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“Criollo” Heart Trail

A journey through the history and identity of Puerto Rico

The “Criollo” Heart Trail is a planned urban trail  featuring history, culture and the evolutions of the Puerto Rican identity. It connects Caguas museums, historic sites, monuments, and art galleries just steps away from one another. 

For more information, please contact the Tourist Office at 787-653-8833 ext. 2908, 2957.

Tourism Office

At the Tourism Office you will receive all the information you need to go on the Criollo Heart Trail. In addition, you will find information regarding our extensive tourism offer, such as: attractions and other museums, tours and adventures, events and festivities, entertainment and nightlife, hotels, restaurants and others.

 

Historical Fact: This building was built in the mid-nineteenth century, and was owned by the Solá Brother. It became the headquarters of La Democracia (The Democracy) Newspaper just after the previous facilities of the famous publication were burned down in 1900 by enemies of the American Federal Party. This Party was presided by the illustrious patriot and politician Don Luis Muñoz Rivera.

Go ahead and stop by our Tourism Office, we will gladly assist you! 

Across from the Santiago R. Palmer Plaza.

If you want to bring family or school groups, you can contact the Tourist Office at 787-653-8833 ext. 2908 for information on reservations.

Phone: 787-653-8833, Exts. 2908, 2957.

Address: Muñoz Rivera Street and Ruiz Belvis Street Corner

Front of Plaza de Recreo Santiago R. Palmer

Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.235150, -66.035752

Caguas History Museum

An opportunity to discover the history of our City.

The museum is located in an Elizabethan neoclassical building, constructed in 1887 and it is the only structure on the trail that has kept its original architecture. In addition to being the headquarters of the City Hall, it served as an infant school, prison, military headquarters and a mental hospital. In 1989, due to its high architectural value, was declared an Historic Monument. It belongs to the National Registry of Historic Places of the United States of America. 

As the headquarters of the Caguas History Museum, the building is transformed into a window into to the past that invites you to learn about the history of our City. The development of the Puerto Rican Identity is narrated through colorful rooms. It is a deep look into the centuries-old history of Caguas, which goes from its original pre-colombian Taino Indian settlements and the ensuing Spanish colonization, all the way to the Unites States invasion in 1898 and the emergence of modern day Puerto Rico.” 

Admission is free of charge and guided tours are available.

 

Phone: 787-744-8833 ext. 1847

Address: Antigua Casa Alcaldía

Muñoz Rivera Street #42, Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.234753, -66.035864

Tobacco Museum Herminio Torres Grillo

The only tobacco museum in Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico, the only tobacco museum is in Caguas, and it is located in an old colonial neoclassical building that served as a blacksmith workshop.

 

The museum shows the development of a crop that was very important for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Our Cagüeño tobacco was so outstanding that, in order to produce the world-famous Havana cigars, Cuba imported it to be mixed with its own.

 

A tour of the facilities makes it easier to understand the tobacco industry and how it is made. A replica of a tobacco “ranchón” (shed), built on a smaller scale, shows how the tobacco was cured and dried. The experience is enriched by the presence of several artisans who carefully make artisanal cigars. If you are a tobacco lover do not miss the opportunity to take home some cigarettes, they will be a pleasant memory of your visit to Caguas.

 

Admission is free of charge and guided tours are offered.

 

Phone: 787-744-2960

Address: Ramón Emeterio Betances Street #87

Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.234383, -66.036773

Caguas Art Museum

The Caguas Art Museum is located in the Casa Amarilla. An imposing neoclassical structure that invites you to enjoy contemporary art work.

Address: Luis Padial Street

Segundo Ruiz Belvis Corner

Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.235555, -66.036416

Performing Arts Center Angel O. Berríos

The Caguas Performing Arts Center, named in honor of the city's past mayor Ángel O. Berríos, was opened in 1993. With its modern and architecturally dynamic structure and large seating capacity it has become one of the largest and comprehensive fine arts centers in the Caribbean. 

Our Performing Arts Center is a first order hall. Local and international artists and performers as well as their followers will enjoy its spacious accommodations and excellent sound technology, acoustics and vanguardist lighting. It has three halls: Felipe Rodríguez Concert Hall, José Luis Moneró Hall and the Carmita Jiménez Convention Hall.

Within its premises La Cueva del Mar Restaurant cuisine is located.

 

Phone: 787-653-1511

Address: Caguas, Puerto Rico 

Web: BellasArtesDeCaguas.com

GPS: 18.235930, -66.036800

House of Trovador Luis Miranda “Pico de Oro”

Discover our folk music.

This space located in a Criollo style structure was made with the purpose of exalting countryman music, one of the most important musical genres in Puerto Rico. The ones who give voice to this folk music are known as “trovadores”, and sing to the land they love through improvised tenths (“décimas”) and “trovas” that express their traditions and quirks. 

 

By exhibiting the history of the “Jíbaro” music, as it is also known, the museum preserves and promotes the musical essence of the Puerto Rican countryman. Musical instruments are presented in the rooms and the leading role of the Puerto Rican “cuatro” stands out. The “cuatro” is our national musical instrument. Originally, it had four simple strings, but by the early 1900s, five double strings were added on, and that is the way we know it today.

 

Admission is free of charge and guided tours are offered.

 

Phone: 787-744-8833 Ext. 1843

Address: Alejandro Tapia Street & Rivera #10

Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.235667, -66.035976

Casa Rosada Carlos Manuel Rodríguez

A place to honor the first and only Blessed Puerto Rican and Cagüeño, Carlos Manuel. 

 

In this typical middle-class residence (“casa”) of the nineteenth century Carlos Manuel lived for many years. Its second floor is dedicated to his life and miracles. 

He is the first Puerto Rican elevated to the altars of sanctity by the Catholic Church, a layman and living example of the most exalted moral and spiritual values of the Puerto Rican people: simplicity, kindness, dedicated work ethic, love of family, service to our fellow man, and faith in God and the eternal life.

 

Admission is free of charge and guided tours are offered.

 

Phone: 787-258-3843

Address: Intendente Alejandro Ramírez Street #12

Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.235082, -66.033642

Musical Centre Criollo José Ignacio Quintón

A celebration of all Puerto Rican musical expressions.

 

This beautiful building appears in the National Registry of Historic Places of Puerto Rico. Since 1909 it housed one of the oldest baptist churches on the entire island: The First Baptist Church of Caguas.

  

Nowadays, it honors the Puerto Rican musical expressions and the famous Caguas-born composer José Ignacio Quintón and is the home of different musical groups sponsored by the Caguas Autonomous Municipality. Such as, The Municipality Band, The Bells Choir, The Golden Coral, The “Típico Criollo” Workshop and the Children´s Choir. 

 

Phone: 787-744-4075

Address: Segundo Ruiz Belvis Street, Caguas, Puerto Rico

Intendant Corner Alejandro Ramírez

GPS: 18.234599, -66.033758

Cathedral Dulce Nombre de Jesús

This majestic structure was built in the same place that the first hermitage dedicated to San Sebastian was located.

 

The dead of the incipient cagüeña village were buried in this structure. 

In the year 1830 it became the Church Dulce Nombre de Jesús , whose facade exhibited a single tower. In the 1930s, a second tower, which is still preserved, was remodeled and added. In 1965, the church became a cathedral by designating the city as the episcopal seat of the new Caguas Diocese. Inside are the remains of the first Puerto Rican Blessed, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez. It is visited by pilgrims from all over the Island and abroad.

 

Phone: 787-743-4311

Address: Manuel Corchado Juarbe Street

Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.234320, -66.034405

Plaza Santiago R. Palmer

The center of our city.

 

The origins of the Santiago R. Palmer Plaza date back to the end of the 18th century, when the old village of San Sebastián del Barrero was transformed into the town of Caguas.

 

Over time the Plaza, center and axis of the new town, was transforming. Rebuilt and remodeled several times during the subsequent centuries; It gets its current name in 1906 in honor of Santiago R. Palmer, politician and pioneer of the Masonic movement in Puerto Rico. Currently, surrounded by relevant shops and buildings, it remains the center of the city.

 

When visiting it, do not miss its fountains and sculptures. Walk along its sidewalks and visit the floral clock, its pond and the aviary, home of the parrots Hortensia and Hugo. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy exquisite gourmet Puerto Rican coffee sitting in the shade of lush trees overlooking the Cathedral, or try the gastronomic dishes offered by the food carts installed on its premises such as local fritters, snacks, delightful local homemade candies or ice cream, refreshing piña coladas, fruit frappes, and other type of refreshments.  If you travel with children, do not forget the carousel, it is a delight for the little ones. 

 

In the end, you will enjoy one of the most pleasant and beautiful recreational Plazas in Puerto Rico.

 

The Plaza is located between Muñoz Rivera, Betances, Corchado and Ruiz Belvis streets. The carousel is a free attraction and operates from Friday to Sunday.

 

Address: Muñoz Rivera Street

Betances, Corchado & Ruiz Belvis

Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.234626, -66.035258

Popular Arts Museum 

A space that values the work of artisan hands.

 

Located in a classic neocolonial structure from the 18th century that formerly served as a butcher shop, today it is a space that pays tribute to Puerto Rican artisans that transform noble materials into artisan works. 

 

In the first of its two rooms, the museum exhibits a permanent collection of Puerto Rican master craftsmen such as Santeros Zoilo Cajigas and Celestino Avilés. There are also works by Carmelo Martell, cuatro manufacturer, or by Elpidio Collazo and Emilio Rosado, bird carvers. This space is shared with local artisans such as Jamilette Torres, leather artisan, Margarita Morales, ceramic image maker, and Ernesto Cuadrado, toy artisan.

 

The second room presents temporary exhibitions, as well as a sample of miniature costumbristas by the great Cagüeño teacher Edwin Báez.

 

Admission is free of charge and guided tours are offered.

 

Phone: 787-258-3540

Address: Ramón Emeterio Betances Street

Corner Luis Padial

Caguas, Puerto Rico

GPS: 18.234391, -66.036632

Casita Verde Abelardo Díaz Alfaro

A tribute to the illustrious Puerto Rican writer Abelardo Díaz Alfaro.

La Casita Verde is a cultural project that honors the illustrious Puerto Rican writer Abelardo Díaz Alfaro. It has a set of memorabilia, informative graphics and a documentary of the storyteller to showcase his life and inform visitors of his legacy as a native Cagüeño writer, representative of The “Criollismo”. 

The space also functions as a literary center that offers conferences and workshops on literary creations. 

Son of Caguas, Don Abelardo, reflected in his work the intimate and unconditional love for the autochthonous from his Casita Verde. Thus, the Casita Verde is an integral element of the historical-cultural heritage of all Cagüeños and Puerto Rico. 

 

Admission is free of charge and guided tours are offered.

 

Phone: 787-745-4044

Address: 97 Acosta Street, Caguas, 00725

GPS: 18.230034, -66.034844

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