Perched on the slopes of the Guiniguada Ravine, the Viera y Clavijo Botanical Garden is a microcosm of the Canary Islands' diverse flora. The Swedish-Spanish botanist, Eric Ragnor Sventenius, is the founding father of these botanical gardens commonly known as Jardín Canario. For years, he roamed the islands, exploring distant corners, scaling precipitous slopes and venturing down undiscovered paths in a quest to compose an exhaustive collection of the archipelago's endemic species. There are leafy laurel trees, parched xerofila, palms, aeonium, and giant cacti among many others, beautifully arranged in awe-inspiring, thematic gardens that encompass the vast breadth of the islands' exotic botanical reserves. A popular tourist attraction, the Jardin Canario is also internationally renown for its preservation programs. In 1983, a seed bank for the Canaries' endemic trees was established here, and there's also a library, a herbarium, and laboratories. Spread over 27 hectares (67 acres), this vast, verdant enclave is a journey across Macaronesia and its bountiful, natural landscapes, replete with plants that are entirely unique to the Canaries.
Exotic, vibrant and wondrous, Palmitos Park is a subtropical paradise for close encounters with the wild. This botanical and ornithological park is set in a verdant valley of swaying palms, home to over 200 species of birds including the colorful macaws, toucans, hornbills, hummingbirds, flamingos and more. A zoo, aviary, dolphinarium, aquarium and botanical garden rolled into one, Palmitos Park features several must-see attractions including Europe's largest Butterfly House. While eagles, falcons and owls swoop overhead at the Birds-of-Prey show, dolphins amaze with their gymnastic stunts, gibbons swing from trees, and vibrant coral fish teem at the aquarium. There's also a Cacti House, Orchid House, and animals like Wallabies, Meerkats and Komodo Dragons to visit. With a whole host of installations, attractions, educational programs and exhibits to explore, the park is a front-runner when it comes to describing nature in all its glory.
The Museum of Science and Technology is one of the latest attractions which Las Palmas has to offer its citizens and visitors. The building consists of four floors, each of them representing a theme. Even though there are panels with explanations all over the museum, there are also guides who will help you with any question or doubt you may have. Special consideration is given to children in this museum. There is the Pirindola hall, and Robot Eldi, who sings, dances and organizes games. Two other attractions, popular with the public in general, are Cinema 70, a non-stop documentary show, and Foucault's Pendulum. There is also a souvenir shop.
Cueva Pintada or the Painted Cave in Gran Canaria is a key to the lost history of the Guanche, the original inhabitants of the island before the Spanish. Discovered in 1873, the caves contain a series of geometric color paintings by natives. When the museum was established, the entire archaeological complex was opened again to the public after several years. A thick glass wall separates visitors from the caves, through which they can glimpse the painted caves. The museum exhibits pottery and artifacts that were discovered during excavations. Remains of a historic country house that were excavated near the caves have been reproduced to depict native village life. History buffs would appreciate the scientific methods used to preserve this important piece of heritage.
The Casa Museo de Colón commemorates explorer Christopher Columbus' visit to the islands on his way to discover the Americas, as well as the role that the Canary Islands played as a bridge between the New and Old Worlds. A reproduction of the navigator's shipboard cabin, complete with an exhibition of pre-Colombian ceramics inside are featured. A section of the museum is set aside for a fine arts exhibit. The building itself is a fine example of typical Canary Island architecture, with an impressive Gothic sandstone façade and lovely wooden balconies. Admission is free.
This museum, founded by Doctor Chil y Naranjo in the 19th Century, offers a splendid survey of the history of the pre-Hispanic Canaries. Apart from the very complete library, which is no doubt the best in the archipelago, the visitor can admire ancient mummies of pre-Hispanic Islanders, little clay figures, models and representations of what life on the island was like before the arrival of the Spaniards and pieces of great archaeological value, such as fish hooks, needles, remains of skins and other objects. It also houses one of the most complete specimens of a Cromagnon. Visitors can ask for guided tours and there is a gift shop for souvenirs.
A significant stone cross sculpture connecting the whole island is a central meeting point for many tourists. It is one of the highest points on the island of Gran Canaria surrounded by pine forests and offering spectacular natural views. There are small shops, restaurants and hotels with free parking in the surrounding area. The weather conditions may vary at this location sometimes foggy and at times extremely cold.
This park is found in the midst of mountains and an area of beautiful vegetation. It's famous for its animals, including 200 crocodiles, tropical fish, piranhas and a big variety of tortoises, parrots and cockatoos, different types of monkeys, zebras, leopards, deer, llamas and ducks. You can also visit la Isla del Tesoro (Treasure Island), the cactus garden, the beer tent and the souvenir shop. There are shows with parrots (at 11a, 1p, 3p and 5p) and the crocodiles (noon, 2p and 4:15p). They have their own bus service collecting people from the various hotels in Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés.