Playa de las Américas together with Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje is a city in the south of Tenerife. The different names are part of separate local government regions but are otherwise indistinguishable from each other. Playa de las Américas is roughly 2 km southeast of Costa Adeje and 2 km northwest of Los Cristianos.
The city was built for tourists and is mostly made up of hotels with plenty of beaches and restaurants. English is widely spoken here.
While Costa Adeje caters for more wealthy guests with its 5-start hotels, Playa de las Américas is more popular with young tourists.
The main gateway to the region is Costa Adeje, which is just around the corner—see there for how to get here from the rest of the island. All buses from the east and northeast of Tenerife will also call at 3 Magma bus stop, from where it is about 1–1½ km on foot to Playa de las Américas.
Tenerife South (Reina Sofia) airport is the closest airport with a taxi fare costing around €23 to the centre of Playa de las Americas.
You can walk a few miles along the seafront to see most of the interesting points. As soon as you leave the beach road, the ground slopes upwards in most places.
Little in the resort but lots of travel agents willing to book you on island and other tours, including to other islands, including La Gomera which you can see some distance away.
Beaches are what many tourists come here for. Sunloungers are available at a few euro a day (or just buy a parasol and take a beach mat). The beaches are busy during all sunlit hours, although it is perfectly warm enough to swim in the evenings too. Black sand in Las Americas, better yellow sand beaches towards Los Cristianos.
Some end up having sex on the beach in the midnight hours. While the police probably will not bother you, local voyeurs may.
- 1 Aqualand, Avd. Austria 15, San Eugenio Alto (bus stop Aqualand), ☏ . A swimming theme park with slides and flumes. An impressive dolphin display is held twice a day at 13:00 and 15:00. Adults €29, children and seniors €21, tickets purchased online €2 cheaper.
- Whale-watching – Boat trips are common, many guaranteeing whales and often with a swimming stop half way. Prices vary between €20 per person for short 2 hours trips to about €50-60 per person for 4-6 hours trips with included lunch.
- Glass-bottom boat tours – See underwater wildlife.
- Submarine trip – To 25 m below sea level (€60 per person)
- Scuba diving – Each person is accompanied by professional diver when going underwater who handles all equipment. Cost of 2–3-hours trip with 20 minutes underwater is about €50 per person. Though, there can be many health conditions which may prevent you from enjoying it.
- Golf – A few courses are available nearby.
- 2 Golf las Américas. Golf course in the middle of the urbanised region.
- 3 Siam Park. Water amusement park.
- 4 Monumento Natural de la Montaña de Guaza. The route to the Montaña de Guaza is an idyllic option if you want to enjoy one of the most characteristic volcanic areas of Tenerife. The trail runs along a dirt path surrounded by excellent scenic and geological beauty.
- Plenty of shops offer alcohol and tobacco at prices cheaper than elsewhere in Europe.
- Tenerife Pearl is a short car journey away if you want to buy expensive jewellery. Do not believe the publicity calling it an exhibition since there is little to see!
- Sunday market in Los Cristianos and one on Thursday and Saturday in Costa Adeje. A fair number of shops shut on Sundays.
What not to buy
Lots of touristy shops selling cameras, video cameras, binoculars, etc. They are great salesmen and will make you think you are going to get a bargain from them but you will not. At best you will pay more than you would pay back home and at worst you will buy something totally worthless. Avoid them! The purchase of a timeshare is also something you could regret later.
Most of the restaurants offer the usual selection of burgers, chips, pizza, etc. There are also Chinese buffets, usually at €6.
There is plenty of nightlife in Los Cristianos.
Cocktail bars on the beach are an especially relaxing way to end a day, although at €9 a drink, quite expensive.
Some hotels are a kilometre from town and might need a bus to get there. However with centrally placed accommodation, bars and discos can turn their sound systems full on to draw in customers which can make sleeping difficult. Such sounds can carry half a mile or more!
- Hotel Playa Real Costa Adeje, Avda. Moscu 11 38670 Costa Adeje Tenerife, ☏ . Nice hotel near the beach.
- Hovima Costa Adeje, Avenida Ernesto Sarti nº 8, Costa Adeje, ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Adults-only, all-inclusive. From €195.
- Mare Nostrum Resort (on the beach at Las Americas (Arona)). The resort is comprised of five hotels: Mediterranean Palace; Cleopatra Palace; Marco Antonio Palace; Julio Cesar Palace; and The Sir Anthony. The swimming pools are great fun, there are innumerable activities for children and the whole family and of course there's the beach.
- Parque la paz. 3-star hotel in front of the Mare Nostrum.
- Jardine De Nivaria Hotel (a few minutes from the Puerto Colon Marina within the Costa Adeje resort.). The resort is famous for its lush garden surroundings.
Built for slob tourists, Playa de las Américas' ethical status is already questionable during day time, however gets much worse during night time. There are reports of drugs being sold openly in night life areas after midnight, and prostitutes equally openly advertising their services. Brawls are no rare occurrences, usually resulting from clashes of drunk tourists.
Pick pocketing is rampant, and includes theft of belongings left unattended on beaches. The drinking can get pretty heavy in the evenings, so if you go out to hit the town, leave your wallet and your credit cards at the hotel and just take cash. Locals have told stories of pickpockets being so skillful that they can take the wallet out of your pocket, remove the cash and put the wallet back in your pocket without you even noticing! But they don't always put it back, so best leave it in the hotel. Stagger back to the hotel drunk by yourself and your wallet will vanish.
- Costa Adeje – The town 2 km northwest. Adeje is further inland, with some historic buildings and few tourists.
- El Teide volcano – Makes for a great day trip into the crater, or an exciting sunset hike in the afternoon
- Los Gigantes – A great hub for hiking into Teno Rural Park, with much more quiet tourist life
- Masca village – Overrun by tourists at any time during the year
- La Gomera – Day ferry trips to the island are popular, but probably not worth the €80 return price. Also, La Gomera can barely keep up with the variety of landscape offered on Tenerife, including lush jungle in Anaga Rural Park.