I have always loved miniature things. As a child, I delighted in making tiny items for my dolls house. A toothpaste cap became a bucket while pipe cleaners formed the base for a whole family to be clothed in scraps of material and off cuts of wool. When I had my family, I would hoard all sorts of bits and pieces, shiny paper cardboard rolls and cartons so I was ready to copy whatever treasure Blue Peter or Magpie were making. With that in mind, you have an idea of the sort of person I am, so imagine how I felt when I first went to Pueblo Chico. I was like Alice in this miniature Wonderland, or Gulliver in Lilliput.
Pueblo Chico can be found tucked away on a quiet road in La Orotava overlooking Puerto de la Cruz, with Mount Teide on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. The park is in the ideal setting to display at its best some of the most emblematic architecture you can find in the Canary Islands and all in miniature.
On entering the park, you get a map which will guide you around the various themed areas called ‘Zones’ and a booklet that describes each model. It is laid out so even the littlest of kids can follow the route starting with the Lunar landscape a life-sized model of caves that you can wander through like Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C.
You emerge in the Guanche Zone where you will find Tenerife’s original inhabitants, see how they lived, worked and played. We know that the Guanches made pottery, that they dressed in goat or sheepskins and they lived in caves it is all here in perfect detail even Guanches indulging in a game of “palo” with the opponents battling each other with strong sticks.
Many of the models will be moving; the gondolas swing on the Ferris wheel as it completes turn after turn at the fair, Fred Olsen’s ferry leaves the port and sails to another of the islands, traffic rumbles along the motorway towards the southern airport where the Spanair flight is awaiting take off. The models are meticulous in design and detail and you not only have the sights but also sounds that enhance the illusion that you are a giant and the world has shrunk.
For me one of the most impressive areas represents parts of Santa Cruz featuring iconic buildings such as the Auditorio and the Cabildo and for those who love to shop El Corte Ingles. Miniaturization doesn’t get more impressive than when it scales down reality to become a working model of the real thing.
Many of the famous historical buildings are faithful reproduced from the Basilica in Candelaria to the Ayuntamiento in La Orotava the magnificent handcrafted architecture and technology join effortlessly so the visitor has a fabulous experience of what the islands are all about, their culture and their history.
However, it isn’t just about admiring the incredible detail, it’s about discovering the touches of everyday life; the family gathered around the barbeque, the dancers around the maypole, the street musicians, the Canarian wrestlers, the sunbathers and the coffee drinkers.
The flower-bedecked paths as you might expect lead inevitably up to the shop, cafe and restaurant with a sunny outside terrace and the whole of Tenerife at your feet. It is certainly interesting and kids of any age will be fascinated I defy anyone not to enjoy it.
Open from 09:00 – 18:00 Prices: Adult: €12.50 Child: €6.50 and free parking http://www.pueblochico.com/index.php