The island was populated by the Guanches from 3000 BC, who called it Tamarán, but was claimed by Spain in the 15th century.
Gran Canaria's surface is 1560 km2 and its maximum altitude is 1949 meters (Pozo de las nieves). It has a round shape, having a diameter of just about 50 Km.
It is divided into twenty-one municipalities:
The island has a population of 755,500 with 365,000 of those in the capital city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also the capital of the province of Las Palmas, and also one of the co-capitals of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands.
The market in the fishing city of Arguineguin (in the municipality of Mogán) is the largest on the island, and is on Tuesdays.
The number of annual visitors are 2.2 million (2,200,000).
This island is called a "Miniature Continent" due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found. Most tourists stay in the south of the island, which is sunnier and has less rain than the north. There is a large bird park, Palmitos Park, in the south of the island.