Araotava is the indigenous name of this fertile valley in Tenerife, one of the seven Canary Islands. Today this valley combines a vivid city with banana crops land and a famous beach touristic area called Puerto de la Cruz. Being hosted in Be Live Orotava is a great idea to visit this marvelous zone, including its incredible natural surroundings.
A tour around La Orotava should start in El Calvario Shrine, a small chapel full of antique carvings by the local artist Fernando Estévez. Continue the route visiting the church and convent of San Benito, a late baroque building construct by local architect Tomás Zerolo. Inside the church stands out the huge chorus piece and some Flemish paintings. Nowadays, the next door Convent hosted the Museo de Artesanía Iberoamericana (Spanish and American Museum of Arts and Craft). This institution exhibit more than one thousand pieces showing the tight relationship between Spain and Latin America reveal in the local artisan production. For those interested in local crafts the close Casa Torrehermosa, is worth to visit. Here, local artist work and show they work every day, providing the opportunity to learn more about local techniques and pieces.
Next stop in the tour will be La Concepción Church, the best catalogue of Baroque architecture in Tenerife. This building has been declare National Monument regarding its impressive composition and its value. It was built thanks to the money send by the Canary emigrants in Cuba, called indianos. It is a three naves floor plan building with two towers and a huge 16 sides lantern tower. Inside the most significant pieces are those by Luján Pérez, a local artist consider one of the most important art personalities of the island.
There is a short walk from the church to the gofio mills. These 300 years pieces of technology still working today making corn flour from the local crops every day. Not far from the mills there is the main attraction of the city, the Twelve Houses. These old manors constitute the best catalog of civil architecture in La Orotava. They all has been restore to host cultural and government institutions offering the traveler the opportunity to visit its interiors. Finally, to end the route don’t miss visit Victoria Garden, a curious terrace yard with great views over the city. A great place to enjoy a romantic sunset…