In the northeast of Tenerife, in the Aguere Valley, between the towns of Anaga and Monte de La Esperanza, is the municipality of San Cristobal de la Laguna. Being UNESCO World Heritage since 1999, La Laguna is a living example of a colonial city.
Historically, the city was an intellectual center of the Canary Islands, being the second largest city on this island after the capital of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The toponymity of the name comes from the aboriginal Guanche in the area where it is located. Aguere was the name of the ancient lake that existed in this place. The name that mentions Saint Cristobal is related to his alleged divine power to end the conquest of Tenerife, which coincided with July 25.
The Mediterranean Oceanic climate is a bit special in the area. Its location is in a valley surrounded by Anaga Rural Park, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2015, places where temperatures are lower than in other parts of the island, and prone to mist.
How to get in San Cristobal de la Laguna
Tenerife North Airport is connected to San Cristobal from Laguna and just 3 kilometers from the historic center. Urban buses link the airport to the city by lines 102, 104, 107 and 108. The single ticket is priced at 2.45 euros (2017). The journey takes only 15 minutes to the La Laguna Central Transportation Point, near the University. For more information, if you are using public transportation, it is good to consult Aena.
If you are among those who do not want to spend money on transportation, and more, who want to make a very pleasant footpath, it is good to know that the 3 kilometers are mostly arranged with sidewalks.
Finally, you can check taxi rates at the following link: Taxi Tenerife Airport North. Because the road is fairly short, the price will not be too high, especially if you are many.
Instead, if you want to get here from other parts of the island (as was our case-that we were in the Las Galletas area, somewhere in the south) is complicated without a rented car.
The historical center of La Laguna has the advantage that its heritage is concentrated in a small nucleus. So, your visit can be extremely comfortable.
Our route through San Cristobal de la Laguna can start in Plaza del Adelantado. It is one of the greatest importance for the city, being the residence of the one who incorporated the Canary Islands into the crown of the conquering Castilla.
Afterwards, you can see the Town Hall, or Ayuntamiento, a beautiful 16th-century building on which is the flag with a purple heraldic shield that depicts the insignia of the city.
There are other important buildings around, such as the Anchieta House, where Father José Anchieta, the founder of Sao Paulo, was born and is highlighted by the beautiful two-storey façade built in the neoclassical style.
Palacio de la Nava, a baroque melting pot with neo-classical and manicure blends. An example of pure canarian architecture dating back to the 16th century.
Finally, the Santa Catalina Monastery, whose main altar is chaired by Virgen del Rosario. Especially with its influence on the Moor, this monastery was founded in the 17th century.
Before going to Calle de la Carrera, head down to Calle Santo Domingo to visit the Santo Domingo Parish. Considered a building of great cultural interest, today it hosts La Laguna’s Culture, Tourism and Citizenship Department.
In the facade, the 18th century stone bell tower stands out, while inside the garden we find a beautiful monastery.
From here we can walk to Piazza San Cristobal South. Here, besides the San Cristobal hermitage, which hosts the spiritual patron of the city, we also found on a pillar of 8 meters a sculpture of the Maria Fecora in Genoese Marble.
And not far from there is La Laguna University. It was the first university founded in the Canary Islands. The university building is also close to the main bus station of La Laguna, the transport hub in the city. From here we can take buses to go to different parts of the island, or take the modern Tenerife tram that connects La Laguna Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
After this raid, we resumed the walk through the old town of La Laguna on the Calle de la Carrera, which departs from Plaza del Adelantado. The first stop is the house of Corregidor, Alhóndiga e Capitanes.
First of all, the Corregidor House is a beautiful mid-16th century building whose facade looks like red volcanic rock. Today it houses the municipal offices.
Walking through the scenic streets of La Laguna, we reach San Cristobal de la Laguna Cathedral.
Built in the neo-Gothic and neo-classic style (mainly its façade), it dates from the beginning of the 20th century.
It hosts the bones of conquistador Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, who received the title of the Spanish Crown.
Continuing along Calle Obispo Rey Redondo, next to Hotel Aguere and Teatro Leal. This area is one of the most commercially active, but surely these two buildings are references that you do not have to miss.
On the one hand, the eclectic Teatro Leal, which hosted the city’s first cinematic screenings. Today, thanks to a restoration made until 2008, it offers a variety of theater and musical performances. The façade is highlighted by floral and animal elements, while inside there are murals painted by López Ruiz and Manuel Verdugo. In turn, Aguere Hotel is declared an object of historical and artistic heritage and is located in the former house of the Marquis of Torrehermosa. An authentic accommodation location in the heart of La Laguna and quite competitive prices.