Playa del Ingles OverviewTranslating to "Englishman's Beach," Playa del Ingles is a sea resort located on the south coast of the Gran Canaria island of Spain's Canary Islands. Since the 1960s it has been built up to accommodate tourists from around the world, especially from Europe. Some of the most popular attractions include an abundance of bars and clubs as well as beachside activities like swimming, surfing, scuba, and snorkeling.
SightsGran Canaria's mild climate makes Playa del Ingles a popular vacation destination year round. The beach itself is the main attraction, stretching for a 2.7 kilometers with the beaches of San Agustin to the east and Maspalomas to the west. There are plenty of public conveniences and showers right along the beach, as well as kiosks selling cold drinks, ice-cream, and other refreshments. Access ramps down to the sand make it easy for people with disabilities to enjoy fun in the sun as well.
Nearby there is also an attractive pedestrian promenade, the Paseo Costa Canaria, which is lined with lush tropical flora and luxurious villas. It runs adjacent to the beach linking Playa de las Burras in the east to the beginning of the renowned Maspalomas sand dunes. This is just one of many promenades providing amenities to the visitors who flock to the shores of Playa del Ingles.
NeighborhoodsThroughout the town of Playa del Ingles, there are a number of large commercial centers. The biggest of these includes the Yumbo Centrum (located in Avenida de Espana, next to the Tourism Office) and Kasbah (located in Plaza del Teide). Yumbo Centrum is an open-air hub surrounded by shops, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and businesses as well as grass areas, a children's playground, and wide paved areas where small stalls are set up in the evening. The center is also a hotspot for gay travelers with a number of gay (and gay friendly) bars, clubs, and accommodation. The Kasbah is a shopping center by day and a party venue by night. Every night the courtyard, lined by bars and restaurants, hosts live music including varieties like salsa, bacchata, merengue, tango, and other Latin and Spanish dances. These centers take on the air of Indian bazaars, always bustling with plenty to see and do.
ActivitiesThe main activities of Playa del Ingles include beachside by day and clubbing by night. As mentioned above, the major center of Yumbo Centrum and Kasbah have all one could ask for in food, drink, and entertainment in the evenings. By day, the beach is the place to be. Sunbathing and swimming, surfing, scuba, and snorkeling are common daytime activities as well as watersports like jet-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, and water-skiing.
Food and DiningCuisine of Gran Canaria is influenced by a combination of aboriginal flavors, Latin American cooking, as well as some African touches. Many small dishes or tapas are served around the island and are known locally as enyesques. They are often accompanied by a sauce called mojo made mainly of oil, garlic, vinegar, salt, red pepper, thyme, oregano, coriander, and several other spices. There are two varieties of mojo: rojo (or red, often served with meat) and verde (or green, often served with fish). Traditional Canarian meals usually start with soup and are followed by a main dish, consisting of local meat or fish. The ingredients of Gran Canarian cuisine are often simple but rich and flavorful, including desserts like bienmesabea paste of almonds, honey, and sugar often served with ice cream or cream. As far as drinks go, there are a number of local wines and liquors. A popular place near Playa del Ingles to find food and drink is Paseo Marítimo, a 2-kilometer promenade packed with restaurants, snack bars, fast food outlets, amusement arcades, Irish pubs, German beer houses, internet cafes, and souvenir outlets. The large centers like Yumbo Centrum and Kasbah will also have a wide variety of dining options.
TransportationGran Canaria Airport, sometimes also known as Gando Airport or Las Palmas Airport, is the main way of entry to the island. The airport is located in the eastern part of Gran Canaria on the Bay of Gando (Bahia de Gando), about 12 miles south of the city center of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and 16 miles from the popular tourist areas in the south. Flights to and from international destinations are available.
Once on the island public transportation is available, organized, and affordable. There are regular buses that run all around Gran Canaria, and rental cars are available.
Other nearby islands can also be reached by ferry.