Public transport in Tenerife is well organized. The green TITSA buses, also known locally as Guaguas (pronounced: WaWaas) are widely represented on the island. It is an excellent way to get from 'A to B'.
Click (click here) for the link to the bus company's website (Spanish and English). Under the heading Fares and Discounts, you will find details about the bus pass and a QR code for the bus pass app. And, of course, all the bus timetables plus last minute information.
The buses are comfortable and air-conditioned. In addition, the buses on the longer routes have free WiFi and handy USB charging points.
It is also relatively cheap and fast to travel by bus. For example, from Costa Adeje to the airport of Tenerife South it takes only 40 minutes by TITSA bus, and costs only €3.00 (£2.49) per person if you pay with the bus card.
For shorter routes it's about €1.50 (£1.24) per person.
Ten+ card system
This bus ticket (Tarjeta TenMás) can be bought at many selling points, such as a newspaper kiosk, mini market and the major bus stations.
All selling points are listed on the bus company's website. It is also possible to load the cards there. Please note: it can sometimes take up to 8 hours for the charged balance to be credited to the card.
It is possible to travel with several people on 1 card, but you must indicate this to the driver before you scan the card when boarding. And, of course, there must be enough balance on the card.
When boarding, you do not have to tell the driver to which stop you want to drive, it is sufficient to pass the card past the scanner (next to the driver). When you get off you have to check out again (scanner at the exit). You will immediately see the remaining balance.
The Ten+ card is also valid for the tram in the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The bus pass app
The bus pass app can also be used as a bus card and can be recharged online.
That seems useful, but beware: to be able to install the app, there are several restrictions:
- The app is only available on Android and IOS.
- When entering the data, only a mobile number with a maximum of 10 digits can be entered. Mobiles with a non-Spanish country code therefore might give some trouble. Alternatively, you could buy a Spanish SIM card.
- A Spanish zip code is also required. If you do not have a residential address in Spain, you can use the zip code of your Spanish address. You really only need the zip code to set up your account.
My advice: if it's only for use during your holidays, just buy a Ten+ card when you arrive in Tenerife.
Other payment methods
It has recently become possible to pay by bank card on all bus routes. Payment can also be made via Smarthphone or Smarthwatch, for those who have linked their bank card to these devices.
However, it is only possible to use Mastercard and Visa cards that do not require to enter PIN code.
Arrival at Tenerife
There is a self-service machine with ticket sales at the airports of Tenerife South and Tenerife North. TITSA employees are often present during the day to help passengers on their way with information about the bus card, bus numbers, etc. Excellent service!
Luggage, prams & bicycles on the bus
The buses on longer routes - such as the airport buses - have a separate luggage in the lower part of the bus. The lid opens automatically and you have to store the luggage yourself.
I myself have never had a bad experience with this system, but I still recommend removing valuables (wallet, passport) from the luggage and taking it on the bus. Better safe than sorry, right?
In buses without luggage space, it is allowed to take luggage, but other than that, only folding bicycles are allowed. Both luggage and folded bicycle have to be placed in the wheelchair/pram area of the bus. Any passengers in a wheelchair will have priority. For safety, the bicycle must be fastened with the available seat belts during the trip.
Exploring the island by public transport
This may all sound like 'Bus Driving for Dummies', but from my own experience I know that for some people it is sometimes quite a victory to travel abroad by public transport. When I travel to an unknown destination, I feel much more comfortable when I know upfront how the local transport works. It can turn a perhaps somewhat stressful experience into a pleasant outing. Plus it's a nice and affordable way to explore the island.
Visit El Teide by public transport
Bus numbers: 342 from Costa Adeje and 348 from Puerto de la Cruz.
Bus 342, which a price from €6.05 (£5.04), leaves at 09:15 a.m. from the bus stop of Costa Adeje, with return at 03.15 p.m. from El Portillo. The 348, with a price from €4.10 (£3,41), departs from Puerto de la Cruz at 09:30 a.m. and returns from the Parador at 04.00 p.m., and this on a basis!
Connecting bus Teide
Good news: there is now a connecting bus between the highlights of the Parque Nacional del Teide. Stops are made at Portillo Bajo, the Visitor Center, Portillo Alto, Minas de San José, Montaña Blanca, the cable car and the Parador (Roques de García).
The new connecting bus, bus 342, crosses the National Park daily in both directions and costs €2.10 (£1.75). The bus times are at 10:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:50 p.m. and 2:40 p.m. from the Visitor Center in the direction of the Parador and 11:05 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. from the Parador in the direction of the Visitor Center.
Tickets can be paid in cash, with the Ten+ card, with a credit card (see 'Other payment methods' above) or with a Ten+ tourist card of 1 or 7 days. The exact routes and timetables of the lines can be consulted on the website.
Most buses on the short routes have a convenient system for wheelchairs to enter and exit. Unfortunately, the buses on the long routes (such as bus 111, which connects Costa Adeje with the capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife) do not have this option. More detailed information can be found on the TITSA website.
Good to know
When you are at a bus stop and the bus is approaching, it is customary to give the driver a hand signal that you intend to get on.
And, of course just as important: when you approach the bus stop where you want to get off, press the Stop button in good time.
Due to the Covid-19 situation, wearing a mouth cap on the bus is still mandatory, but it is allowed to pay by cash (this was prohibited for a long time due to Covid). However, it is advisable to purchase a Ten+ card, because it saves a lot of time when boarding.
Would you rather not take the bus? Take a look at my Transport page, with tips for alternative means of transport ( click here).