Las Teresitas Beach, born from the merging of three previously distinct sections with different names based on their respective neighbors, became the first and only artificial beach in Santa Cruz de Tenerife when it opened its doors to the public on June 15th, 1973.
The first section, closer to the village of San Andrés, was known as “Tras la arena.” Today, a remnant of black sand can still be observed at the old cemetery of San Andrés, harking back to that era. The middle part was referred to as “Los Moros,” and within this area stood a mansion once owned by Princess Diana of Orleans, daughter of the Counts of Paris, and Duke Karl of Württemberg, son of Philip Albert, Duke of Württemberg. Finally, it was the region at the Barranco de Las Teresas that inspired the beach’s name following its renovation.
A Facebook group called “Old photos of Tenerife” shared an image of the beach from 1960, a time before it became known as Las Teresitas Beach. The image showcases rocks, black sand, and the absence of a breakwater, as this part of the coast was considered hazardous at that time.
LAS TERESITAS BEACH WAS CONSIDERED HAZARDOUS
Locals remember this as a treacherous beach where powerful waves crashed against the rocks. Several unfortunate incidents and fatalities occurred here due to its orientation, which made the beach notorious for its strong water currents and winds.
Revamping the beach and covering nearly one and a half kilometers of it with volcanic sand proved to be a costly endeavor, primarily due to the scarcity of sand. The Town Council sought a loan of 50 million pesetas (equivalent to over 300,000 euros) to acquire the sand necessary for covering the original terrain.
The initial work on Las Teresitas Beach commenced in 1968, involving the construction of two lateral breakwaters, a primary breakwater, and a submerged step into the sea to help retain the new white sand, which varies from 22 meters (at low tide) to 60 meters (at high tide) in width. Typically, at low tide, it stands at one and a half meters from the surface and gradually deepens to four meters before reaching the start of the breakwater.
During the first half of 1973, the stones that previously composed the beach were replaced by five million sacks of blond sand (equivalent to 270,000 tonnes), directly imported from the Sahara desert aboard the ship Gopegui. On June 15th of that same year, the beach was officially opened to the public.
Locals recall that initially, people were hesitant to step onto the sand due to rumors that, originating from the Sahara, it contained scorpions, camel ticks, cigarette butts, and red ants mixed in with it. In 1998, marking 25 years since its inauguration, an additional 2,800 tons of sand from the Sahara were imported to replenish what had eroded over time.
Even today, the beach of Las Teresitas remains a cherished destination for the people of Tenerife and visitors alike, carrying with it a rich history and enduring popularity.