Why go to Tenerife?
Highest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide, plus breathtaking interior landscape, beautiful climate year-round and best Carnival in Spain
The south of the islands suffers from the excesses of mass tourism, and Playa de las Americas should be avoided
Stick to the interior and the north of the island, particularly the pretty capital
By Car: If you're feeling adventurous, there's a Hertz on the La Marina (which runs right from the north end of the Plaza de Espana). Cars cost from around $50 for a day's hire and petrol is not expensive.
By Bus: A big bus station lies on Avenida Tres de Mayo (about a mile along the promenade, heading left from the port gates). From here, a No. 910 bus will take you to the nearest beach, Playa de la Teresitas.
This is a five-mile, 20-minute journey (costing around €1.25 euros one way), so allow plenty of time to return. Las Teresitas beach is popular with the locals because of its golden sand and palm trees and also for being a family-friendly spot, as it features a breakwater that protects swimmers from waves and strong currents. A great option when visiting Las Teresitas beach is to combine the dip with a tasty meal in the nearby quiet fishing village of San Andres, featuring a wide range of fish and seafood restaurants.
By Taxi: To go further afield, taxis are available from the port gates and at ranks in the town but do negotiate the price in advance as, beyond the city boundaries, cabs are not metered. The going rate for an hour's tour is from around 25 euros per cab, but do haggle for a good deal.
By Tram: Take the tram (line 1) from the central bus station, and pay a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage town of La Laguna, an alternative way to experience the sights of Santa Cruz and La Laguna. (40 minutes ride, 21 stops)
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The local currency is the euro. Check www.xe.com or www.oanda.com for the most updated exchange rates. If you've run out of cash and don't want to change money on your ship, don't panic; there are plenty of banks, ATMs and Bureaux de Change along Santa Cruz's waterfront and on its main shopping streets. Hotels will also change cash, but rates vary considerably, so proceed with caution.
The main language is Spanish, and though many locals have at least a smattering of English, it is worth taking a phrase book along if you plan to explore on your own. Here are some basics to get you started: hola and adios (hello and goodbye); por favor and gracias (please and thank you); cuanto cuesta? (How much?); and, possibly the most useful of all, habla Ingles? (Do you speak English?).