Enjoy the Seaside Town of Isabela
Named in honor of Queen Isabel of Spain, the picturesque seaside town of Isabela is located in the north-western region of Puerto Rico. Home to some of the island’s most spectacular beaches, Isabela is a popular tourist and surfing destination, while the steady off-shore breeze is perfect for sailing, kite surfing and windsurfing. The wildflowers found in and around the town have prompted its nickname as the “Garden of the Northwest”. In addition to its beaches, Isabela is known for its mountains, some of which reach a height of 1000 feet, as well as its rivers, lakes, forests, cliffs and caves which provide habitats for a wide variety of birds and other animals.
Visitors interested in the history and culture of Puerto Rico will enjoy a visit to the Hermitage of San Antonio de Padua de la Tuna located near Isabela. Dating back to 1730, the site is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places and features the ruins of the village which was abandoned in the early 1800s when the residents moved to the coastal location which was officially founded in 1819 as Isabela. Another historical treasure is the railroad tunnel built in the early 1900s, linking the towns of Isabela and Quebradillas. The railway is no longer in use and the Guajataca Tunnel has been declared a historical monument by Puerto Rican authorities.
The consistent waves of Jobos Beach make it a popular spot for surfing competitions. It is also a great location to learn to surf and there are usually local instructors ready to introduce newcomers to the waves. Windsurfing and kite-surfing are also popular activities at Jobos Beach. Visitors to Jobos should be sure to talk a walk to the nearby pit cave, Pozo de Jacinto, where waves come crashing through the hollow in the rocks.
Cock-fighting is a popular activity in Isabela, and the town is known for its prize-fighters. This has led to Isabela being referred to as Ciudad de los Gallitos – City of the Fighting Cocks. Currently cock fighting is legal in Puerto Rico, with the government collecting revenue from legally run clubs which generate up to 100,000 jobs and draw up to a million spectators each year around the island.