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Isla Cristina is a city on the coast that has a population of about 20,000. It used to be called the Real Isla de la Higuerita (Royal Island of the Little Fig Tree) until 1834, when the name was changed to Isla Cristina to honor Queen Maria Cristina for her help during a cholera epidemic. Isla Cristina's major industry used to be fishing, but in 1991 the city developed a plan to have tourism on the island. Several hotels and many apartment buildings were built. There is a beach with white sand called Islantilla, which is virginal and very wide, about 70 meters wide. The hotels were built close to this beach. Beyond the beach are sand dunes that are about 80 meters wide, before one reaches the paseo maritimo, paved with brick with a beige color.
Islantilla has the Centro Comercial Islantilla, a small shopping center with a supermarket and many cafeterias. This is very convenient for hotel guests. All the neighborhood was planned properly, with many trees planted along the sidewalks and the medians. One would classify the neighborhood as very upscale, because there are many expensive apartment buildings. Everywhere there are bouganvilla plants of different colors and hibiscus planted in the gardens.
Islantilla has the trenecito, which is a small vehicle shaped like a train. The ride brings one all over Islantilla and inland, where there is a large golf course with 27 holes. Around the gold course is expensive housing and a good hotel. The people who vacation in Islantilla are mostly from Seville, since it is close to that city. During summer the area is full of vacationers, but during the off-season it is quiet.