The island of Tenerife, in Spain’s Canary Islands, garners a reputation for its long, wide beaches of golden sand and the modern resorts surrounding them. The resorts and beaches of Los Cristianos and Las Americas on the southwest coast are the biggest and best known, popular for family travel.
Playa Las Americas is an upscale resort with good surf, as well as pools and water play areas for younger children. Nearby is the elaborate Siam Park, filled with wave pools, rides and other water activities.
Not far from Las Americas is Los Cristianos, where the family-oriented Playa de Las Vistas lies. More upscale, but still welcoming for families, are the resorts of Playa del Duque, which also offer children’s activities and babysitting.
For a more low-key beach atmosphere close to the capital city of Santa Cruz, Playa de las Teresitas was created from soft, golden sand brought in from the Sahara (the Canary Islands are off the coast of North Africa). The long beach faces a lagoon protected by artificial reefs and features a gentle slope that’s safe for young children.
The calm waters also invite snorkeling and swimming. Las Teresitas is easy to reach by bus from Santa Cruz, and you’ll get more of a Spanish atmosphere here than at the tourist beaches south of the capital. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas and buy lunch and drinks at little beachside kiosks.
Although the northern shore is not known for its beaches, there is a beautiful outdoor swimming complex at the lively little town of Puerto de la Cruz. The huge park of Lago Martiánez surrounds an artificial lake with islands, gardens, terraces, cafes and restaurants.
It’s been nearly 40 years since Mauna Loa Volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i erupted, but things suddenly changed late in the night of Nov. 27, when the sleeping giant came to life. This eruption, occurring inside Volcanoes National Park in the center of the island, has sent lava flowing in what is known as the “northeast rift zone.”
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