Top 10 Things to See in Arucas, Gran Canaria

Arucas is one of my favourite places in Gran Canaria.

This laidback town was declared a Historic and Artistic Complex in 1976, in no small part thanks to its show-stopping church. And if that’s not enough, there’s an excellent rum distillery in town.  

Works for me!

Make the most of your time there with my travel guide to Arucas, which includes what to see and how to get there.

sign spelling arucas in a square in front of 2-storey grey and white buildings

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How I visited Arucas (and why you should too!)

Using Gran Canaria’s excellent public transport, I visited Arucas as a day trip from Las Palmas. It is in the northern part of Gran Canaria, just ten miles west of the capital by road. I took a worthwhile detour to Teror before heading back to Las Palmas.

map showing location of arucas in gran canaria

I spent around six hours there which was enough time to visit all of the attractions mentioned in this article. You should be able to hit the highlights of Arucas in a busy half-day but it is worth lingering longer. 
Combining charm history, culture and natural beauty, Arucas was well worth visiting. In addition to its picturesque gardens and outstanding historic architecture – notably the neo-Gothic Iglesia de San Juan Bautista – it is home to the renowned Arehucas Rum Distillery. Their distillery tour is reason enough to visit the town.

If you have your heart set on doing the rum distillery tour, don’t visit Arucas at the weekend. The Arechucas Distillery is only open to visitors Monday – Friday.

What to See in Arucas

1. Iglesia de San Juan Bautista (Church of St. John the Baptist)

a arucas church exterior 5

I started my day in Arucas at Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, the town’s architectural masterpiece.

Replacing the 16th Century Chapel of St. John, work started on this church in 1909 and was consecrated eight years later. However, construction continued for a further 60 years.

What makes this building so extraordinary is that it was built entirely by hand from local grey-blue stone without the assistance of any mechanical devices. Its neo-Gothic style allowed local stone quarry workers to embellish the exterior with elaborate ornamental displays.

Inside, its outstanding stained glass windows were crafted between 1916 and 1928 by the French firm Maumejean et Frères.

chapel in church with stained glass windows and statues
Chapel of Our Lady of Carmen
statue in church of a saint holding a knife whilst stepping on another man

Don’t miss the image of a reclining nude Christ in the ambulatory. This wooden sculpture, Christo Yacente, was hewn by local sculptor Monolo Ramos (1898 – 1971).

But for me, Iglesia de San Juan Bautista was more magnificent on the outside.

Time your visit carefully. When I visited, the church was closed between 12:30 and 16:30. Admission is free but a small donation is encouraged.

2. León y Castillo Street

street with single-storey yellow and blue colonial buildings in arucas gran canaria

Pick up a free town map from Tourist Information on León y Castillo Street. This lovely pedestrianised thoroughfare. It is lined with several 19th-century buildings and is a good place to stop for a coffee.

3. House of Culture (Casa de la Cultura)

patio lined with lime green low buildings with a large tree at the centre

I was glad I stumbled across Casa de Cultura by accident. This traditional 17th-century Canary Island building was acquired in 1973 to house the Public Library and has a charming inner patio with a dragon tree at its centre.

4. Plaza de la Constitución

Plaza de la Constitución is the old administrative centre of Arucas. The square’s most important buildings are the Town Hall (1875) and the former Municipal Market (1882).

5. Municipal Park

pathway in park lined with tropical tress and a statue of a woman
bronze statue of a woman in a park

The iron gate opposite Plaza de la Constitución leads to the Municipal Park. Spread over 2.5 acres, this tranquil park is home to several varieties of trees and plants.

Within the park is the Municipal Museum which occupies the former Casa de Mayorazgo of Arucas. It exhibits the works of Santiago Santana, Guillermo Sureda, Abraham Cárdenes and Mabolo Ramos.

6. Water Company Building (La Heredad de Aguas de Arucas y Firgas)

large bronze statue of a person holding out a book in front of an art nouveau building

The striking 20th-century building at the park’s edge is La Heredad de Aguas de Arucas y Firgas (Arucas and Firgas Water Company Building). It was built in 1912.

7. Fuente del Pilar

old stone water fountain

Water was supplied to Canary Island residents using the watercourse of ravines, natural springs or ditches. Public fountains were built in the middle of the 19th Century to provide water to the people.

Six of these fountains were erected in Arucas, and Fuente del Pilar provided water until the 1950s when houses started to have running water.

8. Stonemason Museum (Museo La Cantera)

If you are interested in how the blue stone of Arucas was quarried, stop by Museo La Cantera. It is located on the site of the firm Piedras La Cantera and has a recreation of how people in these stone quarries would have lived.

9. Arucas Rum Distillery (Destilerías Arehucas)

statue of a man with a cigar outside arehucas rum distillery in arucas

As compelling as all of these attractions were, the tour of the Arehucas Rum Distillery was my favourite thing to do in Arucas.

a line of barrels of rum in a distillery
300 barrels of rum in the distillery have been signed by celebrities

The distillery produces 3.5 million bottles of rum annually, 80% of which is destined for the domestic market. The hugely enjoyable 45-minute distillery tour ends with tastings of four spirits (the mango gin was delicious).

woman sitting behind a line of glasses with rum tastings
How many tastings?

Tours run from Monday to Friday and you can check times and prices here. Reservations are not needed.

10. The Marquesina Garden (Jardín de la Marquesa)

a peacock

I love a nice botanical garden and the one at Arucas did not disappoint.

Created by the first Marquis of Arucas, Don Ramón Madam y Uiondo, this horticultural jewel is home to more than 2,500 tropical and subtropical flora. Cockerels crowed, peacocks strutted and a black and white cat looked on with disdain.

To reach Marquesina Garden on foot take the path leading from Acequia Alta. The garden is open from 9 am until 6 pm and a small admission charge applies.

If there is no one at the ticket booth by the entrance, don’t worry. Just enter and someone will find you and give you a sticker in exchange for the ticket price.

How to get to Arucas by bus

Service 210 from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Arucas takes 40 minutes. The bus drops you at the Estación de Guaguas, which is a five-minute walk from the town centre

You can check bus timetables here.

man walking down a narrow street towards the spire of a Gothic church
bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at or follow her on social media.

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