Home » Travel » Destinations

Gran Canaria: An Eco-Tourism Gem

Jul 2, 2008
When most people think of Gran Canaria, they picture white sand beaches and azure waters. Indeed, the Canary Islands draw millions of tourists annually looking for sun and surf. However, there is more to Gran Canaria than beaches.

The island is rich in natural resources and its vast terrain tantalizes eco-adventurers of all types. The island has been designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO for this reason. Thanks to this special status, Gran Canaria will remain an ecological preserve for the rest of its days. It also ensures harmonious balance between nature and the interests of man.

Gran Canaria is the third largest of the Canary Islands archipelago. Located 130 miles off the African coast, it has been a Spanish territory since the 15th century. The island bears a rich history dating back to 500 B.C. This is when it was first inhabited by the Canarios. Traces of their culture still remain throughout the Canary Islands.

The island has a year-round population of about 800,000. However, tourism boosts the number closer to a million or more at any given time. Close to one half of the island's regular residents live in the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The rest of its residents are scattered throughout the island's 21 municipalities and 1552 square kilometers.

While its beaches may be its top tourist draw, Gran Canaria is also known for its breathtaking volcanoes. In fact, the island itself is of volcanic origin. Its numerous fissure vents make this fact evident to visitors and residents alike.

An aerial view reveals that volcanic craters or calderas dot the surface of the island. One of these is the Caldera de Bandama, dating back to 20 B.C. Though it is one of the island's smaller ones, the caldera covers a staggering one kilometer and a depth of 200 meters. Originally a double cinder cone, the caldera formed later on. Caldera de los Marteles is another of the island's astounding sites. This crater formed over 100,000 years ago and now appears as a lush, green circular field.

Additional ecological gems include the island's 290 caves located in the Cenobio de Valeron. This preserve is actually a massive basaltic arch. Inside, early setters known as the Guanche excavated caves and cubicles. These excavations still stand after centuries of time.

The caves, once a storage area for the Guanche, are now a major piece of Gran Canaria's history. Cueva Pintada is another of the island's famous caves. It may be the most important seat of Guanche history.

Located in the town of Galdar, it was once the center for ancient rulers. Its spectacular paintings gave the cave its name. Because of erosion the cave was closed to the public several years ago. However, tourists can visit the cave virtually at the Cueva Pintada museum. They can also view artifacts recovered from inside the caves' many rooms.

Gran Canaria is a treasure trove of mountains, sand dunes and ancient monoliths. The terrain is diverse and offers opportunities for sightseeing by automobile, bicycle and foot.

Its dozens of species of protected flora and fauna beckon nature-lovers of all types. Holidaymakers looking for a unique eco-tourism experience won't be disappointed with a Gran Canaria holiday.
About the Author
For holiday information about Gran Canaria and the Gran Canaria weather visit yourgrancanaria.net

For first time visitors trying to find their way around the island the Gran Canaria guide also includes a Gran Canaria map
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 126
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources