6 Things to do in the Southwest of Gran Canaria: Puerto Rico & Playa Amadores

Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria
Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria

Six Things to do in the Southwest of Gran Canaria:
Puerto Rico & Playa Amadores

It’s late February and I’m wrapped in a blanket, sipping my morning coffee and frowning at the weather forecast, another “gray” day lies ahead. Granted, this is still the Canary Islands so we’re talking about a 16° gray day (61°F), nowhere near the snowy winter wonderlands that keep giving me the chills over social media. But what can I say, I’m a California-raised-Canary-Islands-convert.

I don’t do winter.

Moya Mirador WM
The wild, green north of Gran Canaria (Moya).

It’s no secret that in general I prefer the north of Gran Canaria to the more touristic south. Verdant green banana plantations, historic white washed villages, a bustling capital city and hidden, black sand beaches are just a few of the things that keep me from following the sun south. But this year we’ve been dealt a relatively wet and chilly February in Las Palmas, so the bottom half of the island has been looking increasingly appealing.

A few phone calls later and it’s settled. No soups and sweaters today, instead we’ll be migrating to the sunnier skies on the southwest coast – Puerto Rico and Playa Amadores to be precise.

Top 6 Things to do Around
Puerto Rico & Playa Amadores

We arrived at about noon and sure enough, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the thermometer marked a solid eight degrees higher than at Las Canteras Beach in Las Palmas. We hopped off the bus in Puerto Rico but seeing the thick mobs of sun worshippers already splayed out on the sand, we made the quick 15-minute trek over the Paseo Maritimo (see below) to more peaceful Playa Amadores.

As much as I tend to bemoan the overly-touristic south, I’m always surprised at how much I enjoy my time here every now and then. There really is plenty to do – from basic beaching to luxury spas and all the water sports you can imagine. Plus, sweet sunshine.

Here are a few of my top picks for the best ways to spend a day in the south of Gran Canaria.

1. Go for a Dip or a Dive

I know, I know, it’s pretty obvious, but the cerulean water is so clear and refreshing it’s impossible to put this anywhere other than number one on the list.

After stretching out on the white sand beneath the sizzling sun, a dip in the inviting water is not only inevitable, but required for any trip to the south.

🎶do you want to build a snowman🎶🎄☃️☃️☃️☃️🤶

A post shared by erica edwards (@getup_getout_getlost) on

If you’re looking for more than just a doggy paddle, the clear, turquoise waters are perfect for spotting colorful creatures under the sea. If you’re living in Gran Canaria, a simple snorkel mask is a wise investment of about 20 bucks, otherwise you can rent one from any of the local scuba diving shops, of which there are plenty.

2. Cool off with a Cold One

There’s no shortage of bars and restaurants wrapped around the sandy coves of the beaches in Puerto Rico and Amadores. I can’t recommend a specific place to eat as we typically pack a bocadillo and some snacks for beach day picnicking, but a cheeky cerveza always does the trick when the late afternoon sun leaves you parched.

Prices can be a bit hit or miss here and range anywhere from 2 – 5 bucks for a pint, so always look for a sign with an advertised price or ask the waiter before having a seat.

3. Take a Stroll Along the Paseo Maritimo

paseo maritimo puerto rico amadores pano.jpg

Puerto Rico and Playa Amadores are connected by a lovely walkway that wraps around the side of a cliff with perfect panoramic views of the Atlantic (and if you’re lucky, Tenerife’s Mt. Teide in the background).

The short walk only takes about 15 minutes from one beach to the next, and offers plenty of great views and benches to sit down and soak it all in.

paseo maritimo puerto rico amadores

Along the path you’ll find the somewhat hidden entrance to the luxurious Gloria Palace Thalasso & Hotel, where a trip to the rooftop bar is a must for any visit to Amadores. More on that below.

4. Dolphin & Whale Watching Trips

Whale watching Boat

I have long been an advocate against Loro Park and the rest of the animal parks prisons. It’s 2018 and there really is no excuse for supporting these businesses with so much available information on the cruelty involved. The award-winning documentary Blackfish calls out Tenerife’s Loro Park specifically and I highly recommend seeing it if you haven’t already.

But aside from education and common human decency, WE’RE ON AN ISLAND! It’s beyond me why anyone would choose to watch a captive creature do flips for food in a tiny pool when they’re already doing them freely with their happy families just a few hundred meters off shore.

You can often find great deals on Groupon, or a simple google search will help you plan a trip that suits your group – some even include lunch and/or cocktails!

5. Get on a Boat!

Cabo San Lucas boat arch 7-2012 me katy cruise wm

There are plenty of varied boat excursions (not to mention waterskiing and jet skiing) to be taken advantage of in Puerto Rico – it’s a port, after all. From pirate ships to wine tasting catamaran trips, there is truly something for everyone.

Though I can’t recommend any first hand, I’ve heard great things about the trips hosted by Afrikat, including a sunset tour with live music which sounds like it would be right up my alley.

6. Enjoy a Luxury Sunset on the Rooftop Bar at
Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso & Hotel

gloria palace hotel sunset

I’m a connoisseur of terraces that offer spectacular sunsets, and Gloria Palace Amadores Thalasso & Hotel is perhaps my top pick in Gran Canaria.

As you stroll along the walkway between Puerto Rico and Amadores, you’ll notice a single shop, which appears to be a simple ice cream parlor. Step in, however, and you’ll notice another door at the back that takes you to the entrance of the Gloria Palace hotel and spa.

#xinxin 🥂🍾🌅

A post shared by erica edwards (@getup_getout_getlost) on

Gliding up in the glass elevator, you can stop at one of the two bar terraces to enjoy a drink with a view. The best time to visit is at golden hour, when you can catch a front row seat to watch the sun dip down into the sea.

Aside from being a 4 star hotel with 2 incredible rooftop bars boasting panoramic views and a restaurant that’s said to be to die for, Gloria Palace is also a spa and offers a long menu of treatments to soothe and serenade your sorrows away.

Getting to Puerto Rico & Playa Amadores

Las Palmas to the Southwest

From Las Palmas, it’s not difficult to reach Puerto Rico by car or bus. Like any trips within the island, driving is faster, but buses are not incredibly inconvenient.

Las Palmas to the Southwest By Bus

Global Bus 91: Las Palmas de G.C to Puerto de Mogán (direct).

Global Bus 91 leaves from both the Parque Santa Catalina Station and San Telmo Station once an hour from 6:00 until 21:00 and stops in Arguineguín, Puerto Rico, Playa de Amadores, Playa del Cura, and Puerto de Mogán to IMG_5729.JPGname a few. San Telmo to Puerto Rico takes just over an hour, and from Santa Catalina 15 minutes more.

On weekdays, the bus costs a whopping €18.00 round trip from San Telmo (I know. Not worth it. 🙄), but on weekends, round trip fare is offered for half price at €9.00. To take advantage of the deal, you must buy your RT ticket at the vending machine just outside of the Global ticket office.

If travelling by bus, the key is to stick to the direct line and not use alternative option (like Global Bus 1), or your commute time will (literally) double.

Las Palmas to the Southwest By Car

As with anything on the island, the fastest and easiest way to travel is by car and Las Palmas to Puerto Rico takes just under an hour. Be warned though, parking can be a bit of a disaster on the weekends unless you get an early start. Plus, you’ll have to limit your caña intake beneath that sizzlin’ southern sun.

LPA Airport to the Southwest

If you’re arriving on a flight and making a B-line for the south, there are plenty of options from LPA International Airport, including bus, taxi, car hire and shuttle services. Your hotel may also offer transport, so be sure to check with them first.

LPA to Puerto Rico By Bus

Global Bus 91 departs from the airport  once an hour from 6:00 until 21:00 and stops in Arguineguín, Puerto Rico, Playa de Amadores, Playa del Cura, and Puerto de Mogán. It takes under an hour to reach Puerto Rico.

From 21:00 to 6:00, you can take Global Bus 1, but it can take nearly two hours.

LPA to Puerto Rico By Car

There are plenty car rental services at LPA airport, so if you plan to hire a car for your stay, picking it up here is the most convenient option. Driving from LPA to Puerto Rico should take about 40 minutes.

LPA to Puerto Rico By Taxi or Shuttle Service

Taxi is the most expensive option, and an unnecessary additional cost as there are more affordable shuttle options you can book in advance.

I hesitate to recommend a specific company as I’ve never used a shuttle service for this commute, but a quick google search shows that you should be able to book return service for about €15.00.

What Are Your Top Picks for the South of Gran Canaria?

Hoy, toca sur 🙌🌴☀️

A post shared by erica edwards (@getup_getout_getlost) on

Do you love to soak up the sun in Puerto Rico, or do you prefer the dessert-like dunes of Maspalomas? Are you more into the laid-back vibes of the north, or do you like getting down and dirty in the all-inclusives in the south? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Love & light (and plenty of sunshine!), Erica

© Erica Edwards and getupgetoutgetlost.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Erica Edwards and getupgetoutgetlost.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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35 Comments Add yours

  1. Mel says:

    Staying on the beach with a cold beer sounds like the perfect plan!

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Definitely not a bad way to pass an afternoon 😉

      Like

  2. A very detailed post, well done 🙂 I also love your photography your photos are amazing, sounds like you had a lovely time!

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Like

  3. carolcolborn says:

    We will be at Gran Csnaria this November! Hope the weather is good enough for all those 6 things!!!

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Excellent! Where will you be staying? I’m somewhat of a Gran Canaria expert (especially the north!) so I’d be happy to give you any pointers!

      Like

  4. Laurel says:

    Beautiful photos, Thank you for the detailed post. Bookmarking it for future travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Excellent, I hope you make it soon!

      Like

  5. Jem says:

    I love how in most of the photos of you there was a cold beverage 😉 My kinda gal! A really detailed post, I especially loved the dolphin and whale watching, and a cold bevvie on the beach. The info on the transport options was really helpful too

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Haha, guilty as charged! It was my partners birthday that weekend, so I’ll use that as an excuse 😉

      Like

  6. pinkcaddytraveloguegmailcom says:

    This is really well written! We’re about to get a big snow storm here in Virginia, so reading this made me want to visit the islands more than I already did haha

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Word on the street is that Norwegian airlines might be starting to fly New York to Gran Canaria direct, so maybe you’ll find yourself here sooner than you know 😎

      Like

  7. mackinawroad says:

    Looks like a lovely place to visit (we’re stuck in the 40’s here in Michigan)! All great suggestions too 🙂

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Brrrrr, 40s in March?! I’m such a wimp when it comes to winter!

      Like

  8. Katherine says:

    I could do with that sun and sand right now. I’m from Australia and now in California and I’m not a huge fan of winter either. I can take it in small doses, but by this time of the year I’m looking to escape. I’d love a trip to south west Gran Canara right now.

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Same, an occassional holiday in a cold destination is ok every now and then, but day to day I’ll stick with the sunshine!

      Like

  9. dagniee says:

    I’ve been to Lanzarote and Tenerife but not yet to Gran Canaria. I love the green banana plantations of the Canary Islands. Your shots are awesome and I would like to sunbathe there now:) I need the sun

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Ugh sun, don’t we all! The great part of the islands is that they’re all quite different, so each one has a totally different vibe and landscape. Come back and check it out! 🙂

      Like

  10. Eli, The Partying Traveler says:

    These pictures are amazing! I’m suddenly considering going here

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Thank you 🙂 Come on over!

      Like

  11. Amanda says:

    Beautiful! Would like to go someday!!

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      I hope you make it!

      Like

  12. Samantha says:

    I had no idea there was another Puerto Rico in Spain – and this place looks phenomenal! I would love to do the whale & dolphin watching, or take in a sunset on a rooftop! Hope you enjoyed your time over there!

    Like

    1. Erica says:

      Whale watching and rooftop sunsets are always a good thing! 🙂

      Like

  13. Getting on a boat, lying down with a chilled beer under the blue sky sounds like the perfect plan. 🙂 Though I would also whale watch 🙂 wonderfully penned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Those two things together would be an absolute dream come true! I was lucky to have an experience like that in Tenerife (Canary Islands) last year and I’ll never forget it!

      Like

  14. All great thing to do. Canaria islands are so close (i live in Portugal), i need to exploe some more. So far, i´ve been in Lanzarote only.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Lanzarote is the only one I’ve left to visit! I’m hoping to make it soon, and I hope you can make it to more of our “Islas Afortunadas” 🙂

      Like

  15. Followingtherivera says:

    I’m definitely missing summer now after reading this! I love Spain, and never hesitate to visit. Love Gran Canaria too, and your photos make me want to go now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Come on over! Today we’ve got nothing but blue skies and beach vibes 🙂

      Like

  16. Another one here! I hate winter and winter destinations.
    I´m from Portugal but i only visited Lanzarote. Gran Canaria is not far away, i need to go there

    Like

  17. rhiydwi says:

    I had no idea whale and dolphin watching was possible in Gran Canaria!! Amazing! There are always super cheap flights from uk to here during Winter, I think next year I should definitely look into getting some winter sun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica says:

      Yes! I’ve done a couple of whale watching trips off the southern coasts of Tenerife and Gran Canaria and both times we’ve seen SO MUCH wild life, I highly recommend it! You can even find groupons sometimes for reduced prices. Many people see Gran Canaria as a sort of all-inclusive tourist haven, but there really is a whole other level to it for those that are willing to stay outside of the resort areas and really explore the island 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rhiydwi says:

        Yeah honestly that’s what’s put me off for so many years – I’m definitely not an all-inclusive kind of person. But now I’m intrigued and so tempted to book a flight!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for sharing great list on things to do in Gran Canaria, will deffo have to add this destination to my list of places to visit, as I love wildlife this would be a top place for me to visit.

    Like

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