Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, politically part of Spain. At 1,660 square kilometres , it is the second largest of the Canary Islands, after Tenerife. It was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in May 2009. Its capital is Puerto del Rosario.
The first settlers of Fuerteventura are believed to have come from North Africa. The word Mahorero or Maho is still used today to describe the people of Fuerteventura and is derived from the ancient word 'mahos', a type of goatskin shoe worn by these original inhabitants. They lived in caves and semi-subterranean dwellings, some of which have been excavated, revealing remnants of early tools and pottery. In antiquity, the island was known o.a. as Planaria, in reference to the flatness of most of its terrain.
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