As the third largest municipality in the Canary Islands with about 37,000 inhabitants Arucas is located in the north of Gran Canaria and covers an area of 33 km ².
Only about 12 kilometers from the capital of Las Palmas, banana plantations shape the image of the city, because even today, a large part of the economic base is the banana cultivation. But in addition to plantations and beaches, Arucas also has many architectural treasures and monuments to offer. For example, the entire old town is a listed building.
Probably the most important architectural monument in Arucas is the parish church of St. John the Baptist. In 1909, this impressive monument was built by the peasants of the community of stone and today has a very high importance for the social life of the inhabitants. Particularly fascinating are the windows, but also the paintings of the painter Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana and the carving of Jesus Christ, made by the Arququenic artist Manuel Ramos.
The old town hall, the municipal market and the Casa de la Cultura (Culture House) can be found in the Plaza de la Constitución. These buildings are of high architectural value. The culture house was built in the 17th century as a traditional Canarian building and today houses the municipal library and the archive.
The Municipal Museum of Arucas is located in the Casa de Gourié. Built at the beginning of the 19th century, today it beautifies the image of the city, especially through its beautiful gardens. In the building itself, the Foreign Trade Office can be found.
Furthermore, there is the rum factory (Destilería Arehucas), which was built in 1884. The factory has its own museum, because it has a long tradition. The museum quickly reveals the importance of growing sugarcane from the community for the whole of Europe.
Those who are more interested in nature should not miss visiting the Montaña de Arucas viewpoint.
The historic quarry of La Cantera is also worth a visit, because here you can stock up on great souvenirs, which were made from the famous blue stone of Arucas.
Arucas actually has some beaches. The most important and popular of these are Playa de Bañaderos – El Puertillo, or the beautiful Playa de San Andrés. Both are made of sand and stones, but because of the strong waves and the good swimming, the two beaches are very popular, because they offer the opportunity to try a variety of water sports. There are also some smaller beaches and coves, but these are usually rocky or difficult to access and therefore not so popular.
León y Castillo Street, in the heart of the city center, is the city’s main shopping street. On the street Francisco Gourié you will find with shops, salons and boutiques quite sure what you are looking for.
For the purchase of fresh products of the region, you can visit the parking lot directly at the entrance to the city, because there is the weekly market on Saturdays.
In addition to fruit and vegetables, bread and cheese, there are also handcrafted decorations and woodwork on the market, as there are several workshops in Arucas that live from traditional handicrafts. Not only wood carvers are resident here, but also stonemasons, instrument makers, sculptors or basket weavers whose traditional works can be admired on the market, but also within the city.
Thanks to the city’s long agricultural tradition, here in Arucas, great emphasis is placed on fresh vegetables. Particularly popular in the whole city are the stews of beans, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and corn, which are served in many restaurants. Further on the coast you can order fresh fish and seafood.
The Restaurante Casa Brito is a steakhouse in the heart of the city that also offers good traditional cuisine and for vegetarians the Mestio Tasca is recommended. It combines Spanish and Argentinian cuisine and offers Mediterranean creations that should not be missed.
The rum from the rum factory can be tasted throughout the city. There are simple versions, such as the Carta de Oro, but gourmets can also rely on Ron añejo, aged for years in barrels.
Things worth knowing about Arucas
The biggest and most popular festival in the city is the festival in honor of the patron saint Juan Bautista. On the 24th of June, the feast day of Saint John the Baptist, a feast with a fair and traditional food will be held. After a fire is lit in the Plaza de San Juan.