Visit Betancuria is a back to the past, and discover exciting chapters of the history of Canaries. It is considered the first city of the archipelago after the colonisation by Europeans, headed by Jean de Bethencourt, hence the name of this place situated in the middle of a valley. This is due to the fertility of the area, with water and vegetable wealth, and above all, the good location to defend from the pirates attacks.
In 1940 it was built the church of Santa María, the first cathedral of the islands and the only parish in Fuerteventura until the XVIII century. Around this building the city was assembling, with stately houses, normally of two floors in the centre, and just one in the suburbs, where the flats had a more modest architecture.
After the Conquest, Betancuria became the capital of the island until 1834, when it lost definitely this honour. In this period other cities started to gain more power, as they were having an important economic development, like Pájara, La Oliva, Antigua or Puerto Cabras (which is known today as Puerto del Rosario).
For many years Betancuria was the epicentre of the local shops and, above all, the production of handicraft of the island. Its population used raw material which they got in the town to make stools and utensils very useful in their daily life. That is why in this corner of Fuerteventura is very popular the pottery, the basketmaking or the lace. Currently, there are still some people who work making these kind of tasks, which have been handed down from generation to generation, so we can find here basket, lace and crochet makers.
Which places in Betancuria are interesting?
Betancuria offers many places which well worth a visit. One of them is the San Buenaventura Convent, that it was founded in 1416, and belonged to the Franciscan order. Despite a big part of this building was devastated, two small altarpieces are still kept.
Another way to discover the history of this village is with its musems. One of the most popular is the Museum of Sacred Art, which has an important collection of paintings, sculptures, clerical clothing, and goldsmithing pieces. Also it is important the Archaeological Museum, about Aboriginal culture and the spiritual world.
But is what you want is to have a panoramic good picture of this municipality as a souvenir, we recommend you a visit to any of its two viewpoints. We are talking about the Morro Velosa, and the Guise and Ayose Viewpoint. Both offer us beautiful views of plains, volcanoes and dispersed villages in the centre and north of the island.
This village is an ideal place to hike as well, with different routes, some of them are connected with towns of other municipalities. One of the most famous path is a route from Vega de Río Palmas to Las Peñitas dam, finishing in the impressive cliff of Malpaso. And if you want to spend a relaxing day outdoors, we recommend you a visit to the picnic area El Pinar de Betancuria, one of the most equipped of the island.
As you can see, Betancuria has many attractions to visit it. Every week we offer you the opportunity to make it in different trips, from Fuerteventura, and also from Lanzarote. With this, you will have the chance to discover the beauty of this historical place and many of its traditions and customs which are still kept here.