Arucas is the main town in the north of Gran Canaria, separated from the capital by the ravine Barranco de Tenoya. Dominated by the huge neo-Gothic Parish Church of San Juan Bautista, Arucas boasts some interesting historic buildings, mostly representing the architectural style of the 19th century.
Erroneously also called the Cathedral of Arucas, this majestic lava-stone church boasts a 60 metre-high tower, which is the highest church tower on the archipelago. Designed by Catalan architect Manuel Vega i March, the construction began in 1909 and – stretching over several stages – was finally completed in 1977. The more conventionally neo-Gothic interior features splendid stained-glass windows and retables as well as a sculpture of Cristo Yaciente (Christ Recumbent), the work of a local artist – Manuel Ramos González (1899-1971).
Located in the Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square), you’ll find two more buildings of great architectural value, one of which is the old Town Hall, which was built in 1875 and completely restored in 1932, and the other one the Municipal Market, which is also noteworthy because of its size. This has since been transformed into an upmarket shopping centre. On the opposite side of this square there is the attractive Municipal Garden, called Jardín de Hespérides, a welcoming shady place with many species of tropical trees and plants, where you can relax from your visit to the town. In Calle de la Heredad, a street which flanks the park and gardens, you can see one of the town’s most beautiful buildings, the Heredad de Aguas de Arucas y Firgas, built in 1908 and home to the Water Board today.
Arucas AKA the City of Rum houses Destilerías Arehucas, the biggest rum distillery in the whole of the Canary Islands. Founded in 1884, this factory (fábrica) with a yearly production of more than 3.5 million litres of rum, also boasts an interesting museum where you can learn everything about the history of the factory and the rum-production process and where you will also see barrels signed by celebrities like the famous tenors Alfredo Kraus and Plácido Domingo, along with members of the Spanish royal family.
Nearby, just 1.5 km (about 1 mile) north of Arucas, you will find the Montaña de Arucas, at 412 metres the highest peak of this town. From the Michelin-listed restaurant at the top, which provides regional food and drinks, you’ll enjoy great panoramic views over the island.
The people of Arucas, in common with the rest of the island, love nothing more than a good party. And none more so than on the 24th June when a fiesta celebrates the day of their patron saint, San Juan Bautista.