Neighbours along the sunny shoreline of Arona, I have included the resorts of Playa de Las Américas and Los Cristianos in this section. Although they are joined at the hip and moving from one to the other is a border-free experience, the two resorts have very different personalities. Playa de Las Américas is the brash, young upstart where the goal is holiday fun in the sun and music by night, while Los Cristianos generally nurtures a more sedate approach to vacationing which suits its mature clientele.
Sun, sea and sand
There’s no denying the premier appeal of Tenerife’s southern resorts. When northern Europe is shivering through autumn and winter, the beaches of Tenerife are hot and sun soaked and you’re never far from sand in which to wiggle your toes. No less than three expanses of imported golden sand fringe the coastline of Playa de Las Américas and Los Cristianos. Manicured and hemmed in by breakwaters, they create a clean, family-friendly environment in which to slowly change skin tone from blue to brown. With wheelchair access, amphibious wheelchairs and Red Cross staff on hand to help with mobility, the beaches are a border-free zone for everyone.
Joining the entire coast from Los Cristianos in the south to La Caleta in the west is a palm tree-lined promenade backed by shops, restaurants and bars. You can stroll your way from beach to beach and hotel to nightlife, stopping to enjoy a beer or two en route - purely to keep dehydration at bay, naturally.
The consummate holiday destination
The one time favourite fodder for sensationalist journalism, Playa de Las Américas has had the sort of facelift that ageing Hollywood stars would give up their pre-nup agreements for. Today the resort is awash with five-star deluxe hotels, designer label shops, international restaurants and enough quality nightly entertainment to keep even the Simon Cowells of holidaymakers happy.
For those seeking a more sedate holiday experience, Los Cristianos is a much gentler resort which has retained its fishing village roots and music stops by midnight so fishermen can get their rest.
Kitsch and castanets
From the bare breasted archers on the mock Roman forum of the Palacio Congreso where you can watch the fabulous flamenco of the Carmen Mota Show to the Thai temples and Meekong River of Siam Park, if you want to get the best from Playa de Las Américas you have to throw yourself headlong into the Las Vegas-style theme park ride that it is.
Gateway to the Western Isles
A busy ferry, fishing and pleasure cruises port, Los Cristianos is the portal to the neighbouring islands of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro. Ferries run several times daily and excursions operate from around the resorts. They may only be a couple of hours away on a ferry, but you’ll discover worlds a million miles away from the South of Tenerife.