the yumbo centrum
Gay Life Epicenter in Maspalomas
Everybody knows that the Yumbo Shopping Centre is the gay life epicenter in Gran Canaria, the biggest gay shopping centre in the world with the most important concentration of gay and gay-fliendly businesses, but how does it work exactly ? At what time to go there and to which places ?
The centre, of 20,000 m², spread over 4 levels, was inaugurated in October 1982. Architecturally, the Yumbo takes the form of an inverted pyramid, dug into the ground. That is to say that the ground floor is located in the hollow of the pyramid, at the very bottom, and you have to go down to access it. And for this, you can use the many stairs, access ramps or elevators. There is no barrier for people with reduced mobility.
The main entrance is located on the east side, by the Avenida de España, but it is possible to access it by all the other sides : by the north, from Avenida Alfereces Provisonales (2 ways), by the west from Avenida de Tirajana, and by the south, from Avenida Estados Unidos (2 ways).
Even though the Yumbo has a worldwide gay reputation, it's good to know that all businesses are not gay and not all places offer the same interest for gay men. Also note that there are different times to go there; some are more interesting than others.
In general, the Yumbo is not very lively during the day, unless the weather is bad, and it is especially from the end of the afternoon (17h in winter, 18h in summer), in the evening and at night, it comes to life. The best way to get familiar with the Yumbo is to start with a yumbo tour. Follow the guide !
The ground floor, the perfect place to have a drink
The ground floor is distinguished by an impressive central plot, laid out like a garden with plants and trees, where you can walk and sit down to rest quietly. It is at this level that the biggest festive events of the seaside resort are celebrated. The municipality erects an impressive central stage where shows and artists can perform while the crowd can admire the show on the bleachers placed in front or even dance freely and wander around.
A part of this area is called "Plaza de la diversidad Dario Jaen", in memory of a municipal concilor and gay activit who was very important and worked a lot for the gay community in Maspalomas until the 2010s, before he died. Another part of this area is dedicated to the Maspalomas Aids Memorial, an important place to remember the suffering of our community and the loss of so many loved ones.
All around the ground floor, you can walk using a circular road which runs along the businesses and allows you to have a good overview of the offer. You will notice that this level is made up entirely of bars and restaurants, with pretty outdoor terraces. It's the perfect place to have a drink while people-watching. This is the most busy part of the shopping centre.
Levels 2 and 3, mostly for shopping and dining
Levels 2 and 3 are those that correspond most closely to a traditional shopping center. There are mainly shops and restaurants. Level 3 is the welcoming level. That means this is the one you are on when you enter the mall. It is at the same level as the street. From there, you have to go down one floor to reach level 2, then one more floor to reach the ground floor.
Levels 2 and 3 are mostly for shopping and dining. The restaurants have large terraces that allow you to eat outdoors. There are all kinds of different cuisines and gastronomies : Spanish, German, English, Italian, French, Asian, Libanese and Indian specialities. The choice is endless.
On the boutiques side, it is mainly perfumery and cosmetics, jewelry stores, electronic products, souvenirs, leather goods, Chinese bazaar and fashion clothing. There are also some services such as hairdressers, massage parlors, pharmacy or real estates. And finally, some supermarkets.
Don't look for more, there is no decoration store and no florists. Note that there is also a level 4, but very limited and located only in two small areas in the mall.
Nightlife and favorite gay places
Every day, the Yumbo radically changes its face when night falls. As soon as the sun's rays disappear, the center shines with a thousand artificial lights, neon signs, spotlights, illumination... And while the families and children gradually leave the square, a colorful crowd of revelers and clubbers take over the premises.
The Yumbo night starts early but reaches its peak at midnight or one o'clock in the morning. All the bars are open, the terraces are always full, the sex clubs are busy, the discotheques welcome customers from 3 am. It's a colorful and noisy world that suddenly comes alive before your eyes. The nights are hot. An incomparable atmosphere.
On level 2, on the Avenida Estatos Unidos side, just under the mini golf, a separate part of the center is dedicated to Drag Queen bars and cabarets. A good dozen night clubs coexist, lined up next to each other in a joyful disorder. All the bars are gay, each with their own particularity and different target audience. This is undeniably a place to visit.