Garachico is one of the most beautiful towns in Tenerife, with that fishing air that tourists love. Without a doubt, it is one of the corners of Tenerife North that you have to know, since it is one of the most charming towns in Spain.
300 years ago, or a little more, it was considered the main commercial port of Tenerife for the exchange of food between Europe and America. However, in 1706 the Arenas Negras Volcano erupted, burying a large part of the town and leaving the port practically unusable.
However, the people knew how to recover from their misfortunes. Today it is one of the essential places to visit in Tenerife. To learn a little more about the history of Garachico, here are some of the most emblematic places to see and enjoy in Garachico.
El Caletón, one of the most popular natural pools
The first place to see in Garachico due to its popularity is El Caletón. It is one of the best-known natural pools in Tenerife.
In 1706 the Arenas Negras volcano, also known as the Garachico mountain, erupted for 58 days. The lava ended up reaching the coast; and, when it cooled, these natural pools were formed. Getting to know them is one of the activities you can do in Garachico.
El Caletón is adapted to visitors. There is a security post, access stairs to the pools, showers and a beach bar to buy drinks. It is also a good place to enjoy with children or to relax among deep blue water with a fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Castle of San Miguel
Right next to the Natural Pools of El Caletón there is another of the best places to see in Garachico: the Castillo de San Miguel. Both share an important history with the eruption of the volcano in 1706.
That year, practically the entire town of Garachico was destroyed by the explosion. The most famous survivor of the disaster was the Castle, which had been built in 1575 to protect the town from possible pirate attacks. However, despite having resisted, it was somewhat forgotten.
Right now it is protected as an Asset of Cultural Interest with the category of monument. Inside there is a museum, the Heritage Information Center. It is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00.
The natural monument of Roque de Garachico
Another site in Garachico to visit is the Roque Natural Monument. It is a volcanic geological formation of basaltic flows that was isolated by the retreat of the coast due to marine erosion. Right now it is only about 300 meters from the coast of Garachico.
In 1987 the space was protected with the name of Garachico Islet Natural Area of National Interest. It has a maximum height of 77 meters. This islet is an ideal place to observe the gray heron. But it is not the only species that inhabits this rock, other birds also inhabit it, such as the Bulwer’s Petrel or the Madeira Petrel.
You also have to see in Garachico, Tenerife, the Plaza de la Libertad, a place that did not always have the same name. It began as the Plaza de Santa Ana as it was attached to the church of the same name. But, like many other places in Garachico, everything changed after the eruption of the volcano. A street was drawn between the two and it was transformed into a square in 1821.
It also received the name of Plaza de la Constitución or General Franco, until a wooden monument dedicated to Simón Bolívar was inaugurated in 1970. The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings and full of vegetation, conditions that make it the nerve center of the town. In addition, it also has a good number of restaurants and bars.
Church of Santa Ana, the most beautiful in Garachico
The Church of Santa Ana was founded by Cristóbal de Ponte in 1520, but the eruption of the volcano in 1706 devastated the building. It suffered serious damage, although it was later rebuilt according to the original plans.
What stands out most inside is the Santísimo Cristo de la Misericordia that was made by Mexican indigenous people at the end of the 16th century. It is a ‘Corn Christ’, that is, a representation of Jesus Christ made using a technique that uses the marrow of the crushed corn cane. Just by visiting this size it is already one of the places to see in Garachico that you should not miss.
Puerta de Tierra, a unique place to discover
Puerta de Tierra is a park located right next to Plaza Juan González de la Torre. Originally it was next to the water, but with the eruption it ended up being in the center of the city.
It still preserves the arch of the door through which the old port of Garachico was entered in the 16th century. You can also see the old winery of the Hacienda de San Juan Degollado and a corner dedicated to the poet of the Generation of 27 Rafael Alberti, who visited the municipality in 1991.
The Hermitage of San Roque, a temple of yesteryear
If you are going to be in Garachico on August 16, you cannot miss the San Roque Pilgrimage. It is celebrated around the Hermitage of San Roque, a Catholic temple linked to the bubonic plague epidemic that devastated the town between 1601 and 1606.
There are testimonies that indicate that it was built to implore the end of this disease. Also, San Roque is the patron of those infected by epidemics, especially plague and cholera, so it makes sense that this saint was chosen.
Today it is much better known for being the epicenter of the San Roque Pilgrimage than for epidemics. It is a massive event that has been declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest.
People from all over the island of Tenerife and the rest of the archipelago come to the event to see how the inhabitants of Garachico transfer the image of the saint back from the Church of Santa Ana to this hermitage. They do it accompanied by the municipal music band, herds of animals and partying. For something it is one of the best things to see in Garachico.