The borough of Alajeró represents the south of La Gomera with its 1.954 inhabitants (2005) and surface area of 50 square kilometres. The most important settlements are i) Alajeró town centre, which is the administrative capital of the borough located at about 800 metres above sea level, and ii) Playa de Santiago, which is the demographic and economic capital of the borough located on the southern coast, and stands out for its tourist, commercial and fishing activity.
The minute hamlets of Antoncojo, Arguayoda, El Drago, Imada and Targa are traditional rural settlements of the southern inland of La Gomera where agricultural activity has been predominant, although nowadays it’s only partly practised. All through its history Alajeró has been the least populous borough on the island, reaching the peak figure of 2.606 inhabitants in the mid-20th century due to the implantation of export crops (bananas and tomatoes) and the fish factory at Playa de Santiago.
This growth of agricultural and fishing activities brought in immigrants both from other regions of La Gomera and overseas, which resulted in the demographic increase. With the crisis of farming and fishing industries in the latter half of the 20th century the borough went into decline for several decades, until important investments in infrastructure (port and airport) and holiday accommodation facilities initiated a swift socio-economic recovery.
The arid mountain flanks of Alajeró are dissected by a number of deep gorges such as those of Guarimiar and La Negra, which make up striking scenic contrasts and form some of the most unusual scenery found on La Gomera. Eye-catching natural landforms are as well the La Caldera Natural Monument, the Montaña de Tagaragunche and the prominent coastal cliffs, which are only interrupted by the beaches of La Negra, Erese and La Cantera. These last two once hosted an important fishing activity, since a fish salting plant was operated at Erese, whereas a fish canning plant was built at La Cantera.