With summer’s sultry nights heating up the nocturnal scene on Tenerife it seemed the perfect time to have a look at what Tenerife nightlife has to offer visitors and residents. To begin, this Saturday we went in search of lively bars in the centre of Puerto de la Cruz
Standing on Avenida Generalisimo at 10pm on a Saturday night revealed why nightlife in Puerto de la Cruz sometimes earns the reputation of being low key. Plenty of bars lined the avenue, but none had many customers.
Chosen because it was the only bar in the avenue that was remotely busy, but that was because a birthday party was taking place on its upper floor; something I didn’t discover till I accidentally gate-crashed it. Still, the French owner was friendly, a bottle of beer cost €1.50 and the music was nostalgically 80s.
Moving to Avenida Colón at 10.30pm revealed a much livelier scene. The pavement cafés were full and hordes of Saturday night strollers provided a roaring trade for African hair braiders and the caricature artists.
Café de la Noche
The liveliest bar on the promenade; entering past Marilyn Monroe holding down her billowing white dress revealed an interior of art deco mirrors and Tiffany lamps. The dance floor was full, but a tad Strictly Come Dancing. A litre of wine was under €10 but although no spring chicken myself, I felt as though I was there twenty years too early.
By 11pm, it was time to try the old town. En route, singing from Molly Malone’s near the harbour sounded promising. The bar, popular in winter months, was almost empty, so I decided to give it a miss. Same thing with the JardÃn Karaoke Bar.
Arriving at Plaza del Charco it explained why a lot of bars were quiet; everybody was there, enjoying the bubbling atmosphere around the palm and Indian laurel tree-lined plaza. At one end, the Plaza Café overflowed with a mix of mature visitors and locals being serenaded by a female Spanish vocalist whilst at the other, in the Frigata, Tasquita and Hannen bars, a younger clientele chattered animatedly above an MTV soundtrack.
As midnight approached it was time to follow the in-crowd to the hottest night spots in town around Calle Blanco and Calle Iriarte.
Blanco Bar oozed style and Ã¼ber-chic décor from sleek white walls and ultra violet lighting in the bar and concert area to rattan settees in the outdoor terrace situated on four levels. The bar’s patrons were mainly in their early thirties, but there was a mix of ages. Service was exceptional and I was served quickly even though the bar was heaving. A bit pricier than other bars, a bottle of beer cost €2.50, but then the entertainment is free.
At first I thought the band, Supertrópica, were a comedy group in frilly shirts and Elton John style sunglasses. The lead singer’s curiously cartoon-ish voice didn’t help dispel that assumption. But their infectious performance, an energetic combination of summery pop and R&B riffs had me grinning and chanting “˜otra, otra’ with everyone else at the end of the set.
Further up Calle Blanco, a wooden staircase in a colonial courtyard led to Limbo’s huge terrace. By 1.20am it was sardine tin busy and manoeuvring anywhere involved getting intimately close to people. The bar staff were fast workers, but not great at spotting who was next in line, so a couple of ‘oigas” were essential.
A spirit, the equivalent of three or four UK measures, and mixer was €6.
The young clientele, mainly in their early 20s, included a surfeit of stunningly beautiful girls, many with stiletto heels longer than the hemlines of the chic dresses they wore with the poise and elegance of fashion models.
Opposite Blanco, Cuban bar Azucar looked empty at 2.30am. But streams of people were entering and”¦disappearing. Further investigation revealed a soundproofed glass door which opened as I approached and Puerto was swapped for downtown Havana. The atmosphere inside was beyond hot; it was steamy, and bodies that brushed against me were wet with sweat. One part of the bar was in a courtyard overlooked by an old wooden balcony ““ straight out of a Bacardi advert. In the dark shadows, figures gyrated sensually to thumping salsa. It felt deliciously illicit. I ordered a mojito (€5) and marvelled at dance moves I’ll only ever achieve in my dreams.
By 3.30am a return to Avenida Generalisimo revealed a very different animal. Clubs that were invisible in daylight hours were filling up, their neon lights attracting clubbers from all over Tenerife’s north coast. Call me lightweight, but by then the only bright light I was interested in was the green one on top of a taxi.
Tenerife Magazine plans to be bar hopping all over Tenerife in the future, so if you know of any great bars, please share them with us…we’d hate to miss out on some secret gems.