The town of Loiza has a long and interesting history. The African heritage of the area is seen all around town — in the music, dance and art. The Loizeno people are proud of their ancestry, and the local artisans often use it as a primary theme in their artwork. If you really want to take home a meaningful and authentic hand-crafted souvenir from Puerto Rico, skip the Made in China stuff that you’ll find at the airport. Instead, take a short trip to Loiza where you can learn a little history, and buy directly from the artists.
Articles in the History Category
Archaeologists have found evidence of pre-Taino people living in what is now Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve in Fajardo. They have uncovered human skeletons, bones, shells, tools, and clay pots that date back to 300-600AD. But now, this historical site is at risk of being lost due to actions of the waves and wind, and the rise in sea level. It is a race against time to save the remains – and they need your help!
What do you do when you’ve had too much sun or are simply tired of lounging around on beautiful beaches? You take a road trip! Even though Vieques is known for it’s beautiful beaches, there are still some non-beachy things you can do to pass the time. Here is a list of things you can do on the north side of Vieques that don’t involve a beach blanket.
Maria de la Cruz cave in Loiza is a historical monument that contained evidence of some of the earliest inhabitants of Puerto Rico. This small, historically significant cave is a short drive from Isla Verde, and is worth a quick visit if you happen to be in the area.
I love old, historic buildings and rum, so of course I had to make a point to visit Hacienda Santa Ana – the home of Ron del Barrilito, one of the local Puerto Rican rum producers. Their rum is made and aged here, on the family’s property, which used to be an old sugar hacienda. Though they don’t offer a factory tour, nor offer rum samples, it’s a quick stop where you can get some good photos of a historic site.
The Museo Agricola de Aguada contains a varied collection of items and antiques, including carved wooden Santos, a restored locomotive, pre-Columbian artifacts, musical instruments, household items, … and a huge collection of clothes irons. It’s an eclectic collection of “stuff” that will give you glimpse into the history of Puerto Rico.
It is no secret that people in Puerto Rico know how to party, especially around the Christmas holidays. Announce that there will be a parade, music, dancing, libations, food – then add in local artisan crafts for sale – and it all adds up to one crazy celebration! That describes the San Sebastian Street Festival, or Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian, which will be held in 2015 in January. I am guessing Jan 15-18th, 2015. Check back for official dates!
We’ve known for years that there are pre-Columbian petroglyphs in the river down the road from our house. We cross the bridge over that river every time we leave our house … that’s how many times since 2005? We finally made the time to stop and check them out. Wow! What a great (and easy to get to) find!
Ermita San Antonio de Padua de la Tuna is the remains of the first Spanish settlement in the northwest part of Puerto Rico. It’s an interesting bit of history that is worth a quick stop while you’re in the Isabela area. It was the original town of what is now Isabela.
We managed to snorkel, hike, explore white sand beaches, hunt sea glass and shells, play in the water and relax all in one day on a recent trip in Culebra when we kayaked over to Cayo Luis Pena. This little island is rarely visited, but it really is worth the effort to experience this beautiful nature reserve.
The Spanish settlers made Puerto Rico their home more than 500 years ago, and you can see the archaeological evidence of their first settlement at the Caparra Ruins Museum and Historic Park in the town of Guaynabo. It is a small but important spot that has been set aside for its historical significance.
I love exploring the karst region of Puerto Rico. The landscape is ruggedly beautiful, the caves hold many secrets from the past, and there is a great diversity of plants and animals. Tierra del Encantos Eco Tours offers a hiking adventure that allows you to get up close and personal with nature in the area.
Did you know that Vieques has been a favorite stop for travelers to the Caribbean for thousands of years? Seriously … there is archaeological evidence. The skeletal remains of a 4000 year old man, El Hombre de Puerto Ferro, were found on Vieques in 1991, surrounded by large boulders.
We recently took some time to explore the Capital District of Old San Juan. In addition to the Capitol Building, there are a number of memorial plazas and sculptures, including a Holocaust Memorial, Fallen Soldier Memorial, Monument to Police killed in the line of duty, and quite a few more. We’ve driven through this area many times over the years without even knowing these things were there. Boy, were we surprised by all that we found!
The Cuartel del Ballaja is now decked out in lights – the outside glows with different colored lights, luring you in to see the real show … a 3D projection mapping film called Puerto Rico, La Isla del Encanto. The film is projected onto the walls of the courtyard, creating an amazing show of light and sound.