Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
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Nature & Parks
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Caldera de Bandama is a volcanic crater of great geological interest, located on the Gran Canaria island which belongs to the Canary archipelago. It can be easily reached by bus or by car, since it lies in the suburbs of the capital, on the intersection of three municipalities, Santa Brígida, Telde and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Caldera de Bandama allures the tourists with its scale and impressive view, as well as a rather convenient location and Natural Monument status. You might think that the word "Bandama" is indigenous but turns out, it's the derivative from the Flemish trader's name Daniel Van Damme, who bought the island in the 16th century in order to grow vineyards inside the caldera. Even now, visitors can still notice the basements and agricultural ruins of the winery and terraces, built here several centuries ago.
The crater itself is about 2,000 years old and is curious partly due to not being a caldera of an actual volcano. Caldera de Bandama appeared as a massive result of the volcanic eruption, produced by one of the youngest Gran Canaria volcanoes. Thus, the parameters of the cavity are 574 metres in height, 216 metres in depth and 1,000 metres in width.
If you want to take the chance and walk by the edge of Caldera de Bandama or even go down to the bottom, be prepared for the long road and wear appropriate clothing and shoes. On your road, you will meet various endemic species of unique island flora and fauna, for example, birds like blackcaps, kestrels, reptiles, as well as wild olive trees, lentisks, white echium, etc.
Also, if you take a special tour down with the guide, you will most likely be told and shown the engravings, which indicate on the exploitation of Bandama by aboriginal residents before Van Damme vineyards. Further evidence in support of this hypothesis is the presence of caves with silos for storing grain.
Another scenario of visiting Caldera de Bandama is reaching Pico de Bandama, the viewpoint (mirador) right at the beginning of the road down the crater. Towering over the valley at the highest point of 574 metres right on the edge, the viewpoint has some trees and offers a quite nice background for breathtaking panorama photos.
So, if you want to go and enjoy the view of the beautiful and somewhat otherworldly landscape of Caldera de Bandama, then start packing your things now!
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