What is it about ?
The dunes of Maspalomas are unique in the world. They are one of the main attractions of Gran Canaria and annually attract millions of tourists. They have also been a famous cruising spot for decades, maybe the biggest outdoor cruising area in the world, for gays, bisexuals and straight.
First of all, it is a nature reserve of unique beauty and size. Covering an area of approximately 4.5 square kilometers, one finds dunes and scrub areas that are located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. One can observe nature and wildlife while hiking for hours. Either directly by the sea, through the dunes or through bush and forest areas.
The Maspalomas Dune System is a unique wild place in the Canary Islands due to its beauty and range of ecosystems. Its 400 hectares, protected by the Canarian government as a Nature Reserve of special value, include a fantastic beach, a dynamic sand dune system, a palm grove and a brackish lagoon. This mix of desert and oasis is at the southern tip of Gran Canaria and is surrounded by the famous Maspalomas resort.
We have long sought where the sand of the dunes could come from. For a while, people thought it was maybe the sand from the Sahara's Desert that was being blown by the wind. We now know that is not the case. Indeed, certainty has been gained since the dunes were created during the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. This natural disaster caused a tsunami that swept across southern Europe. The huge wave swept across the Sahara and carried with it tons of sand, which was redeposited in the Canary Islands, not only in Maspalomas but also in Las Palmas and Fueteventura. The dunes of Las Palmas have been destroyed by real estate and urban expansion. Those in Maspalomas are still in place.
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Cruising and outdoor sex
The dunes of Maspalomas have been famous for decades for being probably the largest outdoor cruising area in the world. A Mecca for gay tourists and straight Swingers from all over Europe. All year round, you can find like-minded people looking for casual sex adventures. Most of the dunes are nudist areas. That means both hiking and cruising are possible without clothing. Also unique is the gay beach at kiosk Nr. 7, which is right next to the hetero beach. Both are nudist beaches and a paradise for lovers of nudism.
The dunes of Maspalomas offer something for everyone. If you just want to visit the gay or hetero beaches, then there are direct routes through the dunes or along the beach, and you will arrive in 20 to 30 minutes.
Many men combine. The longer cruising route is taken on the way to the beach. Often, some first great contacts happen in the morning or at noon. After that, you can enjoy some time on the sunbed or directly in the sand and take another cruise-tour later in the afternoon.
There are also many men and couples who do not go to the beach. Either they move all the time through various areas, or seek a strategic place in the dunes. There, they wait for passing men and couples, and see what comes up.
Gay tourists visiting Gran Canaria for the first time, or those who want to explore previously undiscovered secrets deeper, should consider this : Gran Canaria attracts people of all ages, not only young people but especially a mature crowd into old age. The area and the diversity of individual cruising areas are overwhelming.
Gay men as well as straight swingers not only take advantage of the many dating opportunities but also of the fact that Spain is one of the few countries where sex in public is not generally prohibited.
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Restrictions and Protective Measures
From summer 2020, the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana has decided to restrict traffic in the dunes and watch the offenders. Some people have received penalty fees as a result of the infractions. Concretely, in May 2020, the city council of the town of San Bartolomé de Tirajana announced that the dunes of Maspalomas will no longer be accessible to the public, that it will no longer be possible to cross them freely, and even less to settle there to spend time or sunbathe.
Furthermore, they announced that a surveillance brigade has been set up, comprising a total of no less than 13 agents who will act every day of the week, even on weekends, from evening to morning. So, if you break the rules, you should know that you do so at your own risk.
What is allowed, what is prohibited, and what are the penalties ?
According to the new measures, here is what is allowed and what is prohibited :
Users must move around using only the marked trails indicated by wooden posts planted in the ground
It is forbidden to circulate inside the dunes in all directions without using the marked trails
It is forbidden to use surfboards to launch into the dunes and slide on the sand
It is forbidden to create small stone walls to protect against the wind and lie behind
It is forbidden to take sand from the dunes, even in small quantities
It is forbidden to engage in interpersonal contact in any area of the dunes
It is forbidden to urinate in the recesses
It is forbidden to deposit and discard any kind of waste
...and also any other type of natural damage or destruction
In the event of an infraction, the fines provided range from 150 € to 600 € for the lower and up to 600.000 € (!!!) for the higher, in the event of a serious attack or recurrence.
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How to access ?
There are many ways to access the dunes and to cross them, but two accesses are the best known and the most used by visitors because they are the fastest and easiest : either from Playa del Inglés or from Maspalomas lighthouse. You can choose to use the same path there and back, or you can also combine various routes that allow you to admire all the beauties of the area, including the dunes, the sea, and the whole natural park.
From Playa del Inglés :
The most famous trail starts from behind Hotel Riu Palace at the extreme point of the Avenida de Tirajana. You go first through a public passage through the hotel. At the end, you will be greeded by a Mirador with a magnificent view over the entire dunes of Maspalomas. It becomes clear how gigantic the dimensions are.
From the Mirador, you start your journey to the dunes. Either via the direct route, which takes about 30 minutes without stopping, or you can choose the cruising route. In this case, keep to the right and walk directly toward the first cruising area. Including stops, you should allow at least one hour for this cruising variant until you reach the beach.
From the Faro of Maspalomas :
The path of Maspalomas is a little less cumbersome and faster. You have to first access the lighthouse of Maspalomas ("Faro" in Spanish). The direct route to the gay or hetero-nudist beach begins on the promenade from the faro. You can also start from the Charca, which is a small lake that is separated from the sea, located in the area. It is even shorter than from the lighthouse. From the Charca promenade, the gay and hetero beaches can be reached in about 20 minutes. The trail leads all the way along the sea and is less cumbersome than the paths through the dunes. This return is recommended, especially in the evening at sunset, with stunning photo opportunities.
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The dunes of Maspalomas are unique. The possibilities for different experiences are nearly endless, either if you just want to enjoy the scenery and take the direct route to the beach, or you want to experience the many outdoor cruising options. Nowhere in the world there are so many different cruising areas in one same spot : specific areas for younger gay men, for middle-aged, baby boomers, mature seniors, for bi men and straights swinger couples.
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