The remarkable Dunes of Maspalomas is a four square km field of sand; well located in the popular tourist town of Maspalomas in the south of the island of Gran Canaria of Canary Islands. The sand originated from coral reefs crushed into reasonable golden grains of limestone by the grinding action of glaciers approximately more than thousands of years ago. The present ocean dragged them to the shore and ultimately wind accumulated them into dunes.
The sand is blown inland from the beach and amasses around the shrubs, recognized as balancon that dots the landscape. Once the gathered sand grows larger than its protective shrub, it starts to move across the dune field and so creating the fabulous, undulating landscape. These days the dunes are moving at the rate of two to five meters from east to west. Therefore the area has declared a Natural Reserve in 1987.
From the heart of the dunes the stunning views of the island's mountainous interior are terrific and the adjacent hustle and bustle in the neighboring resorts is all but forgotten. Few secluded areas of the dunes are widespread with naturists. If you'd rather not stumble over the dunes on foot, there’re opportunities to see the sights them from the comfort of a camel's back.
Just a little further on from the Maspalomas Palm Tree plantation (Palmeral) is another protected natural space “La Charca”, a beautiful pond which lies between the sea and the sand, providing a relaxing spot for birds migrating from Europe to Africa. The massive expanse of sand dunes start beyond this “pond”, varying their shape frequently, chiseled out by the wind coming off the ocean.
In 1861 there was a decision made to build the lighthouse which actually took 28 long years to finish, the 68 m tall lighthouse, called “El Faro de Maspalomas”, at the southern point from where the 12 kilometers long beach and dunes lead to the resort Playa del Inglés, a popular destination of tourist. This is deserves a place on every visitor's itinerary. These days everything around it has changed. Now it is at the start of an eventful promenade area with a whole host of restaurants and gift shops.
However; Maspalomas continues to be the perfect place to unwind, enjoy the sea or simply while away the hours sunbathing. This hasn’t changed, and neither has the long shadow of the Lighthouse, in the same place as ever. Whereas before it looked out for boats crossing the Atlantic, it now envies beach-goers spending their days under the gentle sun in Maspalomas.