaro Pargo was born in San Cristóbal de La Laguna in 1678. In addition to exploiting his privateer’s licence, he was a successful merchant and moneylender. His tombstone, with a skull and two crossed tibias, can be visited in the church of the convent of Santo Domingo. After his death, the legend of a treasure buried in some unknown place spread around the island.
This gamified experience captures the legend. The game can be played either individually or as part of a group and is about solving puzzles to uncover the corsair’s treasure. All you need is a smartphone connected to the internet.
Click here to play: https://tesoropargo.aytolalaguna.es/
HIKING IN ANAGA
With an area of 14,419 hectares, the Anaga Rural Park is situated in part of the municipalities of La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Tegueste. Declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2015, it has the highest number of endemic species in Europe. San Cristóbal de La Laguna is one of its access points, and a hiking route is undoubtedly the best option for exploring it.
Pathway of the senses
This footpath invites you to enter the laurel forest and engage with nature. Families with small children or those in wheelchairs often have to forego these experiences, but the good news is that part of this Pathway is now accessible for them. There are conditioned tracks and wooden walkways on which trolleys can roll and people with reduced mobility can move around. The level of difficulty is low, so the little ones will be able to do the walk enjoying what the forest has to offer. We recommend a short stop at the Cruz del Carmen viewpoint and the Cruz del Carmen Visitor Centre before starting the walk, the access to which is very close by.
More information about the Pathway of the Senses: https://www.webtenerife.com/que-hacer/naturaleza/senderismo/senderos/sendero-de-los-sentidos/
If you are looking for a unique experience, the coastline of La Laguna offers one of the most famous surfing spots on the island.
The first surfers arrived in this area in the 60s. They were mostly Americans seeking new experiences around the world or running away from being drafted into the Vietnam War. The new sport was well received by the local population and a long tradition of surfing began and has continued to this day. Several champions and important figures have emerged from the area. On La Laguna’s coastline, surf culture is experienced in a very special way.
It doesn’t matter if you have never tried this sport before. In both Bajamar and Punta del Hidalgo, several schools offer classes of all levels. An activity for the whole family with safety, equipment rental and lots of fun for the more adventurous families.
BATHING IN NATURAL POOLS AND VOLCANIC PONDS
There is nothing like the coastline of La Laguna to enjoy a unique bathing experience, uncrowded and connected to nature and local culture.
La Laguna’s coastline is known for its raging sea. However, the natural pools and ponds of Punta del Hidalgo and Bajamar offer the tranquillity of crystal clear, safe waters with all kinds of services – lifeguards, car parks, shops and restaurants – and guaranteed accessibility.
The local population is fond of bathing in pools formed by lava on the coastal strip. These rock formations offer bathers curious pools of capricious shapes that can become authentic natural hydrotherapy centres. The best thing is that they are not usually crowded.