Spain - Canary Islands: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

Spain - Canary Islands: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About the Canary Islands, Spain


The Canary Islands are an archipelago of seven main islands, of which Tenerife is one, and several smaller ones. The other main islands are Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro. Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, the Canary Islands form an autonomous community of Spain. Each island has its own unique charm and natural features, ranging from sandy beaches to volcanic landscapes. The Canary Islands are known for their favorable climate, making them a year-round destination for tourists.

Capital:  The capital of the Canary Islands is shared between Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Population: ~900,000 (2023 est.)

Currency: Euro

Time Zone: Western European Time (WET), UTC+0; during Daylight Saving Time it follows Western European Summer Time (WEST), UTC+1

Emergency Number: 112

Outlet: Type F. The standard voltage is 230V, with a frequency of 50Hz.

Bananas growing in Tenerife.
Rock formations in El Teide National Park.

Packing List

Speak the Language

Language: The official language of the Canary Islands is Spanish.

  • Hola - Hello
  • Buenos días - Good morning
  • Buenas tardes - Good afternoon
  • Buenas noches - Good night
  • ¿Cómo estás? - How are you?
  • Gracias - Thank you
  • De nada - You're welcome
  • Disculpe or Perdón - Excuse me / I'm sorry
  • Lo siento - I'm sorry
  • Por favor - Please
  • Me llamo... - My name is...
  • ¿Cuánto cuesta? - How much does it cost?
  • ¿Dónde está el baño? - Where is the bathroom?
  • ¿Puedo ayudarte? - Can I help you?
  • ¿Hablas inglés? - Do you speak English?
  • Adiós - Goodbye
  • Hasta luego - See you later
  • Hasta mañana - See you tomorrow


Google Translate: Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 

The town and coast on the Canary Island of Tenerife.



Fun Facts

  • Volcanic Landscapes: The Canary Islands are of volcanic origin, and the landscapes are characterized by volcanic craters, lava fields, and impressive rock formations. Mount Teide on Tenerife is Spain's highest peak and a prominent volcano.

  • Unique Ecosystems: The islands boast diverse ecosystems, including UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. The Canary Islands are home to a variety of plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth.

  • World's Largest Carnivals: The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the largest and liveliest carnivals globally, attracting visitors with its vibrant parades, elaborate costumes, and lively celebrations. It is second only to the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in size.

  • Banana Plantations: The Canary Islands are known for their banana plantations, and bananas are a significant agricultural product. The favorable climate and volcanic soil contribute to the success of banana cultivation.

  • Gofio: A traditional Canarian food that has been consumed for centuries. It is a type of flour made from roasted grains, usually wheat or maize, and is used in various dishes. Gofio can be found in soups, desserts, and even drinks, and it holds cultural significance in the local cuisine.


Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers, and restaurants are expected in Spain. Tips provide supplemental income and while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

  • Restaurants: It's common to leave a tip in restaurants. A standard practice is to round up the bill or leave around 5-10% of the total as a tip. Some locals might leave small change on the table.

  • Cafés and Bars: Tipping in cafés and bars is not as customary as in restaurants, but it's polite to leave small change if you receive good service.

  • Taxis: Tipping taxi drivers is not mandatory, but rounding up the fare is a common practice. For exceptional service, you might choose to tip a little more.

  • Hotels: Tipping hotel staff is discretionary. You can leave a small tip for housekeeping if you're satisfied with the service. Bellhops and porters may also receive a tip for assisting with luggage.

  • Tour Guides and Excursions: If you participate in guided tours or excursions, tipping the Guide is a nice gesture, particularly if you enjoyed the experience. A common guideline is around 5-10% of the tour cost.


Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.

Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, at least 99.5% of all public tap water in Spain is safe to drink according to international water quality standards.


Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, visit click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.

What about vaccines?
For vaccination information, click here.

Do you recommend travel insurance?
While not required, we highly recommend all Travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! 

What does public transportation look like? Canarian people call buses "guaguas." The bus service on Tenerife is run by the company TITSA and covers every corner of the island. Taxis are available, you can arrange for one at the hotel or can find them easily in town.

How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all Travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.


Is Uber or Lyft available? There is Uber and Lyft in Southern Tenerife but not in Northern Tenerife. Tenerife is the only island in the Canary Islands that currently has Uber. 


What about Wifi? Internet access and cell service are very good, with wifi in cafes and hotels.

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple
Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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