Arucas is a town in the north of Gran Canaria and is full of history. Historically, Gran Canaria was divided into 10 kingdoms, Arucas being one of them. The ancient Guanche inhabitants of Arucas farmed the land. They lived as shepherds and grew wheat and barley. Like the people of Aguimes they lived in the surrounding hills in caves. To this day, many of these caves still exist and several are even still inhabited, though now, modernized a little to include all the comforts expected from a modern-day house.
Historically the position of the cave in the old Guanche society was very important. The higher the cave the more wealthy and important were it's inhabitants, with the king living at the top in the biggest cave.
Arucas was rebuilt in 1480 after being completely destroyed in 1478. Over the centuries Arucas has become the town that exists today. From the 15th century through to modern times, the main crop of the Arucas area was sugar cane. The locals were using it to produce Arehucas rum here long before sugar plantations were cultivated in Cuba. One of the main features of modern-day Arucas is it's rum factory. While many varietes and brands of rum are available in rhe supermarkets, here in Gran Canaria, with some of them being imports. Still the most popular is the Arehucas rum made here in Arucas
Find out, when and where Arucas market is held.
Certainly the most renowned feature of Arucas, is it's church. Built during the last 20 years on the site of the town's original chapel, San Juan Bautista's (St. John the baptist) distinctive architecture make it instantly recognizable. The church at Arucas, is today an extremely popular stop off point for the tourist, not only for its architecture but for it's treasures, notably it's paintings & sculptures, which are housed inside.
Throughout the centuries, Arucas has seen the cultivation of sugar, cereals, vineyards, cocoa and bananas. Arucas has always been able to produce vast quantities of one or more of these crops at any given time, and for this reason Arucas has always prospered and continued to develop. Another trade of Arucas was stone-masonry. The local, grey-blue volcanic stone became extremely popular and many of today's buildings stand as testament to this.
Montaña de Arucas is the volcano that lies to the north-east of the town of Arucas. Now considered to be dead, today Montaña de Arucas is just a mountain and well worth a visit for the spectacular views. From the volcano's peak you can see most of the northern coastline along with a birds-eye view of Las Palmas and to the south, the mountains that mark the centre of the island. A small park and restaurant are also part of the mountain. The best way to see the remainder of Arucas is to catch the "mini-train" from the square by the church, this will take you to all the main points of interest around Arucas.
As well as home to the Arucas market hall and market, the constitution square houses the old Arucas 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 off the square is the Arucas museum, Gourie House.
To the rear of the square is a spectacular park. The park is home to an incredible variety of exotic plants and trees from all continents of the world from Chinese bamboo to Hawaiian grasses. As well as being a fantastic park you will find yourself on the edge of Arucas and the views from here down to the coastline will take your breath away, so don't forget that all important camera.
One of the most popular local tipples in Gran Canaria, is rum, and not at all surprising because it has been produced here for centuries. The rum factory in Arucas is still in operation today, producing the local rum, Arehucas. There are a few varieties of Arehucas on the market, and many can be found in the bars, restaurants and supermarkets, not only in Arucas but all over Gran Canaria. The 20 year old reserva is worth a recommendation. Another variety of rum, that, many holiday makers have tasted and enjoyed perhaps without even realising it, is called Ron Miel, literally honey rum. The Canarians blend the rum made here in Arucas with honey and many restaurants treat you to a sample of this delight, at the end of your meal. You get to the Arehucas rum factory in Arucas, by passing through the Park of the Continents and then the old stone quarry. When you are at the Arucas 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.
The Jardin de la Marquesa (Garden of the Marchioness) is located at the very edge of Arucas, this garden is the most peaceful and scenic place you could imagine, a real paradise on earth. The lake is surrounded by shrubs, trees, flowers, huge dragon trees and peacocks.
After passing a little time in the garden, if you continue down the road you'll arrive at the oldest salt works on Gran Canaria. Salt, being a natural preservative was very important for the Guanches. Sancocho, a traditional Canarian dish, is fish that has been dried and preserved in salt. It is soaked in water for 24 hours to remove the salt and to rehydrate the fish before it is cooked. It is a very tasty dish served with vegetables and potatoes but because of it's long preparation time you may need to order this in advance. Salt is another product that has been produced in Arucas for centuries.