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Welcome To Tenerife Home Page

Welcome To Our Guide To Playa de las Americas

As recently as only two years ago, the generic resort destination of Playa de las Americas could refer to any hotel, apartment, restaurant or bar on the south west coast of Tenerife from Los Cristianos in the municipal district of Arona in the east, through to the Toviscas district of nearby Adeje in the west. However, extensive pressure from both tour operators and the island's own Provincial Government, has recently led to the re-branding of much of the area into the "new" resort of Costa Adeje.

So why would they wish to change a formula that has worked so successfully for the last 40 years? Well in very simple terms, to most people the very mention of a holiday to Playa de las Americas conjures up images of neon lit all night bars, and the very worst excesses of a "yob culture" that the media are so keen to promote. Certainly not the place that would attract either families or middle aged couples, which for Tenerife, is increasingly becoming the target market.

If you were to ask any tour operator or travel agent, what is the difference between Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas? If they are honest, they are likely to smile and reply "about £200 per week", which does indirectly reflect that Costa Adeje has a far higher proportion of newer 5 star hotels than the somewhat older Playa de las Americas.

So where does this magical dividing line between Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas occur? For those of you familiar with this area of Tenerife, as you walk out of the Veronicas complex, if you turn left, walk over the bridge above the small gorge you have just crossed from Playa de las Americas into Costa Adeje. This gorge is shown on our street map of the resort, as being the dark brown shaded area between the Hotel Park Troya and the CC Gala.

Making the transfer from the Reina Sofia International Airport, some 25km away to the east, is for most visitors to the resort fairly painless, once you have collected your luggage and cleared customs that it.

The main Tenerife motorway, the TF-1, takes you to within almost walking distance of the resort centre, and normally it should take no more than around 20 - 30 minutes to complete the journey. Having said that, for those visitors who choose to pay the additional cost for a tour operators coach transfer, although after 30 minutes you will certainly be "somewhere" in either Playa de las Americas or Costa Adeje, the final transfer time may be somewhere in the region of 1 hour before you actually arrive at your chosen accommodation.

For most people visiting Playa de las Americas for the first time, this unscheduled tour of the south west coast isn't really an issue, as it gives them an early opportunity to get their bearings, along with a general feeling as to what the area has to offer visitors.

If however, you have visited Tenerife before, and feel that after already spending the last 7 hours or so either sitting in an airport departure lounge, or cramped Boeing 747, you now wish to take the most direct route to your chosen accommodation, there is always a multitude of taxis waiting outside of the arrivals hall.

Although these taxis do all operate on a fixed price basis, this "fixed price" can, and often does, vary slightly depending upon the number of suitcases, the time of day or night of the journey, and of course the number of passengers carried, however, as a very general guide the journey should normally cost somewhere in the region of 20€ to 25€. Whatever method of transport you finally decide upon for this transfer, and as with the other resorts on the island, we have put together the basic directions for this journey, complete with links to maps where appropriate, and this is available from the Route Map link on the left hand frame of this page.

Once you have settled into your accommodation, and have had the opportunity to explore the resort beyond the confines of the hotel grounds, you will very quickly discover that a wide traffic free promenade runs along the full length of the resort. This promenade actually begins at Los Cristianos in the east and continues for several miles right into the heart of Playa de las Americas, through Costa Adeje, and ultimately on to the resort of La Caleta in the west.

Walking along any section of the promenade you will undoubtedly encounter numerous street traders selling "genuine" designer T shirts and Rolex watches for less than the price of a cup of tea, as well as the highly organised "find the lady" card games. These games are illegal and you WILL loose your money very quickly. The minimum stake is usually around £20.

Be warned, these people all operate in groups of between 6 - 8, excluding the lookouts, and the only ones winning will be part of the group. These people will never force you to get involved, and you will not feel threatened by their game as long as you ignore them.

One particular part of the promenade certainly worth a mention, is the short stretch running from the Hotel Bouganville Playa to the marina at Puerto Colon, and is known locally as the "Geranium promenade".

Unlike the harbour at Los Cristianos, the marina at Puerto Colon is a purpose built tourist development, which has never, as far as we are aware, ever been a true functioning port. It does however, have moorings for almost 400 vessels up to a maximum length of 24 metres, along with a further 237 hard standing berths.

This facility, along with the superbly equipped Los Gigantes marina a few miles to the north, has on more that one occasion been described as being "the best in Tenerife" and although clearly an exaggeration of the truth, it certainly helps to raise the profile of the resort to have a number of expensive yachts moored here.

Puerto Colom harbour is also the mooring and departure point for many of the tour operators day trips that offer visitors the opportunity to see the whale and dolphins colonies that live in the deep Atlantic waters between Tenerife and La Gomera.

Returning to dry land if we may, this area of south Tenerife around Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas, has got to be the Timeshare, or holiday co-ownership as they prefer to call it, capital of the world! Any couple waking together along the promenade under the age of 60 will be a prime target for the touts. The first question will always be "do you speak English?".

After that you may be asked to help them with a holiday questionnaire on behalf of the Spanish tourist board, or the more common scratch card. These scratch cards are all winners. Prizes may be 3 days car hire, water park tickets, duty free packs or the star prize of £1,000.

Unless you want to sacrifice 1/2 day of your holiday to a relentless hard sell, do not go with them to collect your prize! Remember, only the foolish or greedy will really believe that they are getting something for nothing. These people tend to hunt in packs, their favourite haunts being from the Veronicas to the Centro Commercial Salytien.

Few would ever deny that Playa de las Americas is anything other that modern purpose built tourist resort. But in all honesty, it doesn't ever pretend to be anything else, and as long as you have money in your wallet you will always find something to do. At the end of two weeks here, you will either have had the holiday of your lifetime, or a holiday from hell, all depending on your outlook on life.

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This website was launched on 1 May 2002

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