Best things to do in Playa San Juan, Tenerife (2023 Guide)

Published on August 11, 2022
TenerifeThings to do in Tenerife
playa san juan tenerife
Playa San Juan, Tenerife

Playa San Juan is a small fishing village in the municipality of Guia de Isora, situated somewhere in between Costa Adeje and Los Gigantes. In the past, the entire village used to live from fishing and the tuna factory, but in the past years the place has developed and tourism is now an important part of the economy.

Its origin goes back to the first salting factory owned by Juan Cumella and Juan Blanich. Playa San Juan is the last port on the south route of the island and used to be known as port no 7. With time, it has become, together with coastal trade activity, an important place for the packaging of merchandise entering or leaving Puerto de Guia or San Juan de Guia.

Nowadays Playa San Juan is undergoing major modernization works, starting with the upgrade works in the main square and the demolition of the old church. The restoration works have started in January 2017 and once they are finished the place will have a new look, ready to meet the expectations of tourists.

The beach in Playa San Juan

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The beach in Playa San Juan, Tenerife

The town beach in Playa San Juan is protected by the harbor and has all the amenities you need, from sun loungers and umbrellas, to showers and ramps for wheelchair access. The water is calm and good for swimming, a favorite place for families with small children. The sand here is dark-colored and the entrance in the water is a bit rocky.

You will find many Spanish families at this beach, as it is very popular among residents. The crowd here is different from Playa de las Americas as there are no big hotels, mostly private apartments available to rent.

Parking and public transport

You can use bus lines 473 and 477 to get to the village.

If you have a rental car and you are coming to San Juan just for the day, you should try the public parking near the beach.

Where to stay in Playa San Juan

Since there are no hotels in Playa San Juan, you will have to opt for a self-catering holiday in one of the private apartments available for rent. 

This 2-bedroom apartment is located only 200 m from the main beach in Playa San Juan, so its location is ideal for a quiet holiday in Tenerife and the prices are also lower compared to the large tourist resorts. You will hear no noisy clubs here, just the sound of the ocean.

Things to do in Playa San Juan

Playa San Juan may be small compared to other towns like Los Cristianos, but it has a lot of charm and character and it is a good choice for a quiet holiday in Tenerife. You will be spending your days among many locals, so you will get a taste of real life in Tenerife.

Playground for kids

Near the harbor, you will find a playground for children to run around and play.

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The promenade

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Playa San Juan promenade

You will find a nice promenade, that goes along the coastline and allows for long walks with beautiful views of the harbor and the boats. The beach is a great place to sit and enjoy the sunset before you head out to one of the local restaurants for dinner.

Go on a boat trip to see whales and dolphins

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Discover the diversity of whales and dolphins of Tenerife. After departing from the harbor in Playa San Juan, you will hit the open seas, in search of whales, dolphins, and other marine life.

  • The boat departs from Puerto Playa San Juan
  • 3-hour boat cruise
  • Sandwich and drinks included (soft drinks, red and white wine)

Playa San Juan Market

The market in Playa San Juan has vendors who sell local fruits and vegetables, as well as items of clothing and other types of souvenirs and objects.

You can use Titsa bus lines 473 and 477 to get to the market in Playa San Juan.

The market has 2 sections: one with food stalls, where people from the area come with local fruits and vegetables and another section with jewelry, handmade objects, souvenirs and even fake products like watches and bags. The Mercadillo de Playa San Juan is small compared to the one in Los Cristianos, but less crowded and with more charm.

Restaurants in Playa San Juan

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The mango ice cream is absolutely fabulous!

You will find many typical Spanish restaurants, with tapas and fresh fish on the menu. Also, in Playa San Juan you can enjoy the best cakes and sweets in all of Tenerife, at the bakery 100% Pan y Pasteleria. This place was ranked in Top 3 bakeries in Spain by the Repsol Guide.

A day at Playa de Abama

You can spend a day at the beautiful and secluded Abama beach, situated on the grounds of the Ritz Hotel. The access is free since it is a public beach, but you have to arrive early in order to find a parking space. A taxi is also an option if you don’t have a rental car. You will also find a world-class golf course at Abama hotel, very popular among golf players around the world.

Day trip to Alcala

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From Playa San Juan you can easily reach Alcala for a short day trip

Alcala is a local town situated only 3 km away from Playa San Juan.

You can get there either by driving (if you rent a car) or by bus (lines no. 473/ 477/ 493). We managed to walk from Alcala to Playa San Juan on the coastal path, but we can't really recommend it since it's not a paved path and it can be a bit risky on some portions (and you would need a pair of reliable closed shoes, not flip-flops and sandals).

Visit Guia de Isora

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Guia de Isora, Tenerife

In the nearby town of Guia de Isora, you will also find some nice restaurants, with food typical to the Canary Islands, if you want to sample more of the local cuisine.

Guia de Isora is not located on the coast so it would be useful to have a rental car to drive there yourself, although there is the option of taking the bus (direct bus line 493 links Playa San Juan to Guia de Isora)

Guia de Isora is located at around 580 m above sea level, so it is away from the main tourist areas of Tenerife South. If you want to try different local pastries you can head to Guia and try the typical "rosquetes de Guía" at Dulcería Isora, which is a bakery that makes traditional products from Tenerife. Also in Guia de Isora, you can try the best churros in Tenerife.

Fiestas in Playa San Juan

The most important fiesta and social event in Playa San Juan happens in August and it is dedicated to Virgen del Carmen. The whole village participates in the ceremonies and of course, there is dancing and music involved.

Compared to the big resorts there aren't as many things to do in Playa San Juan, but its location gives you a good starting point to explore the island and discover a different side of Tenerife.

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