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Playa De Las Americas is in the southwest of the island of Tenerife. It lies between the resorts of Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje, although Las Americas is considered to be the main holiday resort of the whole island with plenty of shops, bars, clubs, hotels and apartments.
We've visited Playa De Las Americas twice now - once as a couple in the Summer when we stayed in nearby Costa Adeje but visited there in the evening and once as a family in the Winter, when we stayed in the centre of Las Americas. I therefore can't comment on what it's like to stay in the centre of the resort in the height of Summer - I do know from our evening visits that it seemed very hectic in Summer with groups of party people everywhere so I wouldn't recommend this resort as a relaxing getaway at this time, I'd recommend staying in nearby Costa Adeje as it has a much more relaxed feel at the height of the busy period.
Playa De Las Americas was a fantastic place for our family in Winter. We had great weather, around 25 degrees and that obviously helped make it even better. We found although it wasn't the busy season, there was still plenty to see and do and most of the shops and bars were open regardless of the time of year. We stayed right in the heart of the resort and this meant we had very easy access to all of the shopping centres it has. There are lots of shopping centres, I think from memory there are 5 main ones although on the free map that we got at the airport, some are classed as 'shopping centres' but have literally 2 little tiny shops in them! Most are independent shops but there are also countless sunglasses shops, Lacoste shops, Pull and Bear, Nike, Puma, Guess, Mango, Timbaland, United colours of Benetton, lots of jewellery shops and perfume shops too. I would say that the shops are the main attraction of the area (as well as the bars) and they have the usual Spanish opening hours where they open around 10am, close in the afternoon for a couple of hours for siesta but then stay open later in the evening. In the evening, one shopping centre, the safari, has a water fountain show to music at 8pm that we enjoyed watching.
On some of the streets at night, there are artists that will draw you as a cartoon, mime acts and human statues, all of which I found quite fascinating to watch. There are also the usual sunglasses/watch sellers on the streets. For example, my husband got offered a pair of 'ray-o-bon' sunglasses for 15 euros! He politely refused. In winter we found that there was the odd person trying to get us into their bar or restaurant, but there were far more of these in the Summer, so many that you couldn't walk 5 metres without being pestered.
The beach runs all the way along the resort and there is a major path that runs alongside it that is a lovely walk, it runs to Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje. I've only walked the Adeje way, but we enjoyed it in the early evening and called in at some of the bars dotted along the path on the way (it should have taken around 40 minutes in total but took us a couple of hours because of our stop offs!) The beaches stretch all the way along the path - some are man-made golden sandy beaches, some are volcanic grey sandy beaches.
The Bars and Restaurants
There are lots of bars around. My husband has to find a bar on holiday to watch all the football in and he never had a problem in Playa De Las Americas. He visited a couple of the Irish bars in the resort along the main strip to watch them. I find that the resort was kind of split when we were there in the Winter - families all frequented the shopping centres whilst the party people frequented the 'strip' that is towards the Adeje end of Las Americas and is the area that gets busy with drinkers. That said, in Winter, the strip wasn't half as busy as we saw it in June the previous year. In June, it was heaving with party people - it's definitely not somewhere I'd visit in the evening as a family.
I can't comment on the restaurants in the area for eating, as we were all inclusive and half board on our trips. We did however call in at a couple of restaurants for drinks only and the menus that they serve all seemed similar - lamb chops, burgers, steaks, the usual everyday foods we have here. I know it cost around 2 euros for a plate of chips! Restaurants are dotted around the resort, some on the beachfront and some near the shopping centres but there aren't as many as there is bars. I think the majority of people visiting are either young groups who probably want to grab something quick before going out for the night (there's two McDonalds!) or families who choose a hotel that serves half board or all inclusive food.
Playa De Las Americas is my favourite Spanish holiday resort to visit alongside Peurto Del Carmen in Lanzarote. The weather is usually nice and sunny all year round in Tenerife and the resort has plenty to see and look at in the winter as well as the summer season. We visited for 10 days in the winter and had plenty to walk around. If visiting in the Summer however, I would recommend looking at Costa Adeje instead if you fancy a getaway as a couple or for a more relaxing time. There's still bars and restaurants there but it's just not as full on. In winter though, I'd recommend Playa De Las Americas for families, as the area is lively but not heaving. It has to score 5 stars, as we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Playa De Las Americas is located on the South-West Coast of Tenerife.
This is the resort that attracts the younger age group although there is still plenty there to do for families.
It doesn't have the best of reputations because it is known to be a load and rough place but it has changed over recent years and when I went a few weeks ago it didn't seem like that type of place. There was no trouble and there was no evidence of there ever being trouble.
I think this reputation must have come from the British going there just to get drunk.
The main area for this type of thing is the Veronicas Strip. This is a place located a few metres from the beach where there are bars and clubs where ever you look.
They are all competing against each other for customers which is a very annoying thing because you are constantly bombarded with people offering you leaflets and inviting you in for a drink. Don't think they lower their prices to compete because they don't. It cost about 6euros for 2 drinks which I think is quite a lot. If you're lucky you will find a little place on the roof but I forget the name, it has a big blue neon light above it and is above a place called Anthony's bar. This was quite nice with decent music, karaoke and a dance floor. This is a new club and they need customers so drinks are very cheap! It was about 5euros for a litre of cocktail.
If you walk south from the Veronicas you will find a few restaurants and a few more bars and if you walk another 10minutes you will find more entertainment like mini-golf and lively bars which offer live music and comedians. This is where all the good restaurants in Las Americas are.
If you want a place with lots of restaurants you can get a taxi to los Cristianos for a few Euros.
The beaches are gorgeous and this is because they aren't natural, they are man made with sand imported from the Sahara Desert.
There is loads and loads to do here. You can do things like a boating trip to see Whales and Dolphins, water parks (Siam Park was amazing with the tallest water ride in Europe), go karting, submarine trips, diving, musicals and markets.
Make sure you shop around because different places can do good deals. A place I used was called Tenerife trips and was the cheapest. This is located along the sea front, about 15minutes south of the Veronicas strip just before the harbour.
There are 1 or 2 bad things that ruin the holiday slightly. The first are people from Africa trying to sell fake gear. I can guarantee you that if you go here you will be asked several times a day if you want a watch of sun glasses for cheap. Another one is when ever you go for a walk and you walk past a restaurant or bar you will be asked to come in and gets very annoying.
The locals are all very nice, they all speak English and offer help if you need it.
The weather was gorgeous everyday, reaching on average 35degrees and peaked at 37. Even on the last day it was hot and it was overcast.