Arucas, a beautiful historic town in Gran Canaria

Arucas is the third-largest city in Gran Canaria. It's located approximately 15 minutes from the capital of Gran Canaria, Las Palmas. It extends from the coast to the Medianías (the middle of the island) and lies 600 metres above sea-level. Not only that, but it's surrounded by banana trees and stands out for its beautiful old town. 


In this post, we want to let you know the best things to do and see in Arucas village and coast. Let’s get started!


How to get to Arucas

  • Arucas is approximately 45 minutes by car from Maspalomas. If you come from the south or the airport, keep in mind that there’s no direct public transport. If you use public transport, we recommend going to Las Palmas. At the San Telmo bus station, there are several bus lines that take you to the Arucas station. The direct bus is 234 and the other options are 234, 210 and 205. You can check out the timetables here.
  • To visit Gran Canaria, we always recommend renting a car. To get to Arucas from the south of the island, take the GC-1 and then the GC-20 and GC-3. From Las Palmas, take the GC-2 and then the GC-301.


What to see and do in Arucas

view of arucas from above

Arucas stands out for its stunning architecture, its beautiful natural landscapes and for its production of rum. Overall, Arucas offers a unique blend of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and gastronomic delights. Are you ready to discover all the details about the best places to visit in Arucas? Let’s go!


1. Culture and art in the San Juan Bautista parish

church of arucas san juan bautista

San Juan is one of the most characteristic icons of Gran Canaria. The church, usually called Arucas Cathedral by mistake, dates from the year 1909 and finished officially in 1977 and is sculptured entirely in stone from Arucas by the master stonemasons of the area. Furthermore, it possesses beautiful glasswork by the French company Maumejean et Frères. What also stands out are its works of art by the Canarian painter Cristóbal Hernández de Quintana and the extraordinary wooden sculpture of the Resting Christ by the sculptor from Arucas, Manuel Ramos.


At its feet, you can find a wide square with a charming terrace with a very nice view from the church called Plaza de San Juan or San Juan square. Nearby, you can visit the unfinished construction of the New Theatre (1906), of neoclassical style. Furthermore, in La Plaza de la Constitución, you can find the Town Hall (Casas Consistoriales) and the old Municipal Market


In Arucas you can also find The House of Culture (Casa de la Cultura), a traditional Canarian house from the XVII century with a balconied interior patio and an impressive Drago tree.


2. Arehucas Rum Distillery

arehucas rum factory

One of the best things to do in Arucas is to visit the Arehucas rum factory. The distillery and Museum is considered one of the most emblematic buildings of the municipality, due to the tradition of distilling Ron Arehucas rum in the locality, a canary brand. In the tours, you can learn about the entire artisanal process of obtaining rum from sugar cane, from the harvest to a final tasting. In the factory, they also have a small shop where you can buy all their types of rums.


3. House and Gardens of the Marquise of Arucas

Gardens of the Marquise of Arucas pavilion

The House and Gardens of the Marchioness also are an interesting architectural and natural space. The building of the Marchioness was constructed in 1880 and is surrounded by spacious romantic style gardens of 5,000 m2 of nature from the five continents. These beautifully landscaped gardens feature a diverse range of flora, including colorful flowers, towering palm trees, and lush greenery. The gardens are meticulously maintained and offer peaceful walking paths, elegant sculptures, and charming fountains. The highlight of the gardens is the stunning neoclassical mansion, the Arucas Marquise's House, which adds to the grandeur and historical charm of this tranquil setting.


4. Piedras la Cantera

Close to the historic quarter of Arucas you can find one of the most historic quarries of the island. The quarries in this area have been a significant part of the town's history and have played a crucial role in shaping its architectural heritage. The stone extracted from these quarries has been used in the construction of iconic buildings, including the Arucas Cathedral and several historical homes in the area. Today, visitors can explore the quarries, admire the intricate stone formations, and learn about their importance to Arucas' cultural and architectural identity.


5. Montaña de Arucas

mountain of arucas view from above

If you prefer the natural surroundings of the locality, you shouldn’t miss going up the Mountain of Arucas. It stands out for its scenic beauty and historical significance. This mountain, also known as Montaña de Cardones, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the town of Arucas and the Atlantic Ocean. The area is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, and hiking trails allow visitors to explore its natural wonders. Additionally, the Montaña de Arucas holds archaeological remains, such as ancient cave dwellings, highlighting its historical and cultural importance in the region.


6. Beaches of Arucas

el puertillo beach in arucas

Another thing to see and do in Arucas is to visit its coasts. Arucas counts with a few pebbles and sand beaches, such as the beach El Puertillo or Las Charcones (both with a Blue Flag), Quintanilla or Las Coloradas. The beaches of Arucas are great for surfing.


7. Banana museum

bananas in arucas

Did you know that Gran Canaria is home to a museum dedicated to one of the island's most emblematic fruits: the banana? It's the only one in the Canary Islands with 25 different varieties of bananas. Learn about the history, cultivation and cultural importance of this special product.


Opened just over a year ago, this museum has become a tourist reference point for visitors to the island, ranking 6th in the list of things to do in Gran Canaria according to Tripadvisor. In addition, disused land has been reclaimed and a Canarian house dating back to 1804 has been restored.


What awaits you at the Banana Museum?

  • Walk through a banana plantation and discover the 25 different varieties grown on the island.
  • Step inside the interpretation centre and learn about the cultivation process, the history of bananas in Gran Canaria and their impact on the local economy.
  • Sample delicious Canarian bananas and other local produce in the museum shop.
  • Enjoy a unique setting in a restored traditional Canarian country house dating back to 1804, surrounded by an enchanting rural landscape.


The Banana Museum is open every day of the year from 10:00 to 17:00. It's one of the best things to do in Arucas, so don't miss the opportunity to learn about the history and flavour of Gran Canaria's bananas!


Find out more on their website and have a look at their information brochure.


Where to eat in Arucas

canarian food

If you want to taste fresh fish and try the gastronomy of the municipality, the coast of Arucas offers a wide variety of bars and restaurants where to enjoy nice food. Here are some of the recommendations where to eat in Arucas:


  • El Mercado Restaurant stands out for its traditional Canarian cuisine and its elegant atmosphere. The restaurant is known for using fresh, local ingredients to create authentic Canarian dishes. They specialize in seafood dishes, such as grilled fish and paella, but also offer a variety of meat and vegetarian options.
  • Ciudad de Arucas Restaurant is known for its traditional Canarian cuisine. The restaurant prides itself on serving dishes made with high-quality, local ingredients, showcasing the flavors and culinary traditions of the Canary Islands. It offers a diverse menu that includes a variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian options.
    One of the standout features is its beautiful and rustic setting. The interior is decorated with traditional Canarian elements, creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Additionally, the restaurant has a charming outdoor terrace, where guests can dine while enjoying the pleasant weather and views of the surrounding area.
  • De Enyesque Arucas Restaurant stands out for its focus on serving traditional Canarian tapas, known as "enyesques." The restaurant offers a wide variety of small plates, showcasing the flavors and ingredients of the Canary Islands. The menu features a range of options, including seafood, meat, and vegetarian tapas. The restaurant also has a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a taste of Canarian cuisine.


Where to stay on Gran Canaria

If you’re travelling to Gran Canaria and don’t know where to stay, we recommend booking a charming country house to be in full contact with nature. And, if you prefer something more luxurious, the best accommodation is a villa with private pool.

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