Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands, and is a popular tourist destination. It is a small island, just 36 miles long by 12 miles wide at it's widest point, and yet in this small area there are over 300 extinct volcanoes. It is particularly recognized for its dark, almost black, beaches of volcanic sand.

Arrecife, its capital, has a population of roughtly 80,000, and features a strange landmark; the Gran Hotel. Not because it is a tall building, but it is the only building that has more than a few floors tall. All other buildings are short and white, and it makes a truly magnificent sight. This is the fruit of the work done by Cesar Manrique (1919 - 1992), Lanzarote's foremost spokesperson. The last 20 years of his life, he struggled constantly against the forces of tourism and economy to preserve the balance between Man and Nature. To continue his work, his followers formed the Cesar Manrique Foundation.

Lanzarote is an island of contrasts, mainly because of it's volcanic origin. The oldest rock formations indicate that it is some 20 million years old, but in 1730 a catastrophic eruption started, and during the next 6 years, 30 craters covered much of the island with lava.

Perhaps the most spectacular sight is the national park, Timanfaya, and the "mountains of fire", Montanas del Fuego. It is an area covering 51 square kilometers, and consists solely of breathtakingly beautiful volcanic terrain.

Despite the hostile appearance of the land, it has a rich flora and fauna, and many scientists uses the national park as a base for different studies.

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