History of Maspalomas

Filed under: Guide |

A lot of archaelogical remains have been recovered in Maspalomas. It shows that there was an important native settlement. The good weather and water aplenty made this place good for livestock and possibly seafood.

In 1520 Christopher Colombus dropped anchor in Maspalomas as he was in need of water and firewood for his 4th trip to America. In 1886 the lighthouse of Maspalomas started to be built, it was the work of Juan de Leon y Castillo and its function was to serve as a resting point for steam ships travelling from Africa, Oceania and America. In 1890 the lighthouse started to illuminate the coast.

The first modern settlers were livestock farmers as the ground was not owned or property of the crown. The livestock consisted of goats and were free to graze wherever they pleased. This caused problems as other livestock farmers were breeding wild camels! The demand for wood for sugar refineries caused the felling of the palms of La Charca; which was also a place to fish, gathering honey and fresh water. Cereals were the mosy important crops. The ground used for growth increased year-on-year. Another important food source was eggs from wild birds.

Since 1930 tomato growing has increased progressively and nowadays is almost the only product grown locally. During the 1960’s, as a consequence of the tourist boom, building developments started around La Charca. This situation has had a serious affect on the environment. Finally since the 1980’s there has been a policy of preservation and improvement of the Special Nature Reserve of the Dunes.