The municipality of Santa María de Guía is located in the north of the island of Gran Canaria, just 22 kilometres from the capital and well connected to the centre of the island. With a population of around 14,000 inhabitants and a surface area of de 42.59 square kilometres, it borders Gáldar to the south and west, the municipality of Moya to the east and southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the north.
Its orography is complex and rugged, covering areas ranging from the highest peaks, through the midlands, to the coast. Its perimeter forms a sort of triangle with a closed angle in the summit area, where it reaches an altitude of approximately 1,530 metres.
It has pleasant temperatures all year round in the areas closest to the coast and a colder, wetter climate in winter in the midlands and near the summit. Here the landscape is characterised by the alternation of deep ravines and gentle hills, with wooded areas and others of pasture or agricultural land, and differs from the landscape of the coast, which is notable for its erosion and rockiness and where there are large cliffs exposed to the breakers.
Coasts, midlands and summits
The lowlands, the midlands and the summits, three perfectly differentiated areas of the municipality, present a variety of shapes and landscapes. As we move inland, the number of sunny days per year decreases, it rains more and temperatures are lower.
The coast line stretches between Caleta de Arriba and Punta de Moya, where we find the wide beach of San Felipe, known for its excellent surfing conditions. Very close to the coast are the volcanic cones of Ajódar peak (the largest volcanic cone on the island at 434 m. high) and El Gallego, which has an old aboriginal granary (Cenobio de Valerón) on its south-eastern slope and a tagororor on its summit. At the foot of the Ajódar peak, on its southwest side is the Vega de Gáldar, one of the most fertile agricultural plains on the island.
In the midlands In the midlands of the municipality, between 300 and 1,300 m above sea level, we can enjoy the El Brezal Nature Reserve, the largest area of woodland in Gran Canaria, and almost all along the border of Moya, along the ravine of the same name, is the Doramas Rural Park, which reminds us of the exuberance of the ancient Doramas Forest, an example of laurel forest, which could not survive the conquest and colonisation by the Spaniards at the end of the 15th century.
On the way to the summit is another important volcanic cone, the Montaña de Vergara, which, like the previous cones mentioned, offers magnificent views. And then, right at the summit area, from 1300 m above sea level, where it becomes a pine forest, there is the Cumbres Protected Landscape, dominated by the picón and the Canary Island pine.