About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the most visited island of the archipelago. It is one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain and the world. Tenerife hosts one of the world's largest carnivals and the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is working to be designated UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of the World.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital of the island and the seat of the island council (cabildo insular). The city is capital of the autonomous community of Canary Islands (shared with Las Palmas), sharing governmental institutions such as presidency and ministries. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927, Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands. In 1927 the Crown ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present. Santa Cruz contains the modern Auditorio de Tenerife, the architectural symbol of the Canary Islands.
The island is home to the University of La Laguna; founded in 1792 in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, it is the oldest university in the Canaries. The city of La Laguna is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second city most populated on the island and the third in the archipelago. It was capital of the Canary Islands before Santa Cruz replaced it in 1833.
Teide National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the center of the island. In it, El Teide rises as the highest elevation of Spain, the highest of the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and the third-largest volcano in the world from its base. Also on the island, the Macizo de Anaga (massif) has been a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2015. It has the largest number of endemic species in Europe.
Tenerife is also notable for being the site of the Tenerife Airport Disaster, the deadliest aviation accident in history.