20 Best things to do in Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote (2023 Guide)

Puerto del carmen lanzarote
Playa Grande in Puerto del Carmen - great for swimming and great views at sunset

Puerto del Carmen is the most popular resort in Lanzarote and it has an ideal location, in the center of the island, very close to the airport. The town is divided in two: the old town and harbor and the new town. This makes Puerto del Carmen a place with lots of opportunities for activities during the day, lots of restaurants and also plenty of bars and club open all night long.

If you're still trying to decide on where to stay in Lanzarote, read our list and see if the resort is a good fit for you.  We've gathered the best things to do in Puerto del Carmen, but also ideas for day trips and tours, for those who wish to see more of what the island has to offer.

1. Relax on Playa Grande

playa grande puerto del carmen lanzarote
Playa Grande is the largest beach in Puerto del Carmen

Since the resort is so big, it comes to no surprise that is has more than one beach.

The largest one is called Playa Grande and it has golden sand, clear water and an amazing view of the hills in Lanzarote.

The water here is usually calm, although it's an open beach, so it's ideal for swimming and relaxing, without worrying about the wind or big waves. There is also a section with sunbeds and umbrellas, so every type of visitor should be more than happy with this beach in Puerto del Carmen.

Behind Playa Grande, you have a long promenade, with beautiful views at sunset, which is the perfect place for long strolls along the ocean. On the other side of Avenida de Las Playas, you have a great number of bars, shops and restaurants, so you have plenty of choices for dinner and drinks. 

2. Playa Chica

playa chica best beach in puerto del carmen
Playa Chica is considered by many the best beach in Puerto del Carmen / Source: lapping on Pixabay

As the name suggests, Playa Chica is a small lovely beach, located between Playa Grande and the Old Harbour.

It is sheltered by rocks, so the water is usually calm and ideal for swimming. If you want a change of scenery, come and spend the day at Playa Chica, which is a beach popular with locals as well as tourists. During the summer months, Playa Chica gets quite busy, so better come early if you want to catch a good spot near the sea. 

3. Rancho Texas, the best day trip for kids

rancho texas lanzarote
Source: Rancho Texas Facebook Page

If you're looking for a day trip from Puerto del Carmen, Rancho Texas is the best option as it's close and easily accessible even if you don't have a rental car. 

Rancho Texas is an animal park combined with a water park, so it provides an entire day of fun and activity for the entire family. It's situated only a few minutes away from Puerto del Carmen and you can spend a day looking at all the animals and the shows available like the ones with the Birds of Prey or the Sea Lions show.

If you're traveling with kids, then this might easily become their favorite place in Lanzarote.

  • Visit a unique wildlife park with a Wild West theme
  • Includes access to a dolphin demonstration and the chance to watch exotic birds and birds of prey
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

4. Watch the sunset from the beach

what to do in puerto del carmen lanzarote
Our favorite thing to do in Puerto del Carmen in the evening: watching the sunset from Playa Grande beach

Puerto del Carmen looks wonderful under the sunset light, although the resort is situated on the east coast. The view from Playa Grande at sunset is amazing and you should take at least one evening to enjoy this beautiful moment.

5. Or go on a romantic sunset cruise 

lanzarote sunset
A magnificent sunset in Lanzarote

Watch the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean by embarking on a 2.5-hour cruise aboard a modern and super-fast boat. There's also a good chance of seeing dolphins and other types of marine life during your trip, which is always exciting.

The cruise includes champagne and complimentary pastries, served by the professional crew while you enjoy watching the sunset over the ocean.

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Includes champagne and pastries
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

6. Full-day tour of Lanzarote

lanzarote jameos del agua
A visit to Jameos del Agua is also included in the tour

If it's your first time visiting Lanzarote and you want to get to know the island, a day tour can be the best way to see the landscapes, as well as to learn more info. 

This tour offers a complete overview of Lanzarote, starting in the south of the island, where you can see Yaiza and the Green Lagoon, then you'll go on a tour in Timanfaya National Park, followed by a visit to Jameos del Agua, a unique attraction designed by the famous Cesar Manrique. 

  • Duration 9 - 10 hours
  • Includes entrance to Timanfaya National Park & Jameos del Agua
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

7. Shopping in Puerto del Carmen

You have lots of options, from the Biosfera Plaza Shopping Center to small shops with souvenirs, typical for most Spanish resorts.

At Biosfera Plaza Shopping Center you will find popular Spanish brands, like Zara, Bershka, Mango etc. Another large shop present in the resort is Fund Grube, ideal for cosmetics and perfumes since they always have some sort of promotion going on.

Pay attention when looking for souvenirs in the small shops, since many of them sell similar products, but the prices vary a lot. You will also find plenty of shops with alcohol and cigarettes at better prices than in the UK, Germany, or the EU in general.

If you're looking for a bigger shopping center with more brands and diversity we would advise you to hop on a bus and go to Arrecife, the capital of Lanzarote, which is only 20 minutes away from Puerto del Carmen.

8. Visit Arrecife, Lanzarote's capital

Castillo san gabriel arrecife lanzarote
Saint Gabriel Castle in Arrecife

Arrecife is the capital of Lanzarote and it is very close to Puerto del Carmen. You can get there by car or by bus, but you should know the city center is full of narrow streets and parking is sometimes hard to find.

The capital is not the prettiest city in the Canary Islands, we won't lie to you, but nonetheless, we enjoyed our visit and if you decide to go and see it for yourself we recommend you check out our list of things to do in Arrecife. Don't miss the area of Charco San Gines and also a walk to Castillo San Gabriel.

9. Go on a jetski tour along the coast of Lanzarote

jetski lanzarote
For the adrelanline junkies, book a jetski tour from Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

Enjoy a jet ski activity with amazing views of the volcanic coastline of Lanzarote.

You can choose tours with a duration between 40, 60, or 120 minutes and the price is per jetski, so 2 people can go together.

This jet ski experience is one of the fun activities to try in Puerto del Carmen which is super popular with teenagers and adults alike since it's such a thrilling way of seeing Lanzarote's coastline.

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Includes Life jackets, Wetsuit, Lockers, Guide
  • Ride a jetski along the coast of Lanzarote

10. Look for souvenirs at Puerto del Carmen Market

This is a weekly market in Puerto del Carmen in Plaza del Varadero, with various stalls and stands, from food to craft items and even the usual fake bags and watches. It's not as big as Teguise Market, but it's a great way to spend a morning if you are staying in Puerto del Carmen.

11. Coastal walk to Puerto Calero

walk puerto del carmen to puerto calero
You can spend a nice day in Puerto Calero 

Puerto Calero is just a short distance away from Puerto del Carmen and if you want to admire the beautiful views of the ocean you can walk along the coastline between the two places. The entire walk takes around 1 hour and you should wear comfortable shoes, as the path is sometimes rocky and slippery.

If you are tired and don't want to return on foot, you can opt for the bus or a taxi. In Puerto Calero, you will find a nice marina with some great restaurants and cafes.

  • 25-minute boat trip
  • Multiple daily departures
  • There a bar onboard (drinks not included in ticket price)
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

12. Yellow Submarine ride

submarine lanzarote puerto del carmen
Source: Submarine Safaris Lanzarote 

How about a dive to see the amazing marine life off the coast of Lanzarote?

You'll find this yellow submarine in Puerto Calero, which is easily accessible from Puerto del Carmen, as we've already explained before. 

This is a favorite activity for the kids, but it's a nice experience for adults as well, especially if you're not a diver but you still want to see the ocean floor and fishes. 

  • Duration 1 hour
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts
  • Experience a 1-hour dive on board a real submarine, taking you 30 meters (100 foot) below the unexplored waters of Lanzarote

13. Spend time in Old Town Harbour

Puerto del Carmen is divided between the new area and the old town, but even if you are staying on the new side of town you should come and explore the Old Town Harbour. There are many good restaurants on this side of Puerto del Carmen and in the evenings it's a very lively place, with bars and clubs keeping the party alive until morning hours.

14. Try scuba diving in Puerto Del Carmen

scuba diving lanzarote
Discover the magical world by diving in the crystal-clear waters of Lanzarote

What to do in Puerto del Carmen for adventurous holidaymakers: try scuba diving and discover the magic life of the ocean surrounding Lanzarote.

For the first dive, you'll descend to a maximum depth of just 6 metres until you gain confidence to be in the water. When you have completed your dive, you can take a break and have a snack, then you can take your second dive. This time you will dive to a maximum of 12 meters, so you can explore more of the underwater world of Lanzarote.

  • 1 professional Instructor for every 2 divers + All necessary scuba diving equipment
  • Includes 2 dives & Insurance for the activity
  • At the end you get a Diving Diploma

15. Matagorda, the quiet side of Puerto del Carmen

Depending on what your needs are, Matagorda may be the best fit for you to spend your holidays. You can easily walk from Puerto del Carmen to Matagorda, where there is a large and beautiful beach, ideal for families. In the evenings, it's not as noisy and busy as Puerto del Carmen, which may be what some people are looking for, but you still get good restaurants and bars to eat and have a pint.\

16. Hop on a cruise to the Papagayo Beaches, the most beautiful beaches in Lanzarote

playa papagayo beach lanzarote
Go on a cruise to see Costa de Papagayo and swim in Lanzarote's most pristine waters

If you're looking for the most beautiful beaches in Lanzarote, then you needn't look further than Playas de Papagayo. Although located far away from any resort on the island, this collection of beaches are the pride and joy of Lanzarote and they are definitely worth a visit while you're on holiday here.

If you don't have a rental car or you simply don't want to drive all the way there, you can hop on a catamaran cruise, which also includes lunch and unlimited drinks and it's a fun way to see the beaches of Costa de Papagayo while stopping to swim and snorkel along the way.

  • Includes lunch, welcome mojito cocktail, unlimited draft beer, sangria, soft drinks and water
  • Transfers from and to the nearest pick-up point to your accommodation in Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise included
  • Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

17. Go to the Openair Cinema in Puerto del Carmen for a movie night

open air cinema puerto del carmen lanzarote
Image source: Rooftop Biosfera website

The open-air cinema is a family-friendly activity in Puerto del Carmen and you can opt to have dinner here first, then you get cozy in your seats, while still being able to enjoy drinks and snacks while watching the movie. Blankets are also provided if you get cold and you need to warm up. 

This is the only open-air cinema in Lanzarote and it's on the rooftop of Biosfera Shopping Centre.

18. Events in Puerto del Carmen

Since this is a popular resort in Lanzarote, there are lots of events all year round, from the Carnival of Puerto del Carmen in February/March, to the St. Patrick's Day party, the Ironman Lanzarote competition, Holi Lanzarote - the Hindu festival, Santa Parade before Christmas, the festivities for the Three Magic Kings (Los Reyes Magos) in January and many many more. This is a great way to enjoy the Spanish way of life, by participating in the various fiestas and celebrating all the cultures that live here together.

19. Try the different cuisines

The great thing about Puerto del Carmen is that it's so diverse and there are so many bars and restaurants that you simply can't get bored. From the typical Spanish cuisine, to British food, Mexican, Irish pubs, Polish cuisine, Asian and even Caribbean, there are so many choices that everyone can find something to their taste.

20. Visit Jose Saramago's house

This is the house where Jose Saramago has spent the last 18 years of his life and one can understand why he loved Lanzarote.

The house is open from Monday to Saturday and it's actually located in Tias. You can reach it by public transport using bus lines L-5 + L-19 + L-34 + L-60 and getting down at the Tias Centro stop.

Day trips from Puerto del Carmen

Puerto del Carmen has a great location in Lanzarote, close to the airport and sort of in the middle of the island, which makes it great as a base if you want to explore. Besides the list above of things to do in Puerto del Carmen, you can venture out of town and take an island tour with one of the local companies, or if you have a rental car you can visit on your own.

The most popular day trips from Puerto del Carmen are:

  • Playa Blanca - visit the southernmost resort in Lanzarote, where you can go for a dive in the first underwater museum in Europe.
  • Costa Teguise - another popular resort, this time up north from Puerto del Carmen. Here you have the Aquapark, which is great, especially for kids.
  • Timanfaya National Park - this is the symbol of Lanzarote and you should definitely take the bus tour through the volcanoes.
  • La Geria - the wine country in Lanzarote, which is a great experience if you are a wine lover. The same tour that takes you to Timanfaya also includes a visit and wine-tasting experience at La Geria.
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