In the Central Mountain Range 20 miles south of San Juan lies Caguas Puerto Rico. Known as the “Center and Heart of Puerto Rico,” it is one of the most modern cities on the island and is a major hub of commerce, arts, and entertainment. The city, founded in 1775, is strategically located at the crossroads of the main highways connecting the different regions of the island and is approximately 30 minutes by car from both the east and north coastlines.
Caguas offers an amazing variety of modern activities while maintaining a charming small town feel. In July, the city celebrates its patron saint festival – the Fiestas Patronales de Nuestra Sra. del Carmen. This religious and cultural celebration is a unique way to experience the city through live entertainment, regional food, and offerings from local artisans.
The heart of the city is the Santiago R. Palmer Recreational Plaza, bordered by Muñoz Rivera, Betances, Corchado and Ruiz Belvis streets. Considered one of the most beautiful recreational Plazas on the island, the square features fountains, sculptures, a floral clock, and an aviary housing exquisite macaws. From Friday to Sunday, there is a free carousel for the kids and after 4:00 pm on Saturdays, the plaza lights up with live music, dance performances, and other entertainment fun for the whole family.
The city also has many museums showcasing Puerto Rican culture from the past and present. One of the most popular museums here is the Caguas Museum of History, housed in a building that was once the town’s City Hall. The museum presents the story of Caguas throughout time through five exhibits that include stone artifacts, skeletal remains, and ceramics.
The Museum of Popular Art and the Hermino Torres Grillo Tobacco Museum are also fun places to visit. The art museum displays a wide variety of folk art from skilled artisans, including traditional figurines, religious figures, musical instruments, and toys. At the tobacco museum, visitors can explore replicas of old tobacco ranches and get an artisanal cigar crafted by local artisans.
The Caguas Botanical and Cultural Center William Miranda Marín offers an in-depth look at the agriculture of Puerto Rico. The botanical center covers 60 acres of land featuring gardens, the remains of a 19th-century sugar plantation, and the remains of a large indigenous village. Guided tours are available or visitors can explore on their own on the walking trails. There is also a Drive-In Park cinema experience, an Archaeological Museum, and paddle boating on the lake.
The Arts Promenade is another popular attraction in the city. This outdoor space showcases local artists and their works along with food stations offering creative presentations of local and international cuisines. On the third Saturday of every month, an art fair is held that features theatrical performances, dance performances, live music performances, and artistic installations. The last Friday of every month is the Al Fresco Music and Culinary Festival, which features creole food from a variety of different food stands, food trucks, and kiosks.
Caguas Puerto Rico is also a great place to find inspiring natural wonders. Located close by is the Carite State Forest, a rainforest of unparalleled beauty. This nature reserve encompasses an area of 6,000 acres with several mountains nearby, including Cerro La Santa, which stands at 3,000 feet. Many companies offer ecotourism tours and nature adventures here, like river hiking, rock climbing, and rappelling through cascading waterfalls. This area is also a great birding area, with fifty different species of birds inhabiting the vicinity.
Other attractions in the area include the Casino Real – the largest casino in Puerto Rico, the 18-hole Caguas Real Golf & Country Club, and the Caribbean Criollo Center for Science and Technology, which hosts an interactive space, scientific laboratories, and an IMAX theater where documentaries and short films are regularly shown. Visitors can also taste 12 different types of sangría at the Sangría Factory tasting room or taste 18 flavors of F.O.K. Beer at the F.O.K. Brewing Company.
No matter what type of adventure you are looking for, you can find it in Caguas.
brought to you by Trip Advisor