Arucas is the second largest city in Gran Canaria, famous for the production of Arehucas rum and the Church of St. John the Baptist with a fanciful shape. There is an atmospheric Old Town and one of the largest botanical gardens on the island.
The city was founded by the Spaniards in the 16th century, and until the 19th century it was only a settlement known for the production of cochineal dye, obtained from dried and ground insects called scots. In the nineteenth century, when the settlement was elevated to the rank of a city, rum was produced here, based on sugar cane grown in the surrounding plantations. To this day, one of the most recognizable buildings in the city is the Arehucas Rum Distillery with its high chimney. Rum is still produced here, and the factory interior can be visited.
The main monument and one of the attractions of Arucas is the Church of St. John the Baptist. It is a neo-gothic temple, the construction of which lasted from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is distinguished by numerous turrets and intricate decorations of the facade. Near the church is the Old Town with buildings dating mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries. León y Castillo Street is particularly picturesque, with houses with colorful facades decorated with bas-reliefs. At its end there is Constitution Square.
Arucas is also known for its parks. The largest and most beautiful of them is the Marquesas Garden, founded in 1880. It is a botanical garden with a rich collection of tropical and subtropical plants, including various types of palm trees. The dragon dracaena, which is about 400 years old, also grows here. Other parks in Arucas are City Park and Paz Park.