Garachico is a small town in Tenerife.
Garachico (from Guanche gara, or 'island', and Spanish chico, or 'small') is named after the uninhabited rocky islet off the coast, which has become the emblem of the town. The area was settled in 1496 by Italian merchants, and was established as a town in 1500. Its economy was based on sugarcane and wine, and it quickly became the most important harbour on the north coast. Following a devastating fire in 1697, and the volcanic eruption in 1706 of Trevejo, during which much of the city and its harbour were destroyed by lava flows, the city lost its importance.
Some parts of the original town survived, while the rest was rebuilt on top of the new rock. Along the coast visitors can still clearly see the lava flows which reached to the sea. During the week the town is quiet, apart from the many visitors who arrive on tourist buses and enjoy inexpensive midday meals. On weekends things tend to be a bit livelier, usually with locals.
Highway TF-42, which connects Icod de los Vinos with Buena Vista del Norte, passes through Garachico. From Masca and Santiago del Teide in the south, travellers can cross the Teno Mountains on highway TF-82, and in El Tanque pick up TF-421, which descends along hairpin curves to the coast.
Titsa bus 363 connects the town with Icod de los Vinos (€1.45, 11 min) and with Puerto de la Cruz (€3.75, 55 min), leaving every 30-60 minutes. From Santa Cruz, La Laguna, La Orotava, and Icod de los Vinos, bus 107 runs every two hours (€1.45-8.15, 11 min - 2 hr).
The town is on a relatively flat part of the coast and is therefore easy to navigate by foot.
There several free car parks, with one 2 car park along the coastal road across from a retaining wall, and a second 3 car park on the western end of the city by the former harbour. If all spots are taken, there is another smaller 4 car park a bit further along the road heading west.
- 1 Iglesia de Santa Ana (Church of Santa Ana). The first church was built in 1520, but it suffered severe damage in the 1706 eruption and was largely rebuilt following the original plan; the original carved wooden doors however survived. Especially noteworthy inside is the 16th-century Mexican crucifix, crafted by indigenous Tarascan artisans using a widespread Pre-Hispanic technique of molded corn paste and vegetable dyes.
- 2 Convento de San Francisco, Plaza Libertad, s/n. M-F 11:00-14:00 15:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-16:00. The 16th-century convent now functions as a municipal library and museum, and hosts contemporary art exhibits. €2 (adults), free (children).
- 3 Castillo de San Miguel, Avda Tomé Cano, s/n (directly by the former harbour). M-Sa 10:00-16:00. The small fortress was built in the mid-16th century to protect the town from pirates. After the destruction of the harbour following the volcanic eruption of 1706, the fortress was no longer required, and the building was put to other uses. It now houses a small municipal museum with exhibits about the history of the city, the 1706 eruption, and the regional flora and fauna (labels in Spanish only). The tower offers good views of the town and of the coast. €2 (adults), free (children).
- 4 Liberty Square (Plaza de La Libertad). 24/7. Historic square surrounded by colonial architecture. Free.
- 1 El Caletón, Avda Tome Cano, 15 (on the coast). The set of natural swimming pools was formed by lava flows from the eruption in 1706. A few improvements have been added, such as paved walkways, stairs, and handrails. Free.
- 1 Hotel La Quinta Roja, Plaza de la Libertad, 1 (Glorieta San Francisco), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00-24:00, check-out: 12:00. In a fully-restored 16th-century palace, facilities include an on-site bar, airport shuttle service (surcharge), and free use of bicycles. Free Wi-Fi, pets permitted by request. €141+, breakfast included.
- 2 Hotel San Roque, C/ Esteban de Ponte, 32, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 13:00-24:00, check-out: 12:00-12:30. In an 18th-century mansion, this boutique hotel has an outdoor pool with onsite bar and restaurant. Free Wi-Fi, free parking, pets permitted by request for no extra charge. €216+.