Insider tips: Planning a trip to Maspalomas
Travel blogger Check Out Sam used Maspalomas as his home base for more than six months when exploring the Canary Islands. Here are some great tips about the city and its surroundings:
What should I do on my first trip to Maspalomas?
To be honest, there are hardly any important sights or must see attractions in this resort beach town, so I suggest you just unwind and relax at the stunning beach of Maspalomas or the nearby dunes. If you do want to head out, organizing a fun day on a boat (dolphin spotting, parasailing, snorkelling, ...) will be loved by most people. Not so fond of water? Rent a car (or book a tour) to visit the center and north of Gran Canaria.
What are some hidden gems to see in Maspalomas?
There are quite some great spots from where you can see the sun fall into the ocean in Maspalomas, but it seems not many people have heard of the "Mirador" at the end of Calle Canadá. This quaint spot overlooks the lush green golf course of Maspalomas and since you're up so high here, you can also admire the beach, dunes and shiny ocean. Make sure to bring your own drinks!
How much time should I spend in Maspalomas?
If you are here to relax, you can definitely spend a week or more here. Do you want to party hard? Shopping centers or the areas near the beaches transform into open-air parties from Thursday to Sunday. Are you more of an explorer? Then I wouldn't stay in Maspalomas unless you have a car. It is a really good "base" to explore the rest of the island, but there just isn't much to see here. If you don't have a car, Maspalomas is also a good place to be since most tours pick-up their guests from here or Las Palmas.
What food is Maspalomas known for?
There are a lot of tourist traps in Maspalomas and therefore I wouldn't say that this is a great food destination. However, you can order Canarian tapas almost everywhere and you'll never do wrong with that. I specifically loved the papas arrugadas with mojo sauce, but also the prawns in garlic sauce never disappointed me!
What is the best way to get around Maspalomas?
There are buses driving around all over Maspalomas, but they are quite slow. To get from the center of Maspalomas to the beach will take you at least 45 minutes (and then you still have to walk through the dunes!), so I suggest taking a taxi instead. It will only cost you around €5 for up to four people. The same goes for a trip from Maspalomas to the nearby San Augustín. The city center is very walkable and it should never take you much more than 15 to 20 minutes to go anywhere. Playa del Inglés is also at walking distance. If you want to discover other parts of the island, I suggest you rent a car. Only some cities (Las Palmas, Puerto Rico, ...) are easily visited by public transportation. Sights such as the famous Roque Nublo or the stunning Agaete are almost impossible to visit with the local buses.
What are the best months to visit Maspalomas?
Maspalomas is a beloved LGBTQI+ holiday destination, and thus the main two events are the winter (November) and summer (May) Pride festivals. There are lots of events all over the city, but the Yumbo Shopping Center is where most of the celebrations take place. In February and/or March carnival is also celebrated in Maspalomas, but even more so in the capital of the island: Las Palmas.
What is neighborhood Playa del Inglés known for?
The area around Playa del Inglés is most touristy and has lots of little (touristy...) restaurants, whereas the center of the city (around Yumbo Center) is often the favorite place for members of the LGBTQI+ community. You'll immediately notice that the neighborhoods around Playa de Maspalomas and the dunes are much more modernized and caters to a richer and more demanding audience.
What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?
There are a lot of shopping centers in Maspalomas. Here you can almost find anything: from clothes and shoes to souvenirs to luxury goods, but also plenty of restaurants and bars. Both Yumbo Center and -the slightly tackier- Cita Shopping center have a lot of options. The only thing you don't really find anywhere in Maspalomas is fashion chains. For that, I suggest you visit Las Palmas or Puerto Rico.
What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Maspalomas?
Maspalomas is a beach resort town that seemingly never modernized, so all of the neighborhoods look a bit tacky and well... just not very pretty. If you do want a nice and modern area, you should stay around Playa de Maspalomas. All the other neighborhoods are quite outdated. However... Most of the nightlife and restaurants are also in those areas. Therefore the neighborhood around Yumbo Center or Playa del Inglés is also a good location to be at. If you don't mind being a bit further away from Maspalomas, then I suggest to book an accommodation in cozy San Augustín.
What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Maspalomas?
Head to the beach and build sand castles! The kids will love to spend their days at the broad and long beaches, while the parents will enjoy the amazing weather and stunning sights on the dunes of Maspalomas. If you want even more fun near (or in!) the water, I suggest to book an excursion on the sea. There are plenty of options: dolphin spotting, snorkelling, parasailing, ...
What is the best thing to do in Maspalomas for solo travelers?
Book a (party) boat tour and start socializing, or just go to one of the bars and do the same. I'm still amazed by how easy it was to make friends in Maspalomas.
What is the best thing to do in Maspalomas for couples?
Head to the Atelier Cocktail Bar on the eighth floor of Bohemia Suites&Spa. Order one of the special sips and enjoy the stunning views over Maspalomas and the surrounding areas. This really is the perfect place to celebrate romance!
What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Maspalomas?
There are plenty of tours you can organize which will bring you to the ocean. Often with pick-up from your hotel, so you don't need to rent a car for these excursions. I recommend spotting whales and dolphins, snorkelling or trying out some exciting water sports such as parasailing, canyoning or surfing! For beautiful viewpoints or stunning hikes, you need to be in the center or north of the island. I already mentioned Roque Nublo, but the hike to Charco Azul is great. In the north, I really liked Agaete, Teror and Firgas. To visit these destinations, you will need to rent a car though.
What are the best beaches around Maspalomas?
Playa Maspalomas is by far the most stunning beach in this area! Make sure to also venture into the dunes and explore this very unique attraction. You can also find the famous Gay Beach (near Kiosk N°7) close to these dunes.