|Spanish name: Gran Canaria an island in the Atlantic, in the Canary Islands: part of the Spanish province of Las Palmas. Capital: Las Palmas. Pop: 771 333 (2002 est). Area: 1533 sq km (592 sq miles)|
island, Las Palmas provincia (province), in the Canary Islands comunidad autonoma (autonomous community) of Spain, in the North Atlantic Ocean. The island is the most fertile of the Canaries. It is nearly circular in shape and is characterized by the ravines that reach from the central mountain peak, Los Pechos (6,400 feet [1,950 metres]), to the coast. The northern slopes, with their alpine climate, contrast strongly with the arid south. Rainfall is distributed concentrically, increasing from the centre of the island outward. Considerable tracts are covered with native pine. The economy is primarily agricultural (bananas, tomatoes, and tobacco are grown), though there is manufacture of embroidery, pottery, and baskets. The sandy beaches of Las Canteras and Las Alcaravaneras, which flank the island's largest city and chief port, Las Palmas, account for a stable tourist trade. The population of the island has grown considerably since the 1990s owing to a high birth rate, a high rate of immigration, and the growth of tourism. There are many mineral springs on the island. Area 592 square miles (1,533 square km).
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