The city was founded on June 24, 1478, with the name "Real de Las Palmas" by Juan Rejón, head of the invading Castilian army, before engaging in war with the local Guanches (aboriginal people of the Canary Islands). In 1492, Christopher Columbus anchored in the Port of Las Palmas (and spent some time on the island) on his first trip to the Americas. He also stopped on the way back to Spain. Today, a museum is named after him - Casa Colón - in the Vegueta area of the city.
Las Palmas is today a cosmopolitan city. It has three beaches (Las Canteras, Las Alcaravaneras and San Cristobal) and a big seaport (Puerto de la Luz harbor) . Due to its situation as nexus of two continents and its importance as a touristic spot, many foreign workers have migrated and settled in the city. Merchants and traders from Africa, China, Russia and the Middle East mingle with one other in the streets of the city's business centers.
According to a study carried out by Thomas Whitmore, director of research on climatology at Syracuse University (USA), the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoys "the best climate in the world." The main City Festival (Fiestas de San Juan) is in June, celebrating the foundation of the City.
The Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is also widely known not only in Spain but worldwide, one of the main attractions for tourists