Farming Economy: First cochineal and then bananas
The north Gran Canaria town of Arucas grew out of the farming boom in the Canary Islands in the years after their discovery. The town was rich thanks to cochineal bugs, used for red dye, and a later banana boom. Rebuilt as early as 1478 after a fire, it became a city at the end of the 19th Century. Its famous rum is named after its original guanche name Arehucas, and is still made today in a factory dating back to the 19th Century. It is open for visits.
The San Juan Bautista church, known locally as the cathedral
From a historical, cultural and artistic standpoint the San Juan Bautista church stands tall in Arucas. Technically a church it has been known by all in Gran Canaria as a cathedral since its rebuilding at the start of the 20th Century. Neo Gothic in style, it guards a number of artistic treasures such as Italian sculptures, and paintings from the Flamenca and Andaluz Schools. Other Arucas highlights include the walks through the Gourie Park and Las Hespérides botanical garden, built in 1880.