Wanderlust creeping in? Adventure time! We just got back from Las Palmas and I have to tell you why YOU need to go. (Pin for later if you cant read through this all now!)
The first step of planning your trip is to check, double and triple check your travel dates. I open about a million tabs and simultaneously search for flights and room availability. I love using Skyscanner, Kiwi, and Booking.com (<–Click for 20$ off!) the most. I find the best deals with these sites and their search functions and user compatibility are top notch. Keep in mind non-refundable options as well as charging for additional baggage! I sure do miss Southwest’s 2 checked bags rules!! Traveling in Europe is definitely cheaper, but much harder to do when you are an over packer.
The most popular of the Gran Canary islands is Tenerife, but I highly suggest you skip that tourist trap and head to Las Palmas instead. We spent an entire week in Las Palmas and never got around to see everything, so there is plenty to do!
We flew directly into the Las Palmas airport and then took a taxi to our Hotel because it was 2am when we arrived. The island has amazing public transportation options: Taxi, bus, shuttles. I highly recommend finding a shuttle or bus because our taxi was €70! That was the one downside about flying in so late but we couldn’t wait to be there after a day of travel.
We found the Paradise Hotels through an online search and couldn’t pass up an all-inclusive vacation! With December weather being low 70s we booked right away! Our pricing was $159 for 2 adults and 1 child per night (we stayed at the Valle Taurito)- so a completely reasonable price for an all-inclusive resort right on the beach with a private pool, waterpark entry, and the price included all meals and drinks. There was also an onsite spa, mini golf, bowling, trampolines (all for a small additional fee), lots of shops, small grocery store, a doctor and pharmacy. Our room had a small mini fridge, television, king bed & a pull out couch. The bathroom had a giant tub/shower combo and the view from our room was incredible!
While I completely support laying on the beach all day every day for a week, we took a break from relaxing to explore the island a bit. The town right next to us (a short 2-3 mile uphill walk) Mogan; is an old fishing town that was absolutely gorgeous. Flowers adorn the colorful shuttered homes & the marina has lots of restaurants to enjoy. There are tons of fish right by the boats, so pack along some stale crackers to throw to them! Wander the shops aimlessly and get lost exploring. It’s definitely worth spending a day there.
For more adventures around the island we chose to Rent a car – we chose Avis because of an American Express discount – but always shop around to compare pricing! Our car was around €40 for 2 days with a different pick up and drop off location which made it easy to drop it off at the airport before we headed to Seville in the South of Spain.
Visit the Maspolomas Dunes and play in the sand, you can even ride a camel for the full experience. Then walk along the beach (there is a nudist section of the beach so be prepared). There are sand sculptors, lots of drink stations, bathrooms and showers to get cleaned up before you head out to see more.
Head to Telde to see Bufadero de la Garita – you can park your car and walk right up to the edge if you are sure footed! Be careful though – you don’t want to mess with that water hole. As the waves come in the, the hole fills up and then gets sucked empty as the waves go out – it shows how strong the ocean is! If you wander down further you can find a beach that is full of sea glass (we filled our pockets!)
Definitely plan to spend a day visiting the main city of Las Palmas. You can tour the Columbus Museum, wander the streets (my favorite pastime), view the Cathedral, golf, surf, snorkel, or do a Hop on/Hop Off tour bus.
You can visit a Volcanic Crater and even hike to a Waterfall if the season is right! There is no shortage of things to do in Las Palmas.
What are you waiting for?