Puerto del Carmen is the original and largest tourist area of Lanzarote.
Originally there were two four star hotels, the San Antonio (VIK hotels group) situated at Los Pocillos and Los Fariones (Grupo Fariones) close to the old fishing village of La Tiñosa. The resort has now grown to pack the 6km of the Avenida de las Playas, fondly known as "The Strip". There is a great range of accommodation from self catering apartments to luxurious hotels.
The old harbour is renowned for its bars and restaurants. The Fiesta del Carmen is held here at the end of July for two weeks - lots of music, dancing, fairground rides and fireworks. It's still a working fishing harbour with excursions available such as a submarine and glass bottom boat.
Puerto del Carmen has the best carnival in Lanzarote, this year (2009) the big parade is on the 28th February starting from 5pm at the Matagorda end and making its way along the front towards the Fariones.
The resort is the only one with not one but two McDonald restaurants, don't expect a breakfast menu or milkshakes though!
Puerto del Carmen hosts the Lanzarote Ironman event each May (this year, 2009 will be on the 23rd), the race starts with a swim at Playa Grande, then off round the island on bikes and ends with a marathon with laps from Playa Grande to Matagorda.
There is a new golf course for the Puerto del Carmen area, situated above the resort on the road to Tías it was opened in late 2008, click Lanzarote Golf Resort for more information.
A mecca for nightlife, the youngsters head for Centro Atlantico and the others to the old harbour. The area has the highest concentration of bars and restaurants on the island.
For the children there is also the wildlife park at Rancho Texas and for them plus the adults in the evening there is a choice of line dancing or flamenco nights.
There are lots of individual shops along the strip and into the old town of Puerto del Carmen, if you fancy a wander around a shopping centre, head to the Biosfera .
"The Strip" has recently undergone a major renovation; the road is now one way with a cycle lane and bigger pedestrian areas.
Loved by the Irish, both Matagorda and the old harbour have a strong following.
If you fancy getting out of the resort but not hiring a car, head to Megafun at Costa Mar, they do a fabulous trek on quads across the island to Famara and back.
There are a good selection of beaches along the resort:
Playa Grande / Playa Blanca
This is the big beach and very popular; it's over a kilometre long and the one with lots of sun beds and swan pedalos for hire. The bars and restaurants are just over the road for easy refreshment.
A small beach situated between the Fariones and the old Harbour. Very popular for water sports such as scuba diving, jet skis for hire and par ascending.
Playa de los Pocillos
This too is a very big beach, over a kilometre in length and the widest in this resort. It's windy and therefore great for windsurfing and flying kites! There are sun beds for hire; the C.C. Costa Mar is just over the road and the promenade towards Matagorda close by for facilities.
A thin long strip of beach that runs along the promenade, great for snorkelling as the sea is normally calm. You can walk along to the airport and watch the planes landing over the top of you.