When you’re on Gran Canaria, you absolutely have to check out the Maspalomas dunes. They’re in the southwest part of the island and have been protected since 1987. These dunes are a unique mix of stunning nature and ecological importance.
The Natural Origin of the Dunes of Maspalomas
Now, some people think the sand here comes from the Sahara Desert, but that’s not true. These dunes have been forming naturally for thousands of years, starting back in the last ice age. During that time, when the Atlantic Ocean pulled back, the wind carried sand over to the island’s coast. These dunes are always changing, but they’re always a sight to behold.
Getting to the Dunes
Getting to the dunes from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is pretty easy. Just hop on bus 30 heading towards Faro de Maspalomas, and get off at the Av. de Tirajana, 14. Plaza Agaete bus stop. From there, it’s a quick five-minute walk to the Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas, which is your gateway to the dunes.
Don’t Enter the Dunes
The COVID-19 pandemic brought some changes to dune access. During a strict lockdown in Spain that lasted about 2.5 months starting in March 2020, no one walked through the dunes. Not surprisingly, this downtime did something incredible. The dunes grew taller and even more beautiful. So, the government decided to protect them better and now limits access. You can only walk through on the designated paths and you’ll get fined if you go off the designated paths.
Beach Dynamics and Local Etiquette
Now, as you make your way toward the ocean, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First off, there’s a nudist beach, and you’ll know you’re entering it when you see the signs. Also, these dunes have a reputation for being a romantic spot for couples and groups. If you’d rather not stumble upon any, it’s a good idea to turn back when you reach the nudist beach area.
This only applies if you enter Playa del Inglés north of the Dunes and make your way South towards the Dunes. As mentioned before; don’t cross the dunes please!
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