Arucas is a town and
area filled with history. Originally, Gran Canaria was divided into 10
"kingdoms", Arucas being one of them. The ancient inhabitants farmed
the land, living as shepherds or growing wheat and barley, and living
in the surrounding hills in caves. To this day, many of these caves
still exist and several are still inhabited, though modernized a little
to include all the comforts expected from a modern-day house.
in 1478, Arucas was rebuilt in 1480 and over the centuries, became the
town that exists today. From the 15th century through to modern times,
the main crop of the area was sugar cane. The locals were using it to
produce rum here long before sugar plantations were cultivated in Cuba.
One of the main features of modern-day Arucas is now it's rum factory.
Certainly the most renowned feature of the town is it's Church. Built
during the last 20 years on the site of the town's original chapel, San
Juan Bautista's distinctive architecture make it instantly
recognizable. The church is today an extremely popular stop of point
for the tourist, not only for its architecture but for the treasures,
especially paintings & sculptures, housed inside.
centuries, Arucas has seen the cultivation of sugar, cereals,
vineyards, cocoa and bananas. Always able to vast produce one or more
of these at a given time, the town always prospered and continued to
develop. trade also rose from stone-masonry. The local, grey-blue
volcanic stone became extremely popular and many of today's buildings
are evidence of this time.
Arucas THE VOLCANO - To the
north-east of the
town is "volcan de arucas", the volcano. Today just a mountain, it's
well worth a visit for the spectacular views. you can see most of the
northern coastline from its peek, along with a birds-eye view of Las
Palmas and to the south, the mountains that mark the center of the
island. A small park and restaurant are also part of the mountain, as
are two of the most foul-mouthed parrots (alive still circa 2000!) I
have ever heard.
Plaza de la
ConstitucionThe best way to see
the remainder of the town is to catch the "mini-train" from the square
by the church, this will take you to all the main points of interest
around the town. As well as
home to the town's market hall and market, the constitution square
houses the old town hall which was never repaired after being hit by a
cannonball during the civil war. It serves as a reminder to citizens to
live in peace. Just of the square is the town's main museum, Gourie
Parque de los
Continentes(Do I really need to
translate some of
this stuff, I think not).
the rear of the square is
a spectacular park, home to an incredible variation of exotic plants
and trees from all continents of the world. Bamboo from China or grass
(not that kind) from Hawaii. Being on the edge of the town, the views
downhill to the coastline are breathtaking.
The Rum FactoryPassing through the
Park of the
Continents then the old stone quarry, you arrive at the Rum Factory.
You can visit the cellars here and enjoy tasting the local products.
(They have a rum that's 20 years old, go for that!). Also look out for
all the autographs from famous people that have passed through.
Garden of the
MarchionessOn the very edge of
town, the garden is the most peaceful and scenic place you could
imagine. The lake is surrounded by shrubs, trees, flowers, huge dragon
trees and peacocks. If you continue down the road from this garden,
after a few minutes driving you'll arrive at the oldest salt works on
the island. Currently being restored.