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Maspalomas, Gran Canaria

Maspalomas is the oldest tourist town in the south coast of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Maspalomas is part of the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. The name Maspalomas may derive from that of Rodrigo Mas de Palomar, a settler and soldier from Majorca, or from Francisco Palomar, a Genoese friend of Alonso Fernandez de Lugo who purchased 87 Guanche slaves from Güímar and settled in the area.

Maspalomas is a modern tourist resort, which measures approximately 3 by 2 miles and made up of extensive residential estates and luxurious private villas. West from the fringes of Playa del Ingles towards the small beachside settlement of Oasis Maspalomas lies a golf course and some modern shopping centres.

Maspalomas is quieter than it’s close neighbour, Playa del Inglés. Although the summer attracts younger party minded crowds to Maspalomas. The upmarket area of Oasis Maspalomas attracts more well heeled guests.

Christopher Colombus statue, <strong />Maspalomas</strong>In 1502 Christopher Colombus dropped anchor in Maspalomas because he was in need of water and firewood for his fourth trip to America. A statue of Christopher Columbus was erected in 2002, close to Maspalomas beach, to commemorate the 5th centenary. The statue of Christopher Columbus, erected on a roundabout in Maspalomas bears the following inscription:-

On his last journey to the "Indias" on May 24th 1502 C. Columbus visited this place to take on water and rest. The next day they departed for what they thought was the oriental land of Asia.

<strong />Maspalomas</strong> Lighthouse, El FaroThere is a 68m tall lighthouse El Faro de Maspalomas at the southern point. In 1886 the building of the Maspalomas lighthouse began. It was the work of Juan de León y Castillo, and its function was to serve as a resting point for steam ships which were travelling from Africa, Oceania and America. In 1890 the Maspalomas lighthouse started to illuminate the coast.

The first modern settlers in Maspalomas were livestock farmers because the ground was either, ownerless or, the property of the crown. The livestock grazing in Maspalomas consisted of goats which were free to graze wherever they wanted. There was no control over them, therfore it caused lots of trouble in Maspalomas because other livestock farmers were breeding wild camels.

Sand dunesMaspalomas beach stretches for around 2km and is backed by Sahara-like dunes. The Maspalomas dunes are a natural feature, and now known throughout the world. The fine white-sand that makes Maspalomas beach, is regarded as the most beautiful beach on the island of Gran Canaria. Maspalomas beach is informally divided into distinct areas for families and children, nudists and gays. The areas on Maspalomas beach, where the sun loungers are located, can get very busy. The south-facing Playa de Maspalomas adjoins the east-facing Playa del Inglés at the Punta de Maspalomas. At the western end of Playa de Maspalomas is La Charca lagoon.

La Charca nature reserve in <strong />Maspalomas</strong>La Charca lagoon in Maspalomas is a sea-water lagoon bordered with palm trees. Providing a literal oasis amid the arid Maspalomas sand dunes, it hosts many species of nesting and migratory birds. La Charca de Maspalomas has been a nature reserve since 1897.
Maspalomas live webcam images from Maspalomas beach

The demand of wood, for sugar refineries caused the felling of the palms of La Charca de Maspalomas, which was also used as a place to fish and for gathering honey and fresh water. Since 1930 tomato growing has increased progressively and nowadays is almost the only produce grown in the Maspalomas area.