If you are looking for an exotic winter beach spot, its time to start thinking about a great Gran Canaria beach to beat the winter blues. Check out in the Mogán area in the southern part of the island. There you will find the Puerto Rico beach, all 280 meters of it (about 3 American football fields). This beach vacation spot has golden sands and is highly recommended for families with kids. It is safe for swimming year round because it is sheltered. In fact, the island’s biggest marina which hosts many luxury yachts is found here.
[pullquote]Puerto Rico is renowned for being the sunniest spot in Gran Canaria,[/pullquote]
Situated 62 miles (100 km) off the shores of Morocco to the west, the Canary Islands are much closer geographically to Africa, then to Spain and Europe (840 miles). The Canaries are one of Spain’s autonomous communities in the Atlantic. This African archipelago is a region that has been afforded special consideration of its historical nationality and they are also one of the nine outermost regions (OMR) of the European Union. The other regions are:
- 5 French overseas departments — Martinique, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Réunion;
- 1 French overseas community — Saint-Martin (since 2009);
- 2 Portuguese autonomous regions — Madeira and the Azores;
Where is Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria? 27°58′N 15° 36′W
Puerto Rico: A Wonderful African Beach
Gran Canaria is Spanish island, which is part of an African archipelago. The island has a population just shy of 850,000 as of 2015. The name means “Great [Island] of Dogs”. Gran Canaria is the second most populated island in the Canary Islands. The island has an area of 602 sq. miles (1560 sq. kilometers). People visit Gran Canaria for its beaches, but it is a diverse environment with a mountain over a mile high, Pico de las Nieves (6,400 ft).
[pullquote]UNESCO has placed a third of Gran Canaria is under protection as a Biosphere Reserve[/pullquote]
This island was settled by a people called the Canarii, sometime around 500BC. The island was called Tamarán, the land of the brave, by the Canarii. This island was finally taken by the Spanish in 1483, after resisting conquest for approximately a century. The island’s conquest after 5 years of war, played a significant part leading to a unified Spain. Gran Canaria was taken by the Crown of Castille, aided by Queen Isabella I.
The leader of the invading Castilian army founded Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the island’s capital in 1478. On his initial voyage to the Americas, Christopher Columbus anchored and spent some time on this island.
Gran Canaria Beach Vacation
With many varieties of landscapes and different climates, the island is called a “Miniature Continent”. It is blessed with dunes and long white beaches and beautiful villages and green ravines. Its natural beauty has not gone unnoticed over the years. Tourists typically visit the southern area of the island, like Playa Puerto Rico. In 2014, there were a massive 3.6 million tourists.
On the south-west coast of Gran Canaria, Puerto Rico is a specially built resort. Gran Canaria boasts an nearly ideal climate, especially for an escape from Europe in the winter as the temperature stays around 70-75F.
Gran Canaria is a volcanic island, with a round shape. Its diameter is roughly 30 miles across. The island is to the west of Fuerteventura and southeast of Tenerife. In this land of microclimates, cooler weather is found in the north as the south is sunny and warmer. The west coast is rocky and mountainous, while on the east coast you can find many little beaches.
At one time, Gran Canaria had extensive forests. After the island was conquered, it suffered massive deforestation. The Spanish at that time had a voracious appetite for natural resources. In the last century, an effort towards the recovery of the forest began. The program is well on its way to being a smashing success.
The rugged coast of Gran Canaria and the lush interior, showcase the volcanic origins of the island. In Puerto Rico and other rocky ravines, apartments and hotels have been built on the barren cliffs. There is a sandy beach with a couple small harbours in Puerto Rico. If you like it hot, Puerto Rico is renowned for being the sunniest spot in Gran Canaria. Another beach spot closer in the Americas with a few less people for consideration would be Playa Agustinillo in Oaxaca.
Things to Do: Canary Islands
Gran Canaria has an average water temperature of 71F/22C allowing people play and practice water sports throughout the year. A prestigious sailing school is based in Puerto Rico which provides instruction for all levels. As expected, some of the activities include: windsurfing, sailing, diving, jet ski and water-skiing.
Thank you to my friend Rosmery from Isla Margarita, Venezuela for sharing these pictures. Rosmery has settled in the Netherlands and is a wonderful woman who loves to travel.