The Natural Beauty of La Orotava

This quaint old town is barely 6 kilometers from the impressive resort of Puerto de la Cruz, which makes it a tempting day trip. Its name, La Orotava, means lush valley, reflecting its wealth from the surrounding lushness of the valley plain. The town expanded very quickly since the valley plains were loaded with crops that brought in the wealth as far back as the 16th century.

Attractions in the town

LA OROTAVA is really well preserved, though quite ancient, with a labyrinth of steep and cobbled streets at its town centre. It is quite famed for the twelve impressive mansions along its streets, which were built according to Canary style. One such mansion is the Doce Casas, which was previously the residence of some prominent families of this area. But not all of these mansions are open to the public; most of them function as souvenir shops. The large gardens are good places for exploration and some can be pretty ornate, like the Jardín Victoria. Some of the mansions have been converted to museums, such as the Artesania lberoamericana museum, which showcases pretty local handicrafts.

A special event that brings lots of festivity to this town is the Corpus Christi celebrations where the town streets are fully decorated with flower petals and baked leaves of every kind together with volcanic sand. This celebration has been carried out since 1847 with many displays geared towards biblical motifs.

Amenities for the tourists

There is a local bus that plies the streets of La Orotava from its main stop, a 10-minute walk away from the tourist center, at the west side of the old quarter. The tourist office is open every day except Sundays, and on Saturdays for half a day.

There are just two places of accommodation in town; namely, the Pension Silene Calle, which offers en-suite rooms with small balconies offering beautiful town views; the more luxurious Silencil Hotel Victoria is actually a 400-year old Canarian mansion that has been refurbished, offering double rooms that have satellite TV and modem/fax connections.

The hotel restaurant serves an impressive menu selection; it is one of the best eateries in town. Its offering of fine fresh sole with its secret recipe prawn sauce is a delectable dish that is well enjoyed in its courtyard.

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