Widely considered one of the best beaches in the area, this four kilometer stretch of sand is protected from the Atlantic's fury by an attractive rock and sandstone breakwater. It is the ideal place to watch the sun set and one of the few public open spaces in the vicinity. It has been awarded the EU "Blue Flag" category in recognition of its excellent facilities and services, including daily cleaning, lifeguards, water sports zones, bars, restaurants and night clubs. Come at night as well as during the day for a truly magical atmosphere.
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.
Roque Nublo, or the Cloud Rock, is one of the world's largest free-standing rocks and Gran Canaria's most striking natural icon. Formed over 4.5 million years ago, this volcanic rock has been shaped by the elements over millennia into an 80-meter (262-foot) tall monolith at a height of 1,813 meters (5,948 feet) above sea level. Outdone by only the Pico de las Nieves, Roque Nublo is the island's second highest peak. Sweeping views of the surrounding countryside lay sprawled at its feet, like a patchwork quilt of pine forests and farmland arranged in deep, plunging folds. Often shrouded by a bank of clouds or icy mist, the enigmatic Roque Nublo is surprisingly accessible, and it is possible to walk right up to its base. Scaling its sheer face is another matter altogether, a feat braved only by experienced climbers with the right kind of equipment. Described by the Spanish writer, Miguel de Unamuno, as a storm turned to stone, Roque Nublo is a sight of striking beauty, rising from the ground like a defiant behemoth frozen in the guise of a jagged pinnacle.
This is one of the best examples of neo-Gothic architecture in the Canary Islands, designed by the Catalan architect, Manuel Vega March, in 1909. The use of blue stone and the fine work on the towers reflect the expertise and traditional command of the art of masonry, for which the craftsmen of this northern area were known. The whole village contributed towards its construction, and it was finally opened in 1917, although the towers did not go up until many years later, in 1977. Inside, there are various works by the local painter, Cristóbal Hernández de Quintano, the recumbent statue of Christ by Manuel Ramos from Arucas and other works by Flemmish and Italian artists. The church is known as the Catedral de Arucas.
Formed thousands of years ago, the Bandama Caldera is a giant bowl of wonder and a reminder of the volcanic origins of the Canary Islands. The volcanic crater shelters a diverse collection of native flora and fauna, several of which are unique to the Canary Islands. 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) wide and over 200-meters (656-feet) deep, the caldera is a natural wonder that is easily accessible from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Bandama Caldera lies at the heart of one of the Gran Canaria's oldest wine regions, its bodegas and wineries havens of epicurean delights, while challenging hiking trails lead past scenes of natural splendor. Along the way are caves once inhabited by the island's natives, abandoned farmhouses and a secret bunker in the guise of a visitor's center. Hikers will find that there are several avenues to explore, the most popular beginning at the Pico de Bandama Viewpoint, leading down into the depths of the caldera. Other interesting sites include the pond of El Culatón and the cross of the Tres Piedras.
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.
Situated in Telde in the Gran Canaria region of Spain, Lomo Magullo has become very important from the tourism point of view as the Traída del Agua festival takes place annually here. Community events are held throughout the year and the festivities continue late into the night. The village square is where locals come together after a days work to relax at one of the many local tapas bars. A good time to visit Lomo Magullo is definitely during these festive days.
This natural attraction is a magical 12 kilometer-long ravine through which water flows all year, forming impressive gorges and waterfalls. At the bottom of the gorge are authentic little reed beds full of maiden hairs and watercress, and home to many animals, including a wide range of birds of prey from Cernícalo (sparrow hawk) to reptiles, and of course a wide variety of insects and amphibians. Bathing in the waterfalls, after walking a distance along the ravine, is an unforgettable and refreshing experience. For more information, call the Tourism Office.
This district was established at the same time as the neighboring San Juan district, around 24 June 1483. As a small hill known as Santa María la Antigua, it was the place chosen by (or relegated to) craftsmen and shopkeepers who relied on the gentlemen of San Juan to earn their living. The houses and streets are the best remaining example of common urban construction on Gran Canaria. You can visit the San Francisco Church, erected on the site of the old Santa Maria la Antigua chapel. For further information, call the Tourism Office.