Despite being smaller in size as compared to Europe`s other top destinations, Tenerife is without a doubt among the most beautiful places to visit, especially when looking to tour on a budget. Before deciding to visit Spain`s hugely popular Canary Islands, I had several concerns the main ones being affordability and convenience.
However, my backpacking experience in the warm island of Tenerife was like no other; from the welcoming locals to the breathtaking scenery, Tenerife is the ultimate destination for anyone looking to have a good time. Read on to find out why I loved backpacking through Tenerife.
1. Great weather
Due to its convenient geographic location, Tenerife has a fantastic weather that will allow you to tour various destinations within the island. The southern part of the island, in particular, is known to have warm temperatures throughout the year. Tourists can visit several locations such as the Teide National Park, Aqualand, Loro Park and the Thai-themed Siam Park without having any concerns about the weather. As a backpacker, I found the weather to be highly convenient, especially since it did little to restrict my movements within the beautiful island.
As an outdoor fanatic, I have always been keen to go out on adventures whenever an opportunity arises. Luckily, Tenerife has a lot of hiking, camping and caving options the most popular being the Cueva del Viento, a set of volcanic caves formed when the Pico Viejo volcano erupted.
Unbelievably, the Cueva del Viento has easily accessible lava tubes which you can explore when hiking through the underground tunnels. The presence of tour guides makes the experience even more enjoyable, especially since they can take you to strategic locations where you can spot lava lakes, ancient fossils, and unique species of insects and animals inhabiting the volcanic tunnels.
3. Warm and welcoming locals
Due to its reputation as one of Spain's leading tourist destinations, Tenerife locals are always encouraged to befriend visitors and make them feel at home. Immediately when the locals realize you are a guest, they will try to welcome you by inviting you either for an event or to a cocktail party. Considering I was backpacking alone, the warmth of the locals made me feel safe and very welcomed.
In fact, were it not for the locals, I would not have known about the famous Aqualand in Costa Adeje or the Museum of Science and the Cosmo (MCC) in La Laguna. The welcoming locals make Tenerife convenient for backpacking since they can guide you on the dos and don’ts of commuting, and the must-visit places in the island.
4. Cheap commute
Put simply, traveling across Tenerife could not be any easier. Immediately when I arrived at the airport, there was a bus waiting to ferry guests to their respective hotels. Of course, there is also the option of grabbing a taxi which, although more expensive than taking the bus, is highly convenient as it can help you move around without having to carry your luggage, especially if you travel with a big backpack like me.
When moving around the major towns of Tenerife, it is advisable to use the bus option as it will cost lesser than a taxi ride. Also, the use of public commute will give you the chance to interact with locals and learn more about the place. However, when looking to visit interior areas such as the Cueva del Viento or the Los Gigantes, using a taxi or car hire services is recommended.
5. Scenic views
Tenerife boasts several world class tourist attractions among them being the Teide National Park. The national park is a World Heritage site and is home to the popular Mount Teide, the highest peak in Spain. As mentioned earlier, the commute at Tenerife is cheap which allows you to move around with ease. You can choose to use a cable car or hike towards the base of the mountain where you will enjoy amazing views of the La Palma and Grand Canaria. Entry to the Teide National Park is free thus making it convenient for travellers on a budget.
While at Tenerife, you should make a point of visiting the beautiful Thai themed Siam Park in Costa Adeje, which covers an unbelievable 48 acres. In the park, you can enjoy a view of culturally rich Thai buildings as well as water slides, swings and adrenaline rides like no other. The park charges are usually affordable and available in discounted packages.
6. Amazing beaches and zoos
Tenerife is popular for its unique beaches which have both golden sand and dark volcanic sand. Since Tenerife is an island, it is surrounded by amazing beaches all around. You can walk from your hotel to your preferred beach location. For instance, the Playa Tejita beach, one of the largest natural beaches in the island, is a walking distance from Granadilla de Abono. This gives you an opportunity to walk while enjoying the culture and aesthetically pleasing views.
When visiting Tenerife, be sure to set time aside for the Loro Parque zoo which is widely considered to be Europe's best zoo. Boasting of the largest parrot collection globally, the zoo is also home to several animals including dolphins, orcas and sea lions. You can also view sharks, jelly fishes and penguins in the Loro Parque aquarium.
7. Hiking trails
Tenerife is a backpacker's paradise due to its fantastic landscape and beautiful scenery. The Anaga forest in North Tenerife, for instance, is known to have amazing evergreen hiking trails. While at the Anaga forest, you can walk towards the direction of Punta del Hidalgo and make a stop at Chinamada to experience the culture of the natives and view the centuries old cave houses.
Hikes at the Anaga forest usually start at Cruz del Carmen where there are several restaurants, a view point and free parking areas. Luckily, bus travel is available to Cruz del Carmen for people coming from Puerto de la Cruz. It is impossible to hike the Anaga forest in a single day as there are several viewpoints; however, with the assistance of a tour guide, you will have the opportunity to hike to amazing locations within the forest.
As can be seen, Tenerife truly is a backpacker's paradise. From the cheap commute to the warm and very welcoming locals, the island is suitable for anyone looking to tour on a budget. The beautiful scenery of the Teide National park is second to none while the unique beaches will help to relax your mind. However, since hiking in Tenerife can be physically demanding, it is advisable to inquire about the various hiking requirements to ensure that you are ready, and well prepared for the adventure of your life.
About the Author
Nick is an avid backpacker and hiker who is currently exploring Tenerife. Besides his passion for travel and nature, he also enjoys writing and connecting with fellow travelers. He is the founder of Global Backpackers which aims to become a useful resource for backpackers worldwide.