The south shore of Gran Canaria is famous for its popular beaches. The Playa Del Inglés and Maspalomas are the biggest and most popular beaches. Many beaches, including Playa Del Inglés and Maspalomas, have nudist sections, and the nude area around Beach Bar 7 on Maspalomas, the gayest stretch, can be quite cruisey.
Take a taxi to the Plaza del Faro shopping centre at the west end of the beach, then head east, looking for where men predominate, and rainbow flags begin to appear. Another suggestion is to follow the red-topped posts which lead to the gay area. Blue-topped posts lead to a gay cruising area. There are kiosks where you can buy cold drinks along the way. As night falls the sand fleas take over, and people don't hang around for long.
Gran Canaria’s beaches are legendary for the waves, so several schools give surfing lessons. Many companies also offer scuba diving packages along the island’s natural and artificial reefs and shipwrecks.
The Casa de Colón, named for the local belief that Christopher Colombus stayed there en route to the Americas in 1492 while one of his ships was repaired, is one of Las Palmas’ most beautiful buildings. The ornate wood carvings and relief sculptures on its doorways, ceilings, and balconies are the height of the island’s traditional architecture. The building now hosts a museum and study centre displaying pre-Columbian artifacts, ship models, navigation instruments, nautical maps, and a replica of the cabin of one of Columbus’ ships. A very friendly and talkative pair of parrots in the courtyard are also entertaining.
The Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM), housed in a converted hotel, hides a fabulously avant-garde interior behind a traditional island façade. Its collection of experimental and local art is impressive, but what’s really interesting is the Center’s ongoing programming showing the connection between Canarian culture with that from Africa, the Americas, and Europe.
Set between two bays with beautiful beaches, on the northeast coast of the island, this city was founded by the Spanish in 1478. Rich in cultural and historical heritage, especially in Vegueta, the oldest part of town, it has a cosmopolitan feel without being as touristy as Maspalomas. The distinct Canarian culture is perhaps best experienced at one of many cafes and restaurants; also in the streets during Carnaval Las Palmas celebrations, held just before Lent. Vela Latina Canaria regattas and the Lucha Canaria, similar to Japanese sumo wrestling, are two more annual events to check out. Around 10 museums of history and modern art can also be found here, as well as many small shops.
This 80-meter monolith was formed by a volcanic eruption around 4.5 million years ago and is one of Gran Canaria’s most famous landmarks. It’s located a few kilometers from the town centre of the municipality of Tejeda.