Puerto woman selling fishPuerto de La Cruz was the place where tourism began in the Canaries. In 1886, this small port of La Orotava Valley established the first hospital of the Canary Islands to welcome sick tourists . It was also the first Spanish european resort.  Nowadays remains as common destination for visitors from Germany, Britain and Spain, mainly.

It was originally a fishing village that grew as the local trade increased. The sugar trade was replaced by wine trade, establishing its export boom in the second half of the sixteenth century, giving way to a process of social and economic development.

The big tourism boom came in the 50’s of XX century, when the city began its transformation to become a reference point for tourists on the island and on the archipelago. This fact triggered an urban development explosion with serious consecuences to natural environment, both coastal and agriculture.

Currently, the tourism situation at Puerto de La Cruz is not good. Each year there are fewer tourists and many hotels and companies are closing down. It seems that the economic and social model stablished those years was not sustainable.

Puerto Playa JardinIn order to know this reality, we visited Puerto de la Cruz and had lunch in the fishermen guild bar. That local, placed in the seaport, is managed by local fishermen and offers simple dishes and fresh fish. Sorrounded by boats and marine air, we enjoyed local and really fresh products.

A few meters away from that bar, we entered the city center with old biuldings and tall resort hotels. We ended the visit in Playa Jardín, a big black sand beach, an example of the touristic city versus the old fishermen town. Unexpected black sand and contrast between what things used to be and how they are now.

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