The lush, green Orotava Valley is located in the north of the island of Tenerife, a natural amphitheatre that captures the moisture from the prevailing trade winds.
The first glimpse the visitor will have of the Orotava Valley is as they travel along the autopista from Santa Cruz. Just past Santa Ursula, a bend in the road, and a breath taking vista of the valley opens up, it is almost as though the ground has suddenly opened up beneath your feet.
Lush and green, white buildings dotted all over. Shimmering in the distance like a magical city in a fairy tale can be seen the town of Puerto de la Cruz.
The valley is the site of banana plantations and vineyards. Every spare spot of land is terraced. These are fed by water from the mountains through a complex network of tanks and channels. The channels run along the tops of walls. The channels are blocked to divert water into minor channels to irrigate the fields. Sadly this system is slowly falling into disrepair with plastic pipes and pumps being used to move the water around.
Inspite of the massive development that has taken place in the valley it is still relatively unspoilt. It has though reached its limits. Any further developments will be downhill all the way. This has been officially recognised with the launch of a Tourist Development Plan for the valley, the principle aims of which are to conserve and enhance the cultural, historical and environmental features of the valley.
At the end of the motorway the visitor has a choice - up into the town of La Orotava or down to the coast to the town of Puerto de la Cruz.