Garachico is one of the most beautiful towns in Tenerife, a charming fishing town with lots of personality. Without a doubt, visiting Garachico is one of the best things to do in north Tenerife. It’s also considered one of the most beautiful towns in Spain.
Maybe it’s hard to imagine, but over 300 years ago, Garachico was the main commercial port in Tenerife, Canary Islands, importing and exporting food between Europe and America. However, in 1706 the Arenas Negras Volcano erupted, burying a large portion of the town, and leaving the port unusable.
That said, the people of Garachico had a strong will to recover from this misfortune. As a result, this town is one of the most iconic places to visit in Tenerife today.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Garachico, this city tour is free (it’s in Spanish). If you don’t speak Spanish or prefer to explore on your own, here are the top 10 things to do in Garachico, Tenerife.
1. El Caletón, a lovely natural pool in Garachico, Tenerife
If you’re not sure what to see in Garachico, one of the first places to see is El Caletón. It’s one of the most popular natural pools in Tenerife to have a dip.
As I mentioned, the Arenas Negras Volcano (also known as the Garachico Mountain), erupted in 1706. The eruption lasted 58 days and brought lava up to the coast, where it cooled and formed these natural pools.
Visiting this area is one of the best things to do in Garachico, maybe the entire island. Here, you’ll find a guard post, stair access to the pools, showers, and a snack bar. It’s a good place to go with kids, as all ages will enjoy bathing in the deep blue water. Plus, you’ll get fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean, and visiting this place is free.
2. Castle of San Miguel, a cool place to visit in Garachico, Tenerife
Right beside the natural pools at El Caletón, you’ll find another cool site: the Castle of San Miguel. Both areas share an important history with the volcanic eruption of 1706.
That year, nearly the entire town of Garachico was destroyed, but the Castle of San Miguel famously survived. The castle, which was built in 1575, was meant to protect the town from pirates. However, over the centuries, it became forgotten and gradually fell apart. It wasn’t until 1959 that the City Council bought it with plans to renovate it.
Today, the castle is a protected Asset of Cultural Interest monument and houses the Heritage Information Center and a museum. It’s open daily from 10 am – 6 pm and is a good place to learn more about the Arenas Negras Volcano’s impact on Garachico.
3. See the Roque de Garachico Natural Monument
Another thing to do in Garachico, Tenerife is to visit the Roque de Garachico Natural Monument. This volcanic geological formation is less than 1,000 feet from the coast. Over time, the basaltic structure became more isolated due to erosion.
In 1987, it became a Natural Area of National Interest of the Islet of Garachico. The tallest part of the monument is over 250 feet high, and the structure is one of great ornithological interest. The Garachico coast is a great place to see the gray heron and other bird species like Bulwer’s petrel and the band-rumped storm petrel.
4. Plaza de la Libertad, one of the top sites in Garachico, Tenerife
If you’re looking for something to do in Garachico, I recommend visiting Plaza de la Libertad. The square’s original name was the Plaza de Santa Ana since it was attached to the church of the same name, which I’ll talk about later.
Like so many places in Garachico, Canary Islands, this plaza changed after the volcanic eruption of 1706. In 1821, a new square was built with the name Plaza de la Constitución, and a wooden pavilion dedicated to Simón Bolivar was inaugurated in 1970.
You can come here to take a break and enjoy the beautiful buildings and vegetation. Besides, the plaza is a centerpiece of the town, so you’ll find a good number of restaurants and bars here.
5. Church of Santa Ana, the most beautiful church in Garachico, Tenerife
The Church of Santa Ana is a lovely temple to visit in Garachico. It was founded by Cristóbal de Ponte in 1520, but the Arenas Negras Volcano eruption wreaked havoc on it. It suffered serious damage but was later rebuilt according to the original architectural plans.
What stands out most is the Christ of Mercy (Santísimo Cristo de la Misericordia) sculpture, which was made by indigenous Mexicans at the end of the 16th century. It’s known as a “corn Christ”, or a representation of Jesus Christ made with a technique that uses the marrow of crushed maize cane. It’s an impressive sight, and something you must visit in Garachico.
You can go into the church and its museums any day of the week since it’s open in the mornings and afternoons.
6. Visit the Puerto de Tierra, another thing to do in Garachico
The Puerta de Tierra is a lovely park in Garachico, right next to the Plaza Juan González de la Torre. It was originally next to the water, but the volcanic eruption pushed it to the center of the city.
Today, you can still see the arch of the door through which you could enter the old port of Garachico in the 16th century. You can also see the old wine press from the Hacienda de San Juan Degollado and a small space dedicated to Rafael Alberti a poet of the Generation of ‘27 who visited Garachico in 1991.
7. Hermitage of San Roque, another temple to see in Garachico, Tenerife
If you’re going to be in Garachico on August 16th, you can’t miss the San Roque Pilgrimage. It’s celebrated around the Hermitage of San Roque, a Catholic church linked to the bubonic plague that devastated the town between 1601 and 1606.
Some say that the temple was built as a plea to God to end the plague. Moreover, San Roque is the patron saint of those infected by plague and cholera, so he’s a fitting saint for the temple.
Today, the hermitage is known for being the epicenter of the San Roque Pilgrimage, a massive event that has been declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest.
People from all over the island of Tenerife and the Canary Islands come here to watch the residents of Garachico carry the image of the saint from the Church of Santa Ana to the Hermitage of San Roque. They’re accompanied by a musical band, herds of animals, and celebrations, so attending the event is one of the best things to do in Garachico.
8. See the Convento de Concepcionistas Franciscanas & the Convent of San Francisco
The Convent of the Franciscan Conceptionists is a building that has gone through all kinds of calamities, but it’s still something worth seeing in Garachico, Tenerife. First, it was rushed by a river of lava from the 1706 eruption of the Arenas Negras Volcano. A few years later, a fire devastated it, and in 1856, it was damaged by the sea. Despite all these catastrophes, it’s still standing, so I recommend visiting it while it lasts!
Of course, this isn’t the only convent to see in Garachico. The Convent of San Francisco, which today serves as the House of Culture, is a beautiful two-story structure worth visiting. It also includes the Public Library, the Municipal Archive, and a small science museum with three permanent exhibits on Garachico’s geological history. You can visit in the morning and afternoon from Monday to Saturday.
9. See the Muelle de Garachico, a fun thing to do in Garachico
The Muelle de Garachico was built after the 1706 eruption, and it’s something you must see in Garachico, Tenerife. As I said before, the port was an important area in the 17th and 18th centuries but was destroyed after the volcano erupted.
Today, there is a small area where you can see fishing boats, as well as the Muelle de Garachico. Located at the end of the pier, this minimalist Tensei Tenmoku sculpture is a work by Japanese artist Kan Yasuda. Its name means “Door Without a Door” and the design consists of two marble pieces on the breakwater. Ideally, you should observe it from afar so you can see where the pieces overlap.
Going to see it is a fun thing to do in Garachico because there is a tranquil black sand beach here. It’s about 200 feet long and, while there aren’t any bars, there is a lifeguard, changing room, and shower.
10. Monumento al Motín del Vino, a curious thing to see in Garachico, Tenerife
Finally, on Avenida Adolfo Suárez, you’ll find the Monumento al Motín del Vino (Monument to the Wine Mutiny), a significant site in Garachico. It represents the struggle of Canarian growers against the English monopoly on wine production.
It ended in 1666 with an assault on the port of Garachico warehouses. The Canarian producers, realizing that they weren’t going to be able to sell the stored products, decided to destroy them. It’s said that Garachico was flooded by rivers of wine!
The commemorative monument was made by Luis Montull, a sculptor from the Canary Islands. It’s over 15 feet tall and made of white Carrara marble and lava from the volcanic flows in the area.
Where to stay in Garachico, Tenerife
If you’re looking for one of the best hotels in Garachico, Tenerife, I’ll tell you that we stayed at the Hotel La Quinta Roja. It’s in the Plaza de la Libertad, so it’s within walking distance of everything. We had already seen photos of the hotel but staying there is another story! After all, sleeping in a historic 16th-century mansion isn’t something you can do every day. We especially loved the wooden ceilings, the lush patio gardens, and the buffet, so don’t hesitate to stay here if you can.
Another good option is the Gara Hotel, an oceanfront accommodation with a rooftop terrace. It offers direct access to the natural pools of El Caletón and is a few steps from the Castle of San Miguel. The hotel is in an 18th-century country house and still has its original wood floors. In addition, there are massages, car rentals, and bike rentals available, as well as activities like diving, hiking, and paragliding.
If you want to stay in other parts of the island, we have a complete guide on where to stay in Tenerife.
Where to eat in Garachico, Tenerife
You can taste the best foods in the Canary Islands at the top restaurants in Garachico, Tenerife. One of the best options The Rebojo | Bocados de Mar y Vinos, for us, one of the best restaurants in Tenerife. Also, I recommend Cañada de Garachico Espacio Gastronómico, which serves homemade dishes at a good price. If you can, reserve a table on the patio, where you can enjoy an exceptional meal in front of the natural pools.
Speaking of views, you should also check out the Mirador de Garachico. Here, you can order a good Canarian wine and, if you have a sweet tooth, the smoked cheesecake. You won’t regret it!
Another inexpensive restaurant in Garachico, Tenerife that you’ll love is Tasca Restaurante Los Pinos. The Canarian food here is excellent and the value for the money can’t be beat.
Map of Garachico, Tenerife
Finally, here is a map of Garachico, Tenerife with all the places I recommended.
That wraps it up for me. If you want to share your favorite things to do in Garachico, or you have any questions, leave me a comment below. Have a safe and enjoyable trip!