Betancuria originates from 1404, when Jean be Bethancourt declared its foundation, making the town the capital of Fuerteventura and establishing the first seats of power and administration on the island. The name of the area comes from Jean de Bethancourt. It is in the centre of the island on its western face, and unlike the rest, the town is inland. The reason that it was built on the western side of the island was to avoid the pirate attacks that Fuerteventura was victim to, which normally happened on the east coast. It was one of Fuerteventura’s richest regions until the 16th Century, when it started to lose its importance due to the development of other areas. It ceased to be the island’s capital from 1834.

Betancuria today

Betancuria is now the town’s smallest municipality, but it also has one of the oldest and most beautiful old quarters in the Canary Islands. Within it, you’ll find the Church of Santa María, the Church of Santa Inés, located in the Santa Inés Valley, and the Old Convent of San Buenaventura, a former Franciscan convent, located in the outskirts of the municipality next to the Church of San Diego. Modern-day Betancuria spreads beyond its old centre to Vega de Rio Palmas, a wonderful town which is popular for its pilgrimage and hiking routes, and the Santa Inés Valley. Also in Betancuria, you can find one of the best viewpoints in Fuerteventura, the Morro Velosa viewpoint, which is presided over by two imposing indigenous statues, which offers a unique vista over the Betancuria Country park, which cover 90% of the municipality.