Parque Marítimo César Manrique of Santa Cruz

... leisure area with swimming pools in the capital

With the help of the Parque Marítimo, the Palmetum, the Auditorium, etc., Santa Cruz de Tenerife is slowly leaving behind its image as a city full of airs and stresses (at least that was my opinion of the capital, maybe from the point of view of a village girl … J) and in recent years it has been joining forces with nature and leisure. The area where the park is located is an example of that, as with a lot of effort and persistence it has been converted into a global model for transformation.

Vista de la piscina principal del Parque Marítimo de Santa Cruz


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The stretch of coast where the maritime park is located, to the south of the city, was always controversial. All of the unpleasant services in Santa Cruz are located in that area, so any kind of urban development was restricted there.

El Auditorio Adán Martín tiene una posición privilegiada cerca del mar

Origins of the Parque Marítimo César Manrique

As we already mentioned, the Maritime Park is located in a controversial area with a refinery, the town abattoir, the island’s rubbish tip (‘el Lazareto’), dog pounds and a never-ending list of services which are necessary for the city but never pleasant on the eye (or the nose).

In December 1991, a project was drawn up to drastically change the area and the south entrance to the capital in particular. In that project they anticipated cleaning up the area, making some of the services there disappear or transforming the hellish, pestilent environment of El Lazareto (a mountain of rubbish) into the César Manrique Maritime Park or one of the most important palm tree botanical gardens in the world, the Palmetum.

El Palmetum de Santa Cruz es una joya botánica

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The truth is that it isn’t fair to start the description of such a pretty place where you can have such a lovely time in this way … but sometimes the most incredible places have origins which leave us truly perplexed. The maritime park is one of them J

We can now confirm that that ambitious desire of the 90s is almost fully complete, as the area is a perfect example of sanitation and the social reactivation of a place.

Vista panorámica del Parque Marítimo desde el Palmetum de Santa Cruz

Facilities at the Parque Marítimo of Santa Cruz

There is no way of hiding that this is a work (albeit posthumous) by César Manrique, where a lot of typical natural Canary Island elements are used, like volcanic rocks, palm trees and botany which are characteristic of the island. This is in addition to the wind toys which are easily recognisable as being by the sculptor from Lanzarote.

Hay detalles muy característicos volcánicos canarios

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In Tenerife there is another swimming pool complex which owes its design to César Manrique: Costa Martiánez El Lago in Puerto de la Cruz

The Santa Cruz Maritime Park opened in 1995 and can accommodate some 3,000 people. Within its 22,000m2 recreational leisure zone you will find a large number of services which are comfortably distributed. Under the main door you will find the free toilets, showers and changing rooms. There is an outdoor fitness complex, shops and a hammock, airbed and hat service. A hammock and hat are included for each customer in the entry price.

Parque Marítimo se encuentra en una zona de nuevo desarrollo de la capital

There are three salt water swimming pools. Within the two main ones you will find artificial islands and they are different depths, so there are areas with beach-type access and others with stairs.

Vista panorámica de la piscina principal del Parque Marítimo de Santa Cruz con el Auditorio Adán Martín al fondo

In the pool near the Auditorium there is a restaurant in the middle and it is surrounded by plenty of garden walkways which lead to the different parts of the solarium at the Parque Marítimo.

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One curious fact is that the tan you can achieve in one day of sun at the maritime park will be equivalent to three days at the beach J This is thanks to the refraction of the sun on the ground. 

Restaurante cercano a la piscina principal

The children’s swimming pool (in the middle) is mainly used by children congregating and splashing.

The waterfall pool has a restaurant and disco on one side, but that isn’t part of the leisure zone at the Parque Marítimo César Manrique.

Vista panorámica de la piscina de la cascada y el Palmetum de Santa Cruz

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The waterfall is usually switched on every morning to fill the pool to its maximum capacity and in the summer also at around midday.

The enclosure at the Parque Marítimo of Santa Cruz is equipped to welcome disabled people or those with reduced mobility, as it has an aquatic lift, amphibious chair to help people into the water, bathrooms with European taps (which are exclusively for use by disabled people) and they will soon add a lift in the entrance area.

El Parque Marítimo tiene muchos rincones floridos

In the summer season there are reinforcements of staff and activities for guests, such as a notable increase in lifeguards (11 in summer and 2 in winter), as the number of bathers enjoying the maritime park is larger. Therefore, as they are open all year, make the most of it and head over between November and February, when there is almost absolute certainty that you will be able to use one pool or another exclusively.

Vista panorámica del Parque Marítimo y la zona nueva de Santa Cruz

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The part of the coast where the maritime park is found is an especially privileged place, as the sun shines there almost all year round.

Near the Parque Marítimo César Manrique in Santa Cruz you will find buildings with great historical value, such as the gunpowder castle or house (which was one of the first buildings constructed on the island) or the black castle of San Juan Bautista (which protected Caleta de los Negros or Puerto de Caballos – a strategic point in the 18th century). There is also the Palmetum, which is a unique botanical garden with its collection of palm trees, the cascade building with two clubs and the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín.

Caleta de los Negros o Puerto de Caballos
La playa de Cabo Llanos se encuentra detrás del Parque Marítimo de Santa Cruz

Prices of the entrance

The prices are very competitive, as adults pay €2.50, it’s €1.50 for under 12s and over 65s, and large families get a 30% discount. There are also different reductions in price for the disabled, unemployed and those who purchase the Twin Ticket for entry into both the Palmetum and Parque Marítimo in Santa Cruz – no doubt one of the best waterparks in Tenerife.

Entrada principal al Parque Marítimo

Getting there

The Parque Marítimo of Santa Cruz is easy to access and has ample parking. You should head for the capital of the island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, towards the coast, and then look for the Recinto Ferial, Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín and Palmetum.

Aparcamiento con acceso para personas con dificultad motora

Parque Marítimo César Manrique - Avda. de la Constitución, nº 5  38005 Santa Cruz de Tenerife


Final comments from the authors about the Parque Marítimo César Manrique

On this occasion we could only spend a few hours there and as it was already September there were fewer entertainment activities, but it was much calmer and the temperature was ideal. Noah liked the pleasant water temperature, and like the little tyke he is he made friends with another boy who he then shared his aquatic toys with.

Precioso juguetes del escultor César Manrique en el Parque Marítimo de Santa Cruz
Restaurante que se encuentra en la zona de la entrada principal del Parque Marítimo de Santa Cruz
La diversión infantil está garantizada en el Parque Marítimo de Santa Cruz

Fábio enjoyed a well-deserved rest and I walked around almost the whole complex, poking around the gardens, almost all of the facilities and the kiosks in the park. We definitely spent some great time as a family at the Parque Marítimo of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Espectacular vista panorámica del Parque Marítimo de Santa Cruz con el Auditorio Adán Martín

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