No holiday in Maspalomas is completed without experiencing the spectacular sand dunes that are one of the best known images of Gran Canaria.
Where is Maspalomas?
The resort of Maspalomas is on the island of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Located 58km south of the capital – Las Palmas – and just 6km south of its neighbouring resort, Playa del Ingles. Maspalomas is one of the largest resorts on the island with more than 500 hotels and apartments to suit all budgets.
The Maspalomas Dunes
The Dunas de Maspalomas greet you with 4km² of dunes that are composed of fine ground shells which have become fine grains of limestone sand over thousands of years. The dunes can reach a height of 10m and are constantly being shifted by the wind.
In 1994, the Maspalomas dunes were designated a national park with a salt-water lake, and palm grove. They can only be explored on foot, or by camel, as there is restricted access. You will need to follow the designated trails though. Whilst making you way over the duens, you will undoubtedly come across that they are inhabited by lizards, rabbits and naturists. The salt-water lagoon (Charco de Maspalomas) is home to migrant birds and provide a stop en route between Africa and Europe. The lagoon is located immediately behind the beach.
Remember that there is no shade available if you decide to walk across the dunes, so make sure you have applied ample sunscreen. Also keep your shoulders covered and, if possible, wear a hat to keep away the effects of the sun. Another must have is plenty of water to keep you hydrated as the walk may take longer than first anticipated.
Did you Know?
The dunes advance a metre from left to right every year!
Where are the Best Views of the Dunes?
To get the best views of the sand dunes, head to the 4-star Riu Palace Maspalomas Hotel and to the viewing platform. From here, you will also be surrounded by a botanical garden displaying many plants regularly found in the Canary Islands.