Your guide to Tenerife’s best Instagram spots for 2019
Our island is no stranger to Instagram. Simply type the hashtag #Tenerife and over 6.6 million posts will appear, ranging from cocktails on the beach or views form above the clouds to our legendary potatoes with mojo. That’s the thing about Tenerife, we have it all. Dense forest? Check. Idyllic beaches? Check. Banana plantations? Check. The cannon that blew Nelson’s arm off? You guessed it, also check. Yes, seriously. In fact, almost anywhere you turn is worthy of a photo.
When it comes to some of the coolest Instagram-worthy shots to make your followers green with envy, places that typically spring to mind instantly include anywhere within Teide National Park, the stunning hamlet of Masca and, of course, one of the hundreds of possible shots taken from above the clouds. There’s no denying the wow factor about those.
As with anything in life, getting the best pictures often depends on the amount of effort you want to put in. A quick scroll through Instagram shows that some people really do go that extra mile to pull off the perfect shot – including using drones to capture them floating in the crystal clear natural pools from the sky. Most people will neither want or need, however, to go to such lengths. There are more than enough photo opportunities at hand that require a tenth of the preparation and have almost equally good results.
With that in mind, and in no particular order, here’s our hand-picked selection of some of the coolest spots to photograph while you’re visiting Tenerife.
*On a side note, we’d really like you all to stay in one piece, so suggest saving the death-defying tricks for the professional stuntmen and women out there.
1 . For the perfect beach shot: Sunset at Playa Benijo
This is the stuff Instagram dreams are made of. With its dramatic, rugged coastline and ideal location, far away from any of Tenerife’s main tourist hubs, Benijo beach is the perfect setting for a photo at any time of day. But, the sunsets you get to witness from one of the Canaries’ most spectacular enclaves are nothing short of breath-taking and well worth hanging around for if you can. Watching as the sun slowly disappears behind the emblematic Roques de Anaga (Rocks of Anaga) with the sound of the ocean as your background music is an experience – and an image – that will stay with you and your followers forever.
2. For a hidden treasure: The Sitting Giant Sculpture, Santa Úrsula: Sunset at Playa Benijo
There are a number of curious statues dotted around Tenerife, from a sardine can to legendary figures from the region’s Guanche history (the island’s original inhabitants), but our favourite is this quirky giantess. Sitting serenely and unpretentiously in a small park (Jardin Social) in the north of the island in La Quinta, Santa Ursula, she gazes out to the coastline from her humble home in a quiet residential area. Without doubt, one of Tenerife’s best-kept secrets (the majority of residents aren’t even aware that she exists), you can whisper into her ear, sit at her feet, grab her leg or try any number of other positions for an Instagram photo that is bound to grab people’s attention.
3. For landscapes to drive your followers wild: Punta de Teno
As Tenerife’s westernmost point and forming part of a large protected area known as Teno Rural Park, la Punta de Teno (literally “the Tip of Teno”) offers contrasts galore for some perfect snapshots. Choose between the dark volcanic rocks dotted with vibrant green vegetation, the deep blue ocean, the endless horizon that stretches across to America or a less common view of the majestic cliffs known as Los Gigantes, for some stunning Instagram images. And let’s not forget, of course, the charming red and white lighthouse, one of just seven functioning lighthouses on Tenerife. If lighthouses are your thing by the way (and there are several Instagram accounts especially dedicated to them) then you need to add two more stops on your list of places to visit: the corkscrew-esque one in nearby Buenavista and the modern, angular, almost imperial-looking one down at Punta de Hidalgo.
4. To take your Instgram to the next level: Casa Hamilton, Los Realejos.
As with any property that looks like this, you just know it has a fascinating history, and Casa Hamilton, the colloquial name given to what’s actually called El Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela (“Gordejuela Water Elevator”) is no exception. Amazing photos to take your Instagram account to the next level, and a little history lesson rolled into one – what more could you ask for?
Built by the Hamilton Company in 1903, its construction was revolutionary at the time, signifying the installation of Tenerife’s very first steam engine. The extremely complicated terrain made the feat even more impressive, bringing water up to first power a flour mill and then taking it even further up to irrigate banana plantations, which made the region the greenest on the island. The San Pedro Lookout point offers some of the best views of the property with its almost impossible location right on the cliff edge. You can descend several hundred steps to get to the property itself, if you’re feeling adventurous, but there’s really no need to stare death in the face as some do, by climbing into the property’s former windows. The wow factor is guaranteed without any of that, thanks to its abandoned state and jaw-dropping position.
5. Wow your followers with the power of nature: Bijagua Arch, Tajao.
El Arco de Bijagua, better known as El Arco de Tajao or “The Arch of Tajao” has to be seen to be believed. Yet more proof, in case we needed it, of the supremacy of our natural world, it’s an enormous eroded stone arch that, aside from appearing to defy the laws of gravity, is also every Instagrammer’s dream. Add to the magical rock formation autochthonous cacti and other plants dotted around and you have yourself the perfect photo, not to mention one that’s as authentically Tenerife as it gets. The arch is located along the Arico Stone Ecomusem – a walking trail of around 3 kilometres, which runs through the mouth of the Tajao ravine, passing by ancient quarries from where local stone was extracted and shipped to Europe and America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Measuring 40 metres long and up to 6 metres wide, this is definitely not something you or your Instagram followers see every day.
6. For some stunning Insta-graffiti: Serrador Bridge Street Art, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Known locally as Puente Serrador, this bridge may not seem like anything to photograph, but underneath, it’s an entirely different story. Tenerife’s lively capital, Santa Cruz, boasts many Instagram-worthy examples of graffiti street art, but perhaps none better than this stunning multi-coloured arch, filled with geometric shapes. Matias Mata, better known by his artistic name, Sabotaje al Montaje, is the extraordinarily talented artist behind this and many other extraordinary other works dotted around the capital and in fact all over the Canary Islands and parts of mainland Europe If you’re a fan of street art, he’s definitely worth following on Instagram!
7. The stuff Instagram dreams are made of: Abandoned Leper Colony, Abades
The Sanatorio de Abades, friends, is a straight-out-of-Hollywood ghost town, right beside the sea. Yes, this lepers’ colony that never actually was is as eerie and fascinating as it gets. Abandoned isn’t even really the correct word, as it was never actually used. The story is quite a long one, but the summary is this: During the Spanish Civil War, there was a terrible leprosy outbreak. It was decided that they needed somewhere dry and most importantly, far, far away from general population, to live. Construction of the village, church included, was almost complete when scientists discovered a drug to treat the disease, meaning the colony was no longer needed, nor ever used. Why it’s not been given a new lease of life is unclear – there are some lovely virgin beaches nearby and the relatively new hub of Abades was created much later on. But no, abandoned and silent it remains. It’s all quite a bizarre experience, especially the church, which aside from some interesting graffiti has you feeling like the star of a post-apocalyptic film starring Will Smith. But if it’s cool Instagram photos you’re after, you hit the jackpot with this place.
8. To pay some well-deserved homage to Mother Nature: Natural Tunnel, Anaga Rural Park
To be fair, anywhere you look in this protected rural park, awarded Biosphere Reserve status back in 2015, will offer you an image of Mother Nature’s glory at its very best to show off to your Instagram followers. The perfect combination of lush, dense forests, thousands of years old, misty nature trails, myriad shades of greens and browns and jagged ravines and mountain peaks will leave you completely mind-blown, even more so when you remember that all this exists within just an hour’s drive of the vibrant night scene, packed beaches, luxury hotels and fabulous shopping facilities of the south. But among all the possible photos to take, the natural tunnel found on the TF12 road to Las Mercedes, has to be one of the best.
9. For eye-catching Instagram shots and a free history lesson: Ciudadela. El Toscal, Santa Cruz.
If the song you think of when you see these houses is “Havana, oh nah nah”, we’d totally understand. But no, these colourful little alleys belong to a central neighbourhood in Santa Cruz, Tenerife’s capital city. The Toscal quarter was originally comprised of several allotments, forming the outskirts of the city centre. But with urban expansion and the development of the port, the flux of migrants coming into the city needed somewhere to live. These tightly squished rows of houses were designed for the poorest workers, with sub-par living conditions and very unhygienic. Known as Ciudadela, or citadel, the single-storey homes were built in rectangles. Several families lived in each, with the communal areas like the kitchen being located in the central patio area. Almost torn down for hygiene reasons after outbreaks of disease, they are now protected living areas, and aside from providing a glimpse back to the city’s humble beginnings, also provide some seriously unique photo opportunities.
10. For the quintessential travel shot with a twist: “Wind Trap” Sculpture, Playa de las Américas.
Anyone travelling knows the unspoken rule that there must be at least one spectacular photo of a glorious sunset over the ocean posted on your Instagram account. This one also has the added bonus of La trampa del viento, a sculpture that’s as controversial as it is beautiful. Controversial because the sculpture, which is a regular to social media postings for obvious reasons, has no legal owner! Installed back in 2002 by artist Juan López Salvador, without official permission and under a previous local government, today it officially still doesn’t belong to anyone. No-one can doubt the intelligence of its positioning though, the sunset views across to La Gomera are out of this world.