Following my personal view of what Los Cristianos is like as a resort, I am now moving on to Las Américas. This is particularly difficult because while everyone seems to know it as the place that epitomises the south of Tenerife few know where it is actually located. It is also getting harder as the years go by as it seems that Las Américas has shrunk as Costa Adeje has grown to the extent that some places that used to be Las Américas are now classed as Costa Adeje. Are you confused yet? I don´t blame you but don´t worry you are certainly not alone.
The one thing we do know is that Las Américas starts just beyond Los Cristianos. I tend to think of it starting at the far end of Las Vistas beach and continuing on to Pueblo Canario therefore encompassing the sophisticated and cosmopolitan area around the Safari Centre and the party area of Veronicas.
This spot was almost completely deserted in the 1960’s, but seeing the potential for tourism, from out of nowhere emerged Playa de Las Americas to become one of the most important tourist resorts on the island. There is no denying it is purpose built, but it is also one of Europe’s most successful tourist destinations. To some people the resort conjures up images of all night bars and the very worst excesses, is virtually free from anything Canarian – the place to come and party. That may have been true in the past but that doesn´t mean it is all bad. So what is the Las Américas like that we see today. PdlA (as it is known for short) has developed into a place that attracts families and middle aged couples, including the most demanding of visitors. There is something for everyone whatever their taste whether it is international restaurants, stylish cocktail bars, or luxurious designer shopping it is all there and set against a landscape of great beauty.
PdlA is also the only place on the island that you can see authentic flamenco in a show that stands its ground alongside the best in the world. This is performed in one of Europe’s biggest auditoriums the spectacular Piramide de Arona by the world-famous Carmen Mota troupe. Once seen you will never again watch a pseudo dance show that hotels provide to convince the uninitiated they are getting a taste of the real Canaries. In fact flamenco is nothing to do with the Canary Islands, it comes from Andalucia and in particular Seville . Keeping up with the times, next door to this spectacular show is a new Hard Rock Cafe.
The variety of hotels is vast and of exquisite taste. The big hotels are usually surrounded by exotic gardens, have large swimming pools or are near to beaches, but equally the hotel and apartment structures are varied and there are always deals to be had for families with kids or those seeking a cheap getaway break. (as said something for everyone)
Thanks to almost year round sun the beaches are usually full of people eager for a good tan. I really don´t understand why some decry them for being man-made. So what if they aren’t natural, lots of people prefer soft golden sand to sharp, gritty black sand but whatever your preferences PdlA has all types of beach from the imported sand of the Sahara to the natural volcanic sands and they are beautiful, clean, have mainly calm safe waters and offer a wealth of activities to enjoy a fantastic day.
To my mind, where PdlA triumphs over the other island resorts is that it is an eminent tourist destination, boasting a wide range of activities to suit all tastes and ages. In recent years the main attraction has to be a visit to Siam Park – I know this is in Las Americas and not Costa Adeje as some believe because it is directly behind the Las Americas Bus Station and just to the side of the Las Americas Police Station. If you prefer out-of-water sports, Golf las Américas is proud to say it is situated in the “Heart of Playa de Las Américas” Or you can simply enjoy a steady seaside stroll along the very long Paseo Marítimo, sampling the various watering holes along the way be they cheap and cheerful or chic and costly (well not really costly compared to what tourists are used to paying in the UK. The general consensus is eating and drinking in Tenerife is not expensive)
After dark, the resort really comes into its own, there are countless venues offering entertainment whether it is cabaret artists or karaoke and there is always a happy party atmosphere to be enjoyed by the young and the not so young.
Not to be forgotten is the island’s party capital Veronicas Strip and Starco, which is what most people think of when Las Américas is mentioned. It is a magnet for the teens and 20s due to the variety of discos, bars and booze. But not all of the venues are seedy, some like the Papagayo Beach Club are very upmarket and draw so called ‘celebrities’ from both the UK and Spain to their terraces, they also attract a price tag to go with their stylish looks. Despite Veronica’s reputation the area is very small, just 3 floors in 5 buildings spread over 200m but at night with neon lights flashing, PR men tempting the teens with cheap drinks and free shots it looks attractive. Bars stay open all night for drinking, dancing and having a wild time. Is that really so bad? Wherever they are that’s what youngster do – have a good time. However a word of warning there are people who target the drunks and mug them because quite frankly they are an easy target, so anyone visiting should take the same care as they would take in their home town. During the day blink and you have missed it, Veronicas in daylight is really a very ordinary street, nothing special, in fact it looks rather dingy.
So does the real Las Américas bear any resemblance to its reputation? In my opinion yes, in so far as it has given the tourist the resorts they have asked for. Before the Brits arrived in their droves the Spanish didn’t have “Full English Breakfasts” or “Sunday Roasts” but if that is what the vast majority want, then Las Américas is happy to provide these things. The rest is a bit of a misconception. Part of PdlA’s appeal is it continues to renew, refurbish and refine large areas as it follows the trends dictated by the more discerning holidaymaker that it attracts these days.