The small town of Vega de San Mateo (commonly called just San Mateo) is an agricultural centre located in a fertile, green valley approximately 800m above sea level.
Famous for its large cattle and agricultural markets held every weekend, it has become almost a tradition for many inhabitants from Las Palmas to do their weekly fresh fruit, vegetable and herb shopping, as well as that of cheese and other local specialities at these markets.
Worth visiting in the centre of San Mateo is its major attraction, the Museo Etnológico La Cantonera, where a 300-year-old farmhouse has been transformed into an ethnographical museum, documenting the everyday Canarian life of yesteryear. The collections include all sorts of historic agricultural artefacts, ceramics, furniture and farming equipment. As there is also a rather good restaurant on the site, it can get quite busy here at weekends.
There is also a church with a 17th century statue of San Mateo – Saint Matthew – the town’s patron saint.