Caparra- The Original Capital of Puerto Rico

In 1508, Ponce de Leon, the first governor of Puerto Rico, founded a settlement named Caparra. It was known amongst Spanish settlers as “La Ciudad de Puerto Rico” (meaning the city of Puerto Rico), as it was the first European settlement and the first capital on the island.

Sadly, only 11 years later, between 1519 and 1521, the settlement was completely abandoned due to Indian attacks and the capital of Puerto Rico was moved to what is now known as Old San Juan. All that remains of Caparra are a few ruins and the Museum of the Conquest and Colonization of Puerto Rico, a popular tourist attraction in Guaynabo. Amongst the remains of Caparra are ruins of the home of Ponce de Leon, a fascinating site to visit. The Caparra Archaeological Site is a National Historic Landmark. Visitors to the museum in Caparra can view a number of documents and artifacts that reveal interesting details regarding the colonization of Puerto Rico.

All in all, if you are looking to discover something more about the history of Puerto Rico and walk in the footsteps of the country’s first governor, then Caparra (the island’s oldest city) is a destination not to be missed.


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