Surrounded by picturesque mountains and valleys, the town of Arucas stands at the foot of la Montana de Arucas in Gran Canaria. Gran Canaria historically was divided into 10 "kingdoms", with Arucas being one of them. Arucas is the third largest town in Gran Canaria and one of the municipalities of the island. The town is located within a 15-minute drive from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is surrounded by banana plantations and has a beautiful old town. So check out this article to learn about the best things to see and do in the town of Arucas.23 arucas town hall thesanetravel.com20221209 140337

1. San Juan Bautista Church

This church is one of the icons of Gran Canaria, though the locals usually call it the Arucas Cathedral. The church is very imposing and stands proud over the town. The construction of the neo-Gothic church started in 1909 and was completed officially almost 70 years later in 1977. The locals say it was built by hand and is entirely made from the grey-blue volcanic stone of Arucas. 10 arucas church thesanetravel.comP127580811 arucas church thesanetravel.com20221209 13453812 arucas church thesanetravel.com20221209 135205If you are interested in visiting it, you can do it every day from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Note that there is no sign about opening times on the church door.14 arucas church thesanetravel.comP1275933

2. Old town of Arucas

The picturesque old quarter of the municipality capital dates back to the end of the 15th century. It is full of cafés and small shops. 20 old town arucas thesanetravel.comP1275927Notice how the village buildings present the famous grey-blue stone of Arucas in great detail. Since the town is small, sooner or later, you will reach the main square, where you will find Town Hall and Municipal Market which are also noteworthy.23 arucas town hall thesanetravel.com20221209 140337These two buildings are excellent examples of 19th-century Canarian colonial architecture.

3. Arucas Park

Next to the Town Hall, you will find a city park. At Christmas, trees and plants in the park have lovely Christmas decorations. 33 arucas park thesanetravel.comP127595632 arucas park thesanetravel.comP127595030 arucas park thesanetravel.comP1275941The Municipal Museum of Arucas is also situated in the park.  

4. The Municipal Museum of Arucas

Considered one of the most emblematic buildings of the town, the Municipal Museum of Arucas is located in the former house of the Majorat of Arucas. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Its extensive collection exhibits the works of Canarian painters and sculptors.100 arucas museum thesanetravel.comP1275958

Open: Monday to Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

5. Arehucas rum factory

One of the best things to do in Arucas is to visit the Arehucas rum factory. It produces one of the best-known rums in the Canary Islands. The origins of this factory go back to 1883 when the factory for sugar cane processing was founded. It was forced to close down in 1920. The factory reopened in 1965 under the name of "Destilerias Arehucas, S.A.", and currently produces rum and spirit drinks.50 arehucas thesanetravel.comP1275813

Among other lovely plants, notice a dragon tree on your way to the distillery entrance. The tree grows in the wild in the Canary Islands and western Morocco. Its scientific name is Dracaena draco and it can reach a maximum height of 18 metres. The tree grows very slowly; it can take about ten years to reach a metre in height. It also starts to branch only around 15 years of age, beginning to do so after flowering for the first time.51 arehucas thesanetravel.comP127581852 arehucas thesanetravel.comP1275836

When entering the bodega where the ageing of the rum takes place, you will be overwhelmed by the rich aroma of wood, history and spirit from more than 5000 American oak barrels. 54 arehucas thesanetravel.comP1275855Nearly three hundred of them are signed by prominent cultural, sporting and political figures, including footballer Johan Cruyff, singer Tom Jones, tenors Plácido Domingo and Alfredo Kraus, soprano singer Montserrat Caballé, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Willy Brandt.55 arehucas thesanetravel.com20221209 113031

The tour also includes a visit to the bottling lines capable of filling 12,000 and 20,000 bottles per hour, respectively. 56 arehucas thesanetravel.comP1275879The tasting room is the perfect end of a visit where all the products made by Destilerias Arehucas can be tasted and later purchased in the shop.57 arehucas thesanetravel.comP127588458 arehucas thesanetravel.com20221209 120719

Open for visitors: Monday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Guided tours in English available.

6. Jardin de la Marquesa

Located at the foot of the mountain of Arucas, the Jardin de la Marquesa is about a 15-minute walk from the Arucas town centre. It houses a small palace built in 1880 by the first Marquis of Arucas. The palace garden was designed around 1880 when the Marquis started to collect local and foreign plant species. The next generations enlarged his collection and the garden grew. At the end of the 20th century, the garden covering five hectares opened its doors to the general public. Nowadays, the garden boasts a great diversity of plants and trees, including many palm trees. 61 arucas garden thesanetravel.comP127600664 arucas garden thesanetravel.comP127602566 arucas garden thesanetravel.comP127606168 arucas garden thesanetravel.comP127607569 arucas garden thesanetravel.comP1276077At present, the Jardin de la Marquesa has about 500 classified species that co-exist with a colony of free-roaming peacocks. An elegant glass marquee located on the old family’s tennis court is an ideal place to hold banquets. It can accommodate up to 400 guests.65 arucas garden thesanetravel.comP1276035

7. La Montana de Arucas

La Montana de Arucas is a former volcano that dominates the Arucas landscape. The 412-metre-high mountain is worth visiting for the spectacular views. 80 arucas mountain thesanetravel.comP127591781 arucas mountain thesanetravel.comP1275987From the top, you can see most of the island’s northern coastline, along with a birds-eye view of Las Palmas and, to the south, the mountains that mark the centre of the island. I promise I will climb it on my next visit to Gran Canarias.

Practical information

If you can visit just one town in northern Gran Canarias, choose Arucas because of the diverse and impressive experience you can get there. Since the law of Spain does not allow places to be named after alcoholic drinks, note that the name of the distillery and rum is Arehucas instead of Arucas. When planning your visit, check the opening hours of the distillery and church to avoid disappointment. The distillery is closed on Public holidays in Spain and they might differ from those in your country.

Consider visiting Firgas and Arucas in one day. Don’t be in a hurry like me and climb Arucas Mountain. If you use public transport from Las Palmas, go to Firgas first because buses do not go there frequently, you will then have more flexibility in planning the rest of your day. The only bus that goes directly from San Telmo station to Firgas just every two hours is No. 204, so you might want to start your day in the early morning. From Firgas, catch No. 211 or 251 for a 20-minute ride to the Arucas bus station. To return to Las Palmas, hop on the 205, 206, 210, or 234 bus. The ride will take 30 to 40 minutes.

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What did you think? Have you visited Gran Canaria and Arucas? I’d love to hear from you so please add your comment below.

  • Published by Anita on January 13, 2023
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    Author: Anita Sane

    Anita 03 18

    About the author
    Anita is a part-time traveler, passionate photographer, and a retired career woman from Latvia, 
    traveling mostly solo for more than 15 years. She is a skilled travel planner planning and executing her travels by herself. Anita wants to show you how to travel the world and open your mind to new experiences. Follow her also on FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter, and Bloglovin.

     

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    I love Gothic architecture, and the San Juan Bautista Church looks gorgeous!

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