It's hard to tell the divide between Puerto de Santiago, Playa de la Arena and Los Gigantes, the three are so close together and it's easy to walk from one to the other - they stretch from Playa de la Arena (the furthest south) to Puerto de Santiago into Los Gigantes which aspires to the slightly more upmarket holidaymaker and contains predominantly apartments. Puerto de Santiago, of the three resorts, is limited for beaches, but it's hardly a problem as Playa Arena's pretty beach is just on your doorstep. Most Spanish residents in the area are based here, giving this location more of a Canarian feel (and cheaper supermarkets!). There's some good Canarian restaurants here if you fancy pushing the boat out!
Puerto de Santiago is a friendly resort, and an economic one. There is at the time of writing (2006) a considerable amount of building going on - it's growing, mostly on the residential apartment front rather than new hotels. That said, the pretty black sand beaches are cove like and attractive, and amenities are excellent with a choice of every kind of restaurant you can think of from Chinese to Tex Mex. And so close to the dramatic and still magical Los Gigantes cliffs, that iconic natural phenomena ingrained in British holidaymaking history. This stretch of the west coast, with the three Tenerife resorts, enjoys the longest hours of sunshine on the island. Another bonus to picking this area for your Tenerife beach resort holiday!
Puerto de Santiago sits in the centre of Los Gigantes and Playa de la Arena, but essentially it forms one spralling resort with Playa de la Arena. It's a low key resort, ideal for quieter family holidays with a pretty blue flag black sandy beach at Playa de la Arena. Resort facilities are good, with plenty of family bars, restaurants, a choice of shopping centres and all inclusive hotels with swimming pool complexes.
Smaller than the mammoth south Tenerife resorts, the three western resorts of Puerto de Santiago, Los Gigantes and Playa de la Arena are more manageable, and a tad more relaxing. These resorts attract many older visitors too looking for a quieter base.
Tenerife excursion choice is excellent from all three resorts. Los Gigantes is one of the top dive sites on Tenerife, and many a fishing trip, pleasure boat trip up towards Masca past the Los Giganties cliffs, and fun water rides are to be had from Los Gigantes marina. You're also within easy reach of Los Cristianos port for boat trips across to La Gomera via the fast ferry service running several times daily.
Located here on the western side of Tenerife, as well as the best views of La Gomera across the water on clear days, you've also easy access to the spectacular Teno Mountains and top walking territory around Masca. It's easy to hop on a tour bus from your hotel to enjoy this area of Tenerife from Puerto de Santiago. All three of these Tenerife resorts can also work well as all year round cheap holiday bases for pushing out into both Teide National Park and the Teno Mountains. You're also only a 30 minute drive (max) to the southern resorts of Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos via the coast road linked to the TF1 motorway.
Paying homage to it's fishing village routes, Puerto de Santiago has a small Museum of Fishermen (Museo Pescador). It's open from 4pm to 8pm from Mondays to Fridays, and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm (closed Sundays). You can find it on the main Carretera General road between Puerto de Santiago Post Office and the main plaza.
Puerto de Santiago Tourist Information, C/ Manuel Ravelo, 20 L-35, Centro Comercial Seguro el Sol 38436, Playa la Arena, Santiago del Teide. Tel: +34 922 860 348. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 3.30pm, Saturdays 9am to 12.30pm. It's on the second floor of Seguro el Sol shopping centre.