Route through La Orotava via the South-American Museum

At 10:20am the sun was splendid and we were ready to start a new route through La Orotava. Having been born and lived in the town, I thought that there were very few places left for me to discover, but I was wrong and the morning turned out to be very worthwhile and entertaining.

The meeting point is the La Orotava tourist office, located in the same building as the Teobaldo Power Theatre. Maite (from the Iberian-American Museum) was waiting for us with the person who would be our guide during the visit (Arantxa). At that moment a group of Madrileños arrived (well, only one of them was from Madrid - the other 5 were Madrileños at heart ) who were very lively and enthusiastic about the visit.

Tenerife Travel Secret

If you come to La Orotava on your own by car, you might find parking to be a bit of a mammoth challenge. We suggest you park near the Plaza del Quinto Centenario, in an alley where you can leave your car without restrictions.

We started the route at the San Agustín Church, where the altar was covered because of how close it was to Holy Week. One curious fact is that, before being the symbol of the order of the Augustinians, there was a shrine erected to San Roque and inside the church on the left-hand side you will see an image of the saint, as well as the Virgin of Montserrat (remarkable given that there is no direct relationship between that virgin and the Canary Islands).

We continued our walk through the Plaza de la Constitutión and stopped at the entrance to the Liceo de Taoro. Climbing to the Victoria Gardens was inescapable and from the top of the pantheon Arantxa explained to us the reason why the mausoleum was created, as well as another anecdote about the Marquis of Quinta Roja.

Tenerife Travel Secret

Diego Ponte del Castillo was the Marquis of Quinta Roja and it is believed that he belonged to a Masonic Lodge. In fact, there is lots of Masonic symbolism in the gardens.

After admiring the valley from the top of the gardens we headed to the Hijuela del Botánico, which is right behind La Orotava town hall. Arantxa told us a few interesting facts about this small, unique garden.

We approached the town hall square and they explained some interesting things about the carpets that are made there on account of the eighth day of Corpus Christi, by way of an introduction. They gave us this little summary because the next stop would be the Museo de las Alfombras (Carpet Museum). The museum is located next to the Casa de los Balcones, and they go into detail about the origins, processes and production of the carpets.

Tenerife Travel Secret

Production of the carpets coincides with the local festivals in La Orotava to celebrate San Isidro Labrador, which are generally held in June.

We left and, after a short stop at the gofio mill on Calle Colegio, we arrived at the rear of the La Concepción Church where we visited the vestry and one of the seven rooms of the Sacred Museum. 

As it was Holy Week, the silver room (the one which would normally be visited) was being used, so we had the privilege of going into the room dedicated to the cloths and habits used by the church's priest. It is one of the most substantial and extensive in the Canaries, among other interesting facts. If you wish, you can return to the museum (and pay the full entrance fee) to see the seven rooms on a guided tour.

Tenerife Travel Secret

The room of the cloth is located in what was originally the priest's home, and the carved wood ceiling is one of the oldest in the church (it belonged to the original church).

The walk was nearly coming to an end, but as is often the case the best had been left for last. We arrived at the Iberian-American Museum, where Maite was waiting for us with a very large selection of Canary Island products. After this information-packed walk, the cheeses, almogrote from La Gomera, sweets and red and white wine tasted marvellous to us ...

Comments by the Authors about the route with the South-American Museum

The experience was very comprehensive, and all of us who participated were left satisfied by Arantxa's explanations. The walk was also very bearable and comfortable (even for people who don't like walking up and down hills ) and was of course improved by the finishing touch of the typical Canary Island flavours. Without a doubt, this is another way to see and get to know La Orotava, to fall in love with it a little bit more.