For 3 short days in October 1950, Puerto Rico was declared an independent nation called La Republica de Puerto Rico by Blanca Canales and a band of Independentistas. Today, the Canales Museum houses a collection of memorabilia that provides a glimpse of the revolution of that time.
Articles in the Porta Cordillera (Central) Category
Gozalandia or Las Cataratas Waterfall in San Sebastian is sometimes called the secret waterfall even though it is actually on a couple of the official PR tourism maps. I guess it is not that secret after all! Actually finding the waterfall is an adventure in itself. With the help of some people on the TripAdvisor.com Puerto Rico forum who provided the initial directions, we set off to find this secret treasure!
If you want to be part of a local experience, get up early on a Friday and head to the San Sebastian Market. I guess I would call it a large flea market or farmers market, since it had a little bit of everything. The market is located on the Centro Agropecuario grounds. It has slots for over 340 tables inside the grounds and, of course, there are other people selling things outside in the parking lot.
Casa Pueblo is a community-based organization focused on, among other things, the protection and management of natural resources. On a visit to their headquarters in Adjuntas, you’ll learn about their on-going eco-friendly endeavors and educational programs, and you’ll have the chance to buy some local artisan goods in their gift shop.
If you love ice cream and exotic flavors, you need to visit Heladeria Lares, located on the town square in Lares. They have home-made ice cream in flavors like rice & beans, garlic, corn, pumpkin and cod fish (to name a few). Most are tasty. Some are just bizarre. For the faint of heart, they also have "safe" flavors like vanilla and chocolate.
Puerto Rico has a long history of Indian cultures that lived here many hundreds to thousands of years ago. The most recent Indian culture, the Tainos, left many petroglyphs on rocks near rivers or in caves. The town of Jayuya has a nice example of a piedra escrita that contains many different Taino drawings.
The Guajataca Forest in Isabela is in the karst region of Puerto Rico and the landscape and plant life is totally different than what we are used to seeing in the north-east of the island. I thought the best part about this forest is exploring Cueva del Viento (Cave of the Wind).
There are lots of waterfalls that can be found throughout the island. Most are in obscure locations and can only be found with the help of a local. We knew about Las Garzas Falls in Adjuntas, but we didn’t really know where it was located. So, one day, we decided to try to find it.
The Cemi Museum (Museo El Cemi, in Spanish) in Jayuya is a visitor center for the area and a showcase of Taino artifacts. The leaders of Jayuya wanted to preserve and educate about the Taino culture, so they opened this odd-shaped museum in 1989.
Waterfalls are facinating — they are beautiful, powerful and natural. With the Cordillera Central that runs through the middle of the Puerto Rico, we get a lot of rain that falls on those peaks, resulting in a number of waterfalls across the island. Many of them require hiking in forests and wading rivers to get to see them. But Dona Juana Waterfall is right along the road. Can it get any easier?
The Carite Forest is located just up the road from the Guavate area in Cayey. The forest encompasses over 6000 acres and is maintained by the Departmento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales as a recreation area. The forest has some nice picnic and camping areas, some great natural pools and waterfalls.
If you like natural swimming pools, Charco Azul (blue pond, in English) is one of Puerto Rico’s most famous ones. Located in the middle of the Carite Forest, about 10 minutes up the road from the lechnarias in the Guavate region of Cayey, it’s the perfect spot for a picnic and swimming.
Imagine speeding around a race track, in a convertible, with the wind whipping through your hair. What fun! OK — miniaturize that thought and think go-karts! There are a couple places in Puerto Rico that offer go-kart rides for a reasonable price.
Imagine all sorts of fun, outdoor activities like swimming pools, a paint ball field, skate ramps for skateboard and in-line skates, an “inflatables” park, a rope obstacle course, go carts, pony rides, and food. Now put them all together in one spot and what do you get? Moisty Skate & Family Park in Caguas, that’s what.
Andrew travels to Puerto Rico where the flavors of the food tell the history of the island, from the deep-fried treats brought in by Africans to the roasted pork made popular by the Spanish. Tune in on June 9 @ 10pm on the Travel Channel.