This is a guest post about Tenerife by Kim. She is travelling with her husband and two kids – enjoy!
Today we are ready for some water fun! We will be spending the day at the water kingdom of Siam Park, located in Adeje in the South of Tenerife. We park directly at Siam Park which costs 3 euro, but one could easily park at Siam mall for free and walk across, if you are not getting a ride from one of the many bus transfers offered. The park opens at 10am and we arrive just a few minutes after, but already it’s packed! Like the affiliated Siam Mall and Loro Parque, the Thai theme continues here in Siam Park. Walking through the entrance the first major attraction is Sea Lion Island, a waterfall rushes into crisp blue water which is being enjoyed by sea lions.
The queue to the lockers is long, so we take the opportunity to secure front row sunbeds at Siam Beach. The beach has crisp white sand, and there are plenty of sunbeds and sunshades. The kids rush straight for the water, and we are pleased to discover the pool floor is not slippery and the kids can run out quite a distance before it gets too deep.
We make our way through the park to have a look around and put some of our things in a locker. The paths are hot as the new vegetation does not provide enough shade, so shoes are a must, especially for little ones. We come to the Thai village floating market, where you can find numerous stores, here you can get swim wear, towels, and souvenirs. Among the shops are also cafes and snack bars.
We take the kids on the Mai Thai River. At the entrance hang life vests for kids, available in a variety of sizes, free of charge. Other than this safety precaution, there are also numerous lifeguards to be seen throughout the park. After 2 rounds we are famished and enjoy a light lunch from the Beach Club restaurant which is directly at Siam Beach.
Hubby goes to try some rides while I stay with the kids at the beach. He only manages the Tower of Power ride, with its slide of 28 meters that passes through the aquarium of sharks and skate, due to the long waiting time. Sorry no cameras allowed so no video! 😉
When he comes back we make our way to The Lost City, which is a water play park where even the littlest guests can enjoy a variety of water slides, plus it’s more shaded. The kids have a blast and with two excited tots running in different directions, to enjoy the various slides and other water attractions, there is no way I can jet off to try any rides myself, especially with the long waiting times. Instead we play with the kids till we are all powered out and then call it a day.
We have definitely had loads of fun, but also definitely never got to enjoy all the park has to offer. Taking into account the prices of food and drinks (you cannot bring any into the park with you) as well as lockers, the VIP ticket definitely would have made more sense, and had we known in advance, while it’s a hefty 99 euro, we would have definitely purchased it. With it drinks, food, lockers, fast pass (cutting down long waiting times) and towels are included, which makes it worth it in the end. We would love to come back in a larger group to then maybe even book the VIP Lodges, as then we could really spend a full day from opening to close, with space away from the crowds, where the kids will even have a nice cool and quiet place to lay down.
Today we have special plans for the kids, on route to San Miguel Marina, we first make a stop at Aloe Park, an aloe and banana plantation. At the entrance we are greeted with a welcome drink of banana liquor, we later find out this is the promised “banana liquor tasting”. Guided tours, which are available in German, English, Spanish, French and Dutch, cost 12 euro per adult and children, from age 6, pay 6 euro.
The tour is interesting and we learn interesting facts, like that the intense red colour characteristic in the Cardinals’ robes were from a red dye called carmine, extracted from an insect that lives on the opuntia cactus (prickly pear) in the 19th Century. The park is above all an aloe plantation, with a really small “banana plantation” section. There is also a museum mile, juice bar and various models to see. Beware, as a poisonous plant, euphorbia cardon, is not fenced off in the park, so watch those little ones! After the tour there is a shop at the entrance where you can buy aloe products and banana liqueurs and wines. We however find their prices to be pretty steep compared to those we have seen thus far in Puerto and Icod for example. While the tour was interesting, and we leave a bit smarter, a tour of a working banana plantation would most certainly be more fun.
We now head to San Miguel Marina, arriving in good time, we enjoy a delish meal of steak, chips and salad as well as the best sangria we have had thus far! We then make our way to the harbour, where many interesting tours are on offer, I would love to one day do the glass bottom boat whale and dolphin watching tour. The kids, I think would prefer to board the Viking ship that catches their eyes in the harbour.
We head down to the harbour to Submarine Safaris reception centre, found in a quaint lighthouse themed building, with their own terrace café which has great views in the direction of Mount Teide. Here we collect our boarding cards for our submarine tour. Opposite their office is the yellow submarine we will soon be boarding. An 18,5 meter long, 4 meter wide and 6,5 meter high submarine specially designed and built in Finland for the submarine tourist industry! “Wow, cool!” our kids exclaim in excitement.
The tour is fully booked, but boarding goes quickly, even with the souvenir portraits taken as we all step onto the sub. Inside the cabin is surprisingly spacious, along each side are rotating stools that all have clear views through the view ports, which are specially made to have no reflection so guests can easily use the flash on their cameras. Once everyone is onboard a safety video is shown on screens below the view ports, and the dive commences. On the same screen live footage from outside the submarine is played, a white boat can be seen following closely behind, and our guide explains that it will follow us all along the route as a safety precaution. On either side of the view port dive time and depth are also displayed.
Throughout the majestic under water tour, information is provided on the various fish that can be seen, we see a couple of sunken boats and an old sunken fishing boat, we also pass an underwater lava rock. At 27.7 m we make a stop and the sub gently lies on the sea bed. This submarine can operate to a depth of 60 meters, or 100 meters without passengers. A diver swims around luring stingrays around the sub. The divers look after the stingrays here, ensuring they have a healthy and natural environment to breed and develop. Also to ensure the marine life and habitat cannot be harmed, the submarine is 100% environmentally friendly, run solely by 260 batteries and no oils or pollutants are kept onboard.
After our stop, our pilots Victor and Eva turn the sub around bringing us safely back to the docks. The experience was amazing, and the kids enjoyed it tremendously. With all the safety precautions and features I never once felt uneasy. For those who suffer from motion sickness, I must warn that the dive and surface can be a bit rough, but under the water the tour is smooth and you hardly feel a thing. Back at the dock everyone is invited to the office, where we each receive dive certificates in our names, with the date, dive number and captain of the dive. A great memento for our kids. 🙂
After lots of swimming, exploring and of course some shopping (see Part 1), our time in Tenerife comes to an end. On our final day we enjoy a leisurly breakfast, and on checking out the weather depicts how we feel with a sudden down pour of heavy rain. Sadly and slowly we drive toward the South Airport taking in the scenery for the last time.
Our flight is only in the evening so we still have a few hours to kill. With that we decide to make a stop on route, at the Pyramids of Güímar, founded in 1998 by Thor Heyerdahl, the renowned Norwegian researcher responsible for the safe guarding of the pyramids. This turns out to be an excellent decision. The park grounds within is extensive and there is loads to explore on the history of pyramids and history of the Canary Islands. You can choose between 4 different tours, the longest of which takes 175 minutes. With the kids we don’t want to go into the poison garden – which is closed off here – and as things generally take longer with kids, we decide on the basic tour, which is estimated to take around 75 minutes. The tour is a self-guided tour with Audio Guide, available for 1,90 euro, in Spanish, English, German, French, Italian, Norwegian and Russian.
The views from within are amazing and the kids burn off energy running along the paths of the extensive grounds. There is also a nice play area for kids to enjoy, and once again we leave a bit smarter plied with loads of interesting information.
Our 10 days in Tenerife went by quickly and we were pleased with how much we managed to explore, while also having time to relax. We love the island, there is a lot on offer for children and the locals are always friendly and helpful. We haven’t needed changing facilities as our kids both went to the toilet, but we have noted that they are available in most places we have been. All over the island restaurant menus and tours are available in a variety of languages, the main of which are Spanish, English, German and French.
Our hotel, Sol Parque San Antonio, with its beautiful botanical like gardens, was great for us and nice and quiet in the evenings. Our family room had two spacious rooms with double beds, each with balconies and a great view that we could enjoy in the evenings once the kids went to bed. And while you can see that the hotel has been around for a while, it is clean. The pool has plenty of sun loungers and sunshades available, and is separated with a shallower section for kiddies. The water is quite cold though, and even though it was enjoyable in the heat kids can’t stay in for too long. Swim shoes for kids are also highly recommended as the tiles around the pool are extremely slippery, and hot!
We had half board and meals were always delicious, drinks at the hotel can be pricy but with the small fridge in our room we were able to stock up on water and refreshments which are super cheap at the local convenience stores. The restaurant does have baby chairs available. In our 10 days, meals were always different and there was always a large variety to choose from. Mornings chefs provided fresh pancakes, omelets and fried eggs and evenings freshly grilled meats and fish, again well worth the short waiting time. Most days the kids were also on their best behavior knowing that in the evening they would be rewarded for it with their choice from the large, tasty desert selection and on the 1 or 2 days they never got desert, there were no tantrums as they were well aware of why. 😉
The weather in June was great as it was not unbearably hot and although we had a few cloudy days, we could always run around in shorts and t-shirts, although, as mentioned before, it is advisable to always take along light jackets, especially for little ones. If you prefer to chase the sun, or find somewhere to cool down, a change in weather is truly just a few km’s drive away. We will definitely be planning another visit to the island of Tenerife and already know that we won’t be bored as there is still so much we want to see, do and many places still left to explore. We may however, cut out the up and down driving from the North to the South by staying in the South for a few days and then winding down in the North.
This post was written by Kim. Thank you for reading. We are always happy to receive comments and if you like you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. If you prefer to be notified of new posts via email, you can subscribe by adding your email address here: