Santa Cruz de Tenerife has been the capital of the Island since 1833 and shares its function as the capital of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It lies in the north-east of the Island and borders San Cristóbal de La Laguna and El Rosario, covering 150.56 km2 (58.13 sq miles). The highest point in the municipality is Cruz de Taborno, standing at an altitude of 1,020 m (3,346 ft). It has 58 km (36 miles) of coastline which is divided by the natural barrier of the Santos ravine. Santa Cruz and La Laguna together comprise the metropolitan area. The port is a key point in maritime communications between Europe, Africa and America, and is also well linked to the western part of the Canary Islands, welcoming trade ships and tourist boats.
Santa Cruz is a lively and bright city. Its best-known celebration is Carnival, to the point of being declared a Festivity of International Tourist Interest. Its streets welcome visitors to spend time out of doors and take walks through the park thanks to a lovely average annual temperature of 21.2 ºC (70.1 ºF). The city centre has a number of pedestrianised streets that are always bustling with life, making them great for all kinds of shopping. Its most emblematic historical buildings stand side-by-side with contemporary architectural masterpieces. There are also a variety of museums and art galleries, but the biggest exhibition is on display outdoors: Some of its avenues and parks feature works by Henry Moore, Martín Chirino, Joan Miró and Óscar Domínguez, as well as other artists. The most popular bathing areas are a little way out of the city on the remote beaches of Taganana and Benijos, but there are plenty more beaches such as Las Teresitas, which is adorned with palm trees and located next to the fishing district of San Andrés. The César Manrique Maritime Park is a lovely lagoon-like swimming pool complex in an up-and-coming area of the city.