My Guide to Exploring Tenerife by Bus

Do you want to explore Tenerife by bus?

Then you’ve come to the right place. I used Tenerife buses for a week and am excited to share my experiences and tips.

Getting around Tenerife without a car is easy, comfortable and inexpensive. Here’s all you need to know to ace public transport in Tenerife.

TITSA bus in Tenerife
TITSA bus in Tenerife

TITSA Buses in Tenerife

The bus service managed by TITSA covers every corner of Tenerife. This is an abbreviation for Transportes Interurbanos de Tenerife, Sociedad Anónima.

TITSA operates a modern fleet of shiny, shamrock-green buses. Tenerife buses are clean and equipped with the latest safety technology and air conditioning.

Additionally, much of the TITSA fleet is wheelchair accessible.

In many respects, buses are of a higher standard than those found in the UK.

Tenerife bus services run more or less on time.

Tenerife buses are called guaguas by Canarian people (pronounced ‘wah-wahs’).

Tourist Bus Routes

This map from TITSA summarises the major tourist bus routes in Tenerife.

map showing the major tenerife bus routes for tourists
Tourist bus routes in Tenerife @ TITSA 2022

These are the popular tourist routes:

  • TITSA 102 / 103  Puerto de la Cruz – Santa Cruz
  • TITSA 108 Santa Cruz – Icod
  • TITSA 110 Santa Cruz – Costa Adeje
  • TITSA 111 Santa Cruz – Costa Adeje via Tenerife South Airport
  • TITSA 325 Puerto de la Cruz – Los Gigantes
  • TITSA 342 Costa Adeje  – El Teide
  • TITSA 343 Puerto de la Cruz – Los Cristianos via Tenerife North and Tenerife South Airports
  • TITSA 348 Puerto de la Cruz – Teleférico Del Teide
  • TITSA 473 Los Cristianos  – Los Gigantes
  • TITSA 477 Costa Adeje  – Los Gigantes
  • TITSA 711 Santa Cruz – Costa Adeje via Tenerife South Airport

Tenerife Bus Tickets & Passes

When you buy your ticket from the bus driver, you can pay with cash or a bank card.

1. SINGLE TICKET

This is bought from the driver and the price depends on the route.

The maximum value of notes from which drivers can give change is 10 euros. Contactless payment via bank cards, smartphones and smartwatches is also accepted.

Single tickets can also be bought via the mobile app (ten+ Móvil).

2. ROUND-TRIP TICKET

Again, this is bought from the driver and is available for a same-day return journey of at least 20 km. Buying a return ticket gives you a discount of 10%.

When asking the driver for a return ticket, the Spanish phrase is ida y vuelta (pronounced ‘eeda ee vuelta’) –the literal translation is ‘going and returning’

3. PAY-AS-YOU GO RECHARGEABLE PASS (TEN+ CARD)

I travelled around Tenerife using the contactless Ten+ card, which is easier than buying individual tickets. You simply load credit onto the card and you’re good to go.

Although it’s not crystal clear from the company’s website, using the Ten+ card gives you a reduction on the single fare, typically 20 – 30%.

Ten+ cards are not accepted on the special bus service to Teide.

4. FIXED-PERIOD BUS PASSES

Unlike public transport in Gran Canaria, tourist-friendly one-day and one-week bus passes are available, loaded onto a Ten+ card or the ten+ Móvil app.

These cost €10 and €50 respectively (May 2024).

Buying and Using the Tenmas (Ten+) Card

You can buy your Ten+ card at the bus and tram stations, vending machines and authorised outlets. You won’t be able to buy it from the bus driver.

If you want to take the bus from Tenerife South Airport to your destination, you can buy a ten+ card from the Lycramobile shop, located just beyond the baggage reclaim area.

The card itself costs €2 which you then load with credit in €5 increments up to €100.

tenmas-card-used-for-bus-travel-in-tenerife
Tenmas or Ten+ card: My golden ticket to bus travel in Tenerife

Recharge the Ten+ card with credit at the bus/tram station or one of the self-service machines. You can also register and top-up yourTenmas card online.

You can use the Ten+ card for travelling by bus and tram across Tenerife.

It can be used by more than one passenger. You can also change buses.

The balance on your Ten+ card is valid for one year from the date it was last topped up. The card itself is good for ten years.

To use the Tenmas card, tap it on the reader near the driver when you enter the bus. If more than one of you is using the card, tell the driver before you present the card.

titsa-bus-tenmas-card-reader
Tenmas card reader at the bus exit door

When you have reached your destination, tap the card again on the reader next to the exit door at the centre of the bus. The fare will be deducted from your credit balance, displayed on the reader’s screen.

Getting and Using the Ten+ Móvil App

I chose not to use the app as the Ten+ card suited my purposes. Also, the app required the entry of my passport number as part of the registration process, about which I felt a little uncomfortable.

But if this is the right option for you, firstly, download the ten+ Móvil (Via Móvil) app from Google Play or the Apple Store.

Enter your registration details and add money to your account via a virtual wallet.

To pay for fares on board the bus or tram, you need to read the QR code to validate the trip. This is usually located near the entry door.

Bus Fares

Using buses on the island is very affordable.

To put this into context, exploring Tenerife by bus cost me €35 in 2020. This included the return fare from Puerto de la Cruz to Tenerife South Airport. Not bad for a week’s travel.

It’s worth noting that although the one-week travel pass wasn’t available when I travelled to Tenerife, at €50 for the week, this would have cost me more money.

To give you a sense of how much it is likely to cost you to travel around Tenerife by bus, here is a selection of single fares (May 2024) for popular routes on the island using the Tenmas card

  • Puerto de la Cruz – Santa Cruz: €5.25
  • Puerto de la Cruz – Tenerife South Airport: €13.55
  • Los Cristianos – Santa Cruz: €9.00

Check current fares for Tenerife buses here.

My Top Tips

1. Buy a Tenmas (Ten+) Card

In terms of cost and convenience, a Tenmas card is unbeatable.

2. Get hold of a bus map and timetables

A Tenerife bus service map and set of timetables are indispensable in planning your routes around the island.

I was given these when I purchased my Tenmas card. Alternatively, download Tenerife bus schedules and map from the TITSA website or pick them up at one of the island’s Tourist Information Offices.

3. Check your destination carefully

TITSA buses display their three-digit number on the front, back and sides of the bus. The destination is displayed on the front of the bus.

If you want to double-check that you’re heading in the right direction, ask the driver. In my experience, most drivers are happy to help out visitors. And if your Spanish isn’t up to scratch, they are able to speak some English.

If you are unsure, write down the destination name to show to the driver. Sometimes, the Spanish pronunciation of place names can be tricky for those not familiar with the language.

Once on the bus, the stops are not announced. However, you should be able to see them on a screen at the front of the bus (and sometimes on an additional screen near the exit doors).

If you need to get off at the next stop – la próxima parada in Spanish –  you should let the driver know by pressing the red button.

4. Watch out for the express buses

There are some bus services that do not make any stops en route. Whilst these express buses are great if you want a speedy journey from A to B, they are not so great if you don’t want to travel all the way to the terminus.

I was caught out on day 1 when I intended to travel to La Laguna from Puerto de la Cruz but ended up in Santa Cruz sooner than I had wished. Don’t repeat my mistake.

To identify an express bus, look out for the words sin paradas in addition to the name of the destination displayed at the front of the bus.

5. If you are paying with cash or card, keep hold of your ticket

Don’t risk a fine. Keep hold of your ticket until you leave the bus.

Supervisors board the buses to check tickets (I came across them twice during my week in Tenerife).

6. On popular routes, board the bus at its starting point and get there early.

On more than one occasion, I witnessed queues of people trying to board popular buses at the bus station, and full buses driving past a sea of disappointed faces at bus stops further along the route.

Buses in Tenerife are also used heavily by residents and can get very busy. To avoid disappointment, catch your bus at its starting point if possible (usually the bus station) and arrive a good 15 minutes before its scheduled departure time.

Pros & Cons of Exploring Tenerife by Bus

Although hiring a car gives you greater freedom, getting around by bus in Tenerife is an easy way to see the island. It is also a cheap way of getting around if, like me, you are travelling alone in Tenerife.

Exploring Tenerife without a car frees you from the stress of driving and parking. And by not contributing to the traffic congestion on the island, in a small way you are doing your bit towards preventing climate change.

Apart from the lack of flexibility, the only other disadvantages of exploring Tenerife by bus are the infrequency of some schedules and a lack of direct routes to some destinations, necessitating a change of bus. However, with a little planning, you can overcome these disadvantages.

For the places that are harder to reach, or if you want to pack as much into your day as possible, consider taking one of the many organised day tours in Tenerife. These are convenient and inexpensive and you benefit from the knowledge of a local guide.

Finally, we all like a friendly and polite traveller and bus drivers are no different. Greeting them with a smile and a cheery hola buenos días / buenas tardes will go a long way to easing your journey.

Feliz viaje!


And that’s a wrap!

I hope this article helps you explore Tenerife by bus and that you have the best time there. If you want to discover more about this beautiful island, take a look at my other guides here:

bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at hello@theflashpacker.net or follow her on social media.

7 thoughts on “My Guide to Exploring Tenerife by Bus

  1. Pingback: 1 Week Tenerife Road Trip Itinerary - The Ginger Wanderlust

  2. gabi says:

    as of january 2021 you cant pay nor with cash neither card. you have to buy a ten+ card, god knows where from.

    • Bridget says:

      Hi! Thanks for this info. I’ll review info accordingly (the TITSA website suggest that you can still purchase tickets from the driver but this isn’t supported by recent passenger reviews!)

  3. mmona says:

    Where can i top up my card near los cristianos bus station when the kiosk is closed

    • Bridget says:

      Sorry. I can’t help you as I didn’t visit Los Cristianos. Hope that you manage to top up your card.

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