When speaking of a location, such as the Canary Islands, would it not be the more permanent ser and not estar. I guess I don't have a clear understanding of the to verbs.
It doesn't matter which place/city/island we are talking about; everytime we say "where" something or someone is (locating it) we use estar:
Las Islas Canarias están en el océano Atlántico. (The Canary Islands are in the Atlantic.)
Mi madre está en la cocina. (My mum is in the kitchen.)
El gato está en el jardín. (The cat is in the garden.)
Estoy en mi casa. (I am at home.)
Chile está en Sudamérica. (Chile is in South America.)
All the examples above are saying where something/someone is (placed/located/situated).
Also, people tend to overgeneralize the "permanent-temporary" rule. It's for characteristics or states and not for locations.
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