The conference centre is modern and of recent construction and is set in the Parque Taoro on one of the hills overlooking the centre of the town. Apart from the conference centre, the park contains a hotel and the well known Casino Taoro, with its good restaurant and gaming halls.
The weather in February is usually comfortably warm. Please make sure that you have some warm clothing as cool evenings and rain are possible at this time of year, although the climate is usually mild.
Puerto de la Cruz is on the north coast of the island of Tenerife and is dominated by the 3.718 m. (12.198 feet) peak of Teide to the south. There is a maritime climate which means that the temperature and weather on the coast can be warm and pleasant even if it is cold and raining hard just a few minutes drive away.
Snow may come down in exceptional conditions to about the 1.500 m. level on the hills to the south allowing spectacular photographs of the mountainside.
If you plan to go on either of the two excusions, expect temperatures which could be sub-zero. Mountaintop weather is very variable at this time of year and rain, snow, fog and high winds may all occur. The weather can change quickly, so a brilliantly sunny day may turn into a foggy and miserable one between departure from Puerto de la Cruz and arrival at the observatories.
This is the third largest town of the island of Tenerife. Its name means "Holy Port" in Spanish and is close to the site of the first landings by the Spanish conquistadores in the 15th century.
The town is the main tourist centre of the north of the island, catering for "quality tourism". The mild climate and international nature of the town make it a popular place for foreigners to settle and many people come to the area to retire. This gives Puerto de la Cruz a very international atmosphere with a very active night life.
Restaurants can be found that cater for many types of international cuisine and it is easy to find places with their menus in many foreign languages apart from the ubiquitous Spanish, English and German; these include Swedish, Finnish, Danish, French, Dutch, Russian and Italian.
There are facilities of all kinds in the town for visitors and their families, including a small port (used by private vessels). Like in most of Tenerife, sandy beaches are in short supply (the islands are too young to have much natural sand), but there are a large complex of chlorinated and salt-water pools for swimming, the famous Lagos Martíanez.
Like all places in Tenerife, when you move even slightly away from the coast there are many steep slopes. If you have health or mobility problems you should bear this in mind and be ready to make use of taxis or rent a cars where possible.
Attractions include Loro Parque, a fascinating centre which combines a park, a zoo, a large bird collection and some spectacular aquaria; the XVIII century Botanic Garden; and the sea-front area. Close to Puerto is La Orotava with its special architecture and famous old canarian-style houses.
The town is connected to the two main airports by motorways. The easiest access is from the North Airport (TFN, or Los Rodeos) along the TF-5 motorway. This is an approximately 20 minute journey along the coast. The South Airport (TFS, or Reina Sofia) is more than an hour away along the TF-1 and then TF-5 motorways.
There is good bus (called Guagua in the Canaries) transport between Puerto de la Cruz and many other points, especially the main towns of La Laguna (where the IAC is) and Santa Cruz de tenerife, the island' capital.