Puerto de la Cruz was originally a fishing village that grew as local trade was increasing. The port became the most important in the island when a volcano eruption destroyed Garachico in 1706. The sugar trade gave way to wine, resulting in large scale social and economic development.
In the mid-17th century the inhabitants began to express their desire to form their own community, receiving the Royal Provision of Felipe IV on 3 May 1651, which empowered them to appoint a village head.
It belonged to the municipality of La Orotava, and in 1772, a municipal corporation was elected by the residents. It was known as Puerto de La Orotava, and it was not until 1808 that it obtained full municipal autonomy, changing its name to the current Puerto de la Cruz.
Tourism began to have an important role in the local economy in the late 19th century. It was in those years that the Grand Hotel Taoro was built and that old family houses began to be remodelled, for example as Marquesa or Monopol, transforming them into the first hotels in the city center. Finally, the real tourism boom came in the 1950s, when the city began its transformation into the tourist reference point of the island and of the archipelago.
During the second edition of the Ecological Film Festival of Nature in Puerto de la Cruz, at which guests were invited to give lectures and provide round tables, the Tenerife Manifesto was announced (29 May 1983). This text was a precursor of political ecology in Spain, and would initiate a process leading to the founding of the political party of the Greens.