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Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeSpainCanary IslandsGuns & Butter: Tenerife Travel Guide (Disappointed Edition)

Guns & Butter: Tenerife Travel Guide (Disappointed Edition)

Tenerife Travel Guide is part of the Still The Best Trip Report.

TPOL’s Guns & Butter Travel Guide is the best way to see as much as you can in as little time as possible. Here’s how it works: A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy. The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa. The guide includes inefficient activities i.e., tourist traps that should be avoided and aspirational activities that are worth doing but may be impossible to see given the constraints of time and resources.

TPOL’s rule is to stay a maximum of 3 nights but preferably two nights in any city. Four nights in Tenerife is an eternity. Here’s what I did and did not do.

Tenerife North

I didn’t go to the north and would recommend that you fly into the south as that is where the action is (see Not My Fault: Tenerife Airport, North Or South?).

a screenshot of a computer
Be careful when you book as the airport code only shows TCI for Tenerife


Take a local taxi over Uber. It’s cheaper (see Tenerife: Take a Taxi Over Uber).

a person using a phone to check the driver's information
32 euros versus 60 in Uber.


The Abama golf course at the Ritz Carlton was beautiful. Still, I had no interest in paying 200 euros for a round, not including rentals. My idea of fun isn’t to overspend on golf under the hot sun while shooting over 100 alone.

a glass of orange juice on a golf course
Drink or golf?

All Inclusive

I am against all-inclusive resorts (see DoubleTree Zanzibar-Nungwi: Miss You Miss You Baby), but this is a popular option in Tenerife.

Playa de Las Americas

I guess this is the party area but I found it to be underwhelming and stale* (see Playa de Las Americas, Tenerife: Well That Sucked).

a group of people outside of a building with neon signs
Same damn setup in every tourist destination.

*Kebab: the kebab was not stale.

a man cooking in a kitchen
Same damn setup in every tourist destination. Worth repeating again.

Ritz Carlton

Originally, I was supposed to stay at the Ritz for one night and then spend the rest of my time at Playa de Las Americas. After two nights with no AC and no quality of life, I returned to the Ritz. You should too (see Ritz Carlton Tenerife: We’ll Make It Better, The Second Time Around).

a large building with a pool and plants
The view would have been the same with a 35k.


Go to the Abama Kabuki, a Michelin restaurant adjacent to the Ritz (see Michelin Sushi Tenerife: $375 Worth Spent?).a tray of different plates


Neither the beach at the Ritz or Playa de Las Americas had impressive beaches. I assume the rest of the island does. Coming from Puerto Rico, I can’t be bothered to go chasing after clear waters.

a beach with palm trees and people on the beach
Playa de las Americas
a group of people on a beach
Ritz Beach: Come on guys! Enough of the IG shit.


I came to the Canary Islands because they have a pretty name and to add another ‘country’ to my list (see Is Hawaii a Country?). It was a decent way to start my Still The Best Trip but I do not see myself returning



  1. I’m sorry this was your experience, whoever recommended you go to Playa de Las Americas is probably still laughing into their drink, the reputation of that area is why so many actively avoid visiting the entire island. I would recommend you do not fly into the South – in fact I avoid at all costs – but visit the North instead. I am American, I live on the island in a beautiful, old, northern town called La Orotava. I do not disagree with your review, it’s a spot on assessment of PdLA – and you couldn’t pay me to visit – I just wish your experience of the island had been different.

  2. I agree that Las Americas is a dump, but not sure it’s possible to write a comprehensive review after staying at an all-inclusive hotel, visiting one beach, and only the trashiest town on the island?

    If you do ever go back, (or for anyone of the readers) we drove ourself up Teide, watched the sunset and booked a stargazing experience with a local guide (*not* through those tourist-trap ones down by the beach). We also drove to Anaga, a protected forest park up the Northern side with beautiful views and walks, the old town of La Laguna at the base of the park is also far more cultural than any where in the south, same with La Orotava. Valley Masca is only a short drive from the south and it gives Jurassic Park vibes. We booked a whale-watching tour (again, in advance, after research local tour guides, with small eco-friendly boats and good reputations, there are dozens of awful tourist trap ‘boat trips’ sold along the coast to tourists), and for myself paragliding (which I book on any and every holiday I can). Paragliding in Tenerife is especially nice, the group I go with take off from cliffs inland, which give dramatic views, then fly down to the coast and we land on a tiny secluded beach with a quiet little cocktail bar, all in time for sunset.

    Driving up Teide through Teide National Park is always a must for us, my partner is a nervous driver and it’s one of his favourite drives as it’s so easy. The landscape changes so many times in a relatively short trip, dozens of lovely hikes, picnic spots and scenic view points. Up Teide, there’s an observation center where you can look at the sun/solar flares, take a cable car to the peak of Mt Teide, or go star gazing and watch the sun go down from above the clouds (which you can do from your own car without booking a tour unless you want to).

    On the days where we want to be truly lazy, in between our adventure days, we relax at Los Cristianos – this area is as touristy as Las Americanas, however it has sandy beaches and much quieter waves (specifically Fuente Playa de Las Vistas is our preferred beach). It’s also possible to lease paddle boards and kayaks here. It has as many if not more options for food as Las Americanas, including the best and most authentic ice cream shop on the island (Gelato del Mercato) where they have different flavours day-to day-depending on what the lady who owns it has made.

    I used to hate the idea of going to Tenerife, I thought it was just for retired slap heads and trashy stag-dos. But my partner (who himself had never actually been outside the ex-pat community village his parents visited), insisted we go since it was the only thing in our budget, so I gave it a go. Now I’m totally in love with it. Same as you, it boggles my mind people go all that was just surround themselves with same ‘irish pubs’, awful music and nights out as you could have in the UK – but those people seldom travel far from Costa Adeje, Las Americanas & Los Cristianos – everything outside of those areas is lovely. So Tenerife is very much what-you-make-of-it, outdoorsy people are going to find loads up their street, as will beach bums, as will eco/geology/astro-physics nerds and the party-goers too – but as with any holiday the key lies in research, and finding the places and activities that suit your preferences. I hope if you ever did go back, you get to explore some of the nicer areas of the island

    • Didn’t stay at an all inclusive. And two beaches. And Guns & Butter is predicted on doing as much in little time. My intentions for going there were also made clear in the post.

      I’m not going back and that’s fine.

      Tips for other readers are always welcome as is accurate criticism.

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