Central Region
 

CENTRAL REGION

The Central Mountain range in Puerto Rico goes from East to West through 16 municipalities, forming the biggest mountain range on the island. In the mountains, you will find places such as a pre-Columbian archeological place, the municipality where the rebellion against the Spanish took place, and the famous “ruta del lechón”, a gastronomic trip exclusively dedicated to eating roasted pork. In the middle of this impressive geography, you will find the longest zip line in the world. Several universities have campuses in the mountains, such as the Metropolitan University in Jayuya, among others.

 

Toro Negro State Forest

It is located in the center of Puerto Rico, among the municipalities of Orocovis, Jayuya, Ciales, Juana Díaz and Ponce. In this forest you will be able to admire a great diversity of flora, fauna and streams. There is Cerro Punta, the highest mountain in Puerto Rico at 4,400 feet high (1,341 meters). Other of its most visited places are the La Confesora and Doña Juana cascades. The forest has camping and food areas and can be reached through Route 143.

 


 

PLACES OF INTEREST

Lares

The Grito de Lares is one of the most memorable and transcendental events in the history of Puerto Rico. In 1868 a group led by Ramón Emeterio Betances rebelled against the Spanish and took the small city of Lares. Even though the rebellion did not achieve all its objectives, the city continued being a symbol of Puerto Rican pride and national claim. Every 23rd of September the Grito de Lares is commemorated with a popular festivity open to everyone.

 

 

Caguas

The “Ciudad del Corazón Criollo” combines architectural, environmental and historical beauty. There you will find interesting attractions such as the Museum of Caguas, the Museum of Tobacco, the Popular Arts Museum, the Trovador House, the Creole Musical Center, or the C3TEC, a modern science and technology center that seeks to get children and youth interested in exploration and knowledge.

 

Cayey

On the PR-52 road that connects the North and the South of the island, you will find the Monumento al Jíbaro, considered a symbol of national identity that honors the archetype of the land worker and the autochthonous Puerto Rican countryman. In the same way, Cayey is famous for its Guavate area, where one of the most popular dishes in Puerto Rico is sold: roasted pork. Route 84 will take you through a group of restaurants where you will have one of the most authentic gastronomic experiences on the island. You will be able to buy handicrafts and listen to autochthonous music

 

Carite Forest

It is located in the center of the island and is the home of Charco Azul, a beautiful natural reservoir located in the bordering area between the municipalities of Cayey and Patillas. Around the parking lot you will find areas to eat and restrooms. From the parking lot, you will have to walk through paved pathways and cross a small river sometimes using bridges. During your walk, you will be able to enjoy the flora and landscapes of the Carite Forest.

 

Jayuya

This municipality is known for being called "Pueblo del tomate”, for being the indigenous capital and for its artisans who specialize in wood carving, particularly birds.

 

El Cemí Museum / La Piedra Escrita 

The museum showcases archeological pieces that evidence the Taíno culture in Puerto Rico. It has the form of a gigantic cemí, a representation of the Taíno divinities.

 

Piedra Escrita

It is located alongside the Saliente River and extends to the Coabey River. It is an enormous gray granite monolith where 52 Taíno petroglyphs can be perfectly seen. This is a sample left by the indigenous people showing their talent, creativity and religious beliefs.

 

Hacienda San Pedro

Located in the town of Jayuya, this farm produces one of the best artisan coffees in Puerto Rico. There is nothing like tasting their coffee in their own facilities, where it is harvested and prepared from the grinding to the coffee mug. There is a small shop where you can enjoy an exquisite cup of coffee, while looking at the lake right in front of the place. La Fragua restaurant is located inside the farm.

 

Toro Verde Adventure Park

Located in Orocovis, at the very heart of the island, this ecological park has no comparison. It has rope bridges, rappeling, walks and one of the longest zip lines in the world.

 

Aibonito

This municipality is known as the “Garden of Puerto Rico” for the radiant image of its flowers. For more than five decades, this town has been the venue for the Festival de las Flores, celebrated in July and where the visitors always find the largest amount of exotic flowers and tropical plants in Puerto Rico.

 

Cañón de San Cristóbal

A unique geological place situated between Barranquitas and Aibonito. It is the only volcanic fissure in the island that has a 650 feet (198 meters) deep ravine. It is a destination reserved for experienced adventurers.

 

Panoramic Route Lookouts

The Panoramic Route goes through the Central Mountain range on the island, but it is not just a pathway from one place to the next. It is a place to stop, enjoy the views, the typical dishes and the natural resources. The signs with the new logo identifying the Route will guide the travelers to the heart of Puerto Rico, which will allow them to explore and discover its striking mountain landscapes. This area is divided into seven regions that not only showcase natural resources, but make them accessible to the traveler in a short time. This area has various municipalities with a series of characteristics in common such as their history, natural and cultural resources and uses of the land.

Throughout the route there are several lookouts that deserve to be mentioned. One is the Piedra Degetau Lookout, located on the PR 7718 road in the Robles neighborhood in the Municipality of Aibonito. The beautiful panoramic views in the Sector La Torre and the area known as Piedra Degetau, served as inspiration for many Puerto Rican literary works. The Villalba-Orocovis Lookout, located on the PR 143 road, km 8 of the Panoramic Route is 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) above sea level and from there the Central Mountain range and the north coast of the island are seen.

 

Guilarte Forest

This subtropical humid forest is located between the municipalities of Adjuntas, Guayanilla, Peñuelas and Yauco. It is the home of the seventh highest peak in Puerto Rico, the Guilarte Peak, located at 3,950 feet (1,204 meters) above sea level. The rest of the forest is between 2,500 and 3,900 feet above sea level.

  

Casa Pueblo

It is a community organization that designs, structures and implements a communitarian-scientific management plan for the protection, conservation and recovery of the Adjuntas Forest. Several years ago, it acquired an antique mansion and transformed it into the organization’s headquarters and into an independent cultural community center. The slow-paced restoration has developed a conference and expositions room, a library, a craftsmanship shop, an antiques room, a hydroponics system, and a butterfly zoo. All of them are powered with solar energy. The visit includes a talk about its development and achievements through community self-management. It also includes a tour with a guide-interpreter around several areas of interest such as the craftsmanship shop, the library, the antiques room, the historical photographs gallery, the Café Madre Isla grinding and packaging process, the solar energy system, the plant nursery, the butterfly zoo and their laboratory.

 

 

Dos Bocas Lake

This artificial lake located between Utuado and Arecibo is surrounded by restaurants with impressive views and exuberant vegetation. There is a port where you can board a ship and take a scenic ride with stops at the lakeside restaurants. The port has parking and restroom facilities, and a recreational area with tables where you can sit and wait for the ferry departure while you enjoy the beautiful lake view.

 

Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park and Center

Branded as National Historic Landmark, it was one of the first archeological findings on the island. It has several Taíno ball parks (or bateyes in Taíno) surrounded by rocks with petroglyphs on the surface, and a small museum showcasing Taíno artifacts.

 

Tanamá River

Beautiful river in Utuado, perfect for various activities such as rafting, caving and rappelling. Several companies offer guided tours for safe visits.

 

Centro Vacacional Monte del Estado

Located in the mountain area of Maricao, this national park invites us to enjoy the beauty of nature from its cabins. Next to the vacation center is the Monte del Estado ecological park, where you can camp. It has a pool, a recreational area, green areas, food areas, a basketball court and lookouts.

 

 

Gozalandia Cascade (San Sebastián)

This cascade has become one of the most visited natural treasures in Puerto Rico. It is also known as el Roble Pond or el Charco de la Leche. The pond has some impressive cascades that, for their natural beauty, have been the setting for several Hollywood movies.

 

Casa Bavaria

It is a German and typical food restaurant located at 2,105 feet (642 meters) high in the mountains of Morovis. With several outdoor tables and a great mango tree as the main attraction, you will enjoy the fresh country breeze and a spectacular view to the north coast of the island. The menu highlights typical dishes from the Baviera region in Germany as well as Puerto Rican specialties. There is a large variety of beers and international wines that can be enjoyed with the different appetizers and desserts.

Contact Information

State Department of Puerto Rico
P.O. Box 9023271
San Juan, PR 00902-3271
1 (787) 722-2121 ext. 4292, 4295, 4350
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