On a recent stopover at Puerto de la Cruz, we spent some time at Lago Martianez. It is hard to believe that it was created over 40 years ago, at the height of the tourist boom and while some of the hotels that surround it have not stood the test of time, the complex is, at least in my opinion, a beautiful place that still has a fresh and vibrant feel about it.
Overlooking the pools and lakes is a vantage point where you have wonderful views. We could have stayed there contentedly listening and watching the Atlantic waves roll in but I spotted sculptures and wanted to get closer.
In the 1960s, César Manrique, a Canarian artist and architect whose work characterize the Islands, was commissioned to design Lago Martianez. It eventually opened in 1971 and proved so popularity it was extended and re-opened in 1977. Amongst the pools and subtropical vegetation are sculptures by both Manrique and other artists.
My first impression was good. By the main entrance are “Juguetes del Viento” (Wind Toys). Manrique created lots of these, both here and in Lanzarote. At the Lago, they are placed to catch the breeze and are constantly moving. Along the walls are what I first thought were simple sticks but are in fact another sculpture created to tame the winds coming in from the sea.
We took a quick walk around to get the lay of the land. The complex is made up of paths, bridges, and small discreet corners. The contrast between white paint, blue water, volcanic stones, and the splash of bright red combines to make the setting slightly surreal despite the number of people around.
By the large pool is another sculpture “Monumento al Mar” recently restored and although made of concrete it actually looks like waves. I only dipped a toe but the water was chilly, no rephrase, it was cold despite it being a warm day. The hardy German tourists flaunting their sunburn had fooled me into thinking otherwise.
We continued walking and arrived at “Las Raíces del Cielo” (The Roots to Heaven) I’ve no idea what they are meant to symbolize, as they are trees planted upside down. Perhaps that we have a long way to climb before we get there, who knows?
There is a Casino that was originally in Taoro Park in the centre of the main lake and it is said it looks beautiful at night when lit up.
I have mentioned my visits to Puerto on numerous occasions in my Tenerife blogs but I had never actually been to the Lago. I can only say go, it was well worth a visit and not expensive. Admission is €5.50 for adults and children €2.50 a sun lounger is included in the price. Opening times are 10.00 to 19.00 each day.
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