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Tenerife trips out
Author Name: funinthesun
Advantages: Excellent fun
Disadvantages: Avoid buying trips from your rep
Just got back from a great holiday in Tenerife. Stayed in Costa Adeje, next to Playa de Las Americas but without all the noise, at the Esmeralda Playa. My main piece of advice would be not to use the reps to book your trips out. We saved loads as a family of 4 on the whale/dolphin boat trip and the combined ticket to Siam Waterpark and the Loro Park. We went on the Eden Catamaran for the boat trip and bought the tickets through a guy who wanders along the sea front at Playa Torviscas. His name was Tony and he wears a large sombrero type sun hat and bright red trousers every day so it is easy to spot him. He charged 57 euros for 4 of us, classing my 12 and 14 year olds as children, which not many places do out there. If you want a 2 hour cruise you can book it up to 10am on the day you want to go, but the 2 hour trip does not include lunch and swimming. The 3 hour trip does but is more popular as a result and you needed to book at least a couple of days in advance. We paid a deposit of 20 euro for the 3 hour trip and then on the day itself w found him again and he walked us to his company's office where we paid the balance and collected our boarding cards. Worth getting there a little bit early because first ones there get the first boarding cards and therefore get to choose where they want to sit on the boat. We sat right at the front and saw loads of pilot whales and some dolphins. The boat gets right up close to them and everyone gets a good view no matter where you are sitting. Lunch was a sandwich and a can of drink, but we all felt it was well worth the money. For the Loro/Siam park tickets we went to a man with an office somewhere near the La Nina/La Pinta/Flamingo hotels on the one way road system. He has his placards on the sea side of the road and his office on the opposite side and wears a bright orange Tshirt, baseball cap and has a ponytail (may well be Dutch according to my husband!). He gave us the best deal on a combined ticket including the coach to get to the Loro Park, saving us nearly 80 euros on the reps price. We were collected from the hotel just around the corner from where we were staying (Torviscus Playa), driven 1.5 hours to the Loro Park, arriving at around 10am and got to stay until 4.15pm, which was just about the right amount of time. We did all the shows and felt we had plenty of time to look around. Useful tip - the queues for the ladies toilets at the park exit at 4pm were a nightmare, enough to make you miss the coach back, so either go earlier or better still use a different set of toilets elsewhere in the park before going to the exit. The sea lion, whale and dolphin shows were brilliant. Nothing ever quite compares with Sea World in Florida, but these shows were the best we have seen anywhere else in Europe. You had great views wherever you sat and people were still able to find seats with a minute to go before the shows started - not bad for school holidays. Lastly we went to Siam Park. This is a fairly new waterpark and again was brilliant. We got there for when it opended and stayed until it shut. Queues were at there longest at lunchtime, where we had to wait the best part of an hour for a couple of the rides. The rest of the time the queueing wasn't too bad. Most of the rides are designed for more than one person - either tubes of 2 or 4 - which added to the fun. We managed with a small locker for a family of 4 and it cost 3 euros for the day plus 5 euros deposit for the key which we got back. You could go back to the locker as often as you wanted throughout the day to top up on sun cream, drinks etc. We took a few sarnies, crisps and biscuits for our lunch so can't comment on the food/drink prices at either of the parks. Siam park itself was very well designed and most of the time you could queue in the shade or under parasols. The waves in the pool were ginormous and the lazy river had a different twist to most - I won't spoil the surprise but I'm not a great lazy river fan but this one is very well done. Word of warning is for the free bus. In the mornings once the seats are full the driver will not take anyone else eg no standing. Therefore there tends to be a bit of a scrum to get on if there are lots of people and assuming you all get on at the first bus stop it will not then stop at the next 2 bus stops. This means that if you do not get on you will have to wait another 20-30 minutes and theoretically the same thing could happen all over again. Therefore 4 choices - walk to Siam park if near enough, walk to the 1st bus stop instead of the nearest one to your hotel, make sure you are good in a rugby scrum or get a taxi. We were lucky on the way there and managed to all get on the bus. On the way home however it was even worse. There was an orderly queue until the bus arrived and then chaos descended as people thought they were not going to be able to get on the last bus of the night. To say it was dangerous was an understatement. 2 of us got on and the other 2 didn't. Finally some people got off that were in a similar situation, which meant the rest of our family got on. As it happens they ran an extra bus to ensure everyone got home, but nobody was telling anyone about this. The day was still excellent but if I went again I think I would get a taxi home just to avoid all the grief. All 3 trips we went on were great and worth the money, just don't book them through your rep. Walk down the road and find someone else.
Summary: Whale/dolphin trip, Siam waterpark and Loro park
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