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Cruise Port: Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Cruise ships come into the Santa Catarina terminal in Puerto de la Luz which is very near the center of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

The terminal is large and offers amenities such as rest rooms, ATM, and waiting area but you do not have to go through it.

A greeter in costume awaits visitors with free maps..

The map shows you that many sites are nearby and walkable.

Rental cars are available.

Taxis are available for those wanting to explore outside the immediate region.

A pleasant walkway out of the port area takes you along the quay,

And out the port gate.

A few kiosks offer souvenirs outside the gate.

A little further along you come to El Muelle shopping center on your right.

The shopping center includes a large grocery story, free wifi, and various clothing and jewelry stories.

Restaurants are also part of the shopping center complex.

A Tourist Information Center is available a short walk from the shopping center;

And you can board the Hop on Hop Off bus.

The bus takes passengers to a large area of the island.

Horse and buggy rides are also an option.

A large bus terminal is also close by and is especially handy if you want to venture to outlying areas.

The city is quite walkable and visiting on foot is very pleasant.

Municipal planting welcomes visitors.

Decorative plantings bring vibrant colors to public spaces.

Another large shopping complex is a 15-20 minute walk from the port, El Corte Ingles, where you will find everything and have a huge selection of goods.

Numerous restaurants and cafes can be found in the small side streets offering many different foods such as lentil stew with cuddle fish (delicious).

Be sure to enjoy some of the local wines; they are good and inexpensive.

If you want to buy wine, try the wine shop in El Corte Ingles for fine wines; for everyday wine try the grocery store either in El Corte Ingles or the one near the ship, the HiperDino,

Although the prices in the picture are in euros, the dollar was roughly equal to a euro at the time the picture was taken.

Sites

Most people come to Gran Canaria for the long beautiful soft sandy beaches but the city of Las Palmas is very attractive with its Spanish charm, and enjoying it on foot is a pleasure.

Plaza de Santa Ana
The main square and site of Catedral de Santa Ana begun in 1497 and completed 400 years later. Open Monday-Friday 10 am to 4:30 pm, Saturdays 10 am-1:30 pm.

Museo Canario
Located a sort distance from the Plaza de Santa Ana, it features relics of the Guanches. Monday to Friday 10 am to 8 pm, Weekends and bank holidays 10 am to 2 pm. www.elmuseocanario.com

Casa Colon Museum
Behind the cathedral this old mansion was the house of the island’s governor and said to be the temporary residence of Christopher Columbus before gong to the Americas. It was rebuilt in 1777 and since 1952 has been a museum about Columbus. Open daily 10 am to 7 pm except Saturday when it closes at 6 and Sundays and bank holidays when it closes at 3 pm. Entrance fee about $4.
www.casadecolon.com

Background

A French expedition under Gadifer de la Salle and Jean de Bethencourt came in 1401 but land rights were eventually to the Spanish who drove out the Guanches, the original inhabitants. In 1478 Juan Rejon, leader of a Castilian army fighting the Guanches, founded the city of Las Palmas with the name “Real de Las Palmas. In 1492 Christopher Columbus stopped at the Port of Las Palmas before and his first trip to the Americas. In 1854, Las Palmas was a duty free port and expanded greatly thereafter.

The unit of currency is the Euro. Banks are open Monday to Friday 9am to 1 pm. ATMs are widely available and major credit cards are widely accepted.

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