Caguas, Puerto Rico (2024 Guide) – All You Need To Know

Caguas is a small city located just an hour drive from San Juan.

This is a fun place to visit for the day if you want to explore outside the San Juan area.

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and have been to Caguas many times.

In this article, I will cover everything that you need to know about Caguas:

What is Caguas?
Where in Puerto Rico is Caguas located?
What is Caguas Puerto Rico known for?
What are some things to do in Caguas?
Is Caguas safe for tourists?


What is Caguas?

Caguas is a mountainous city in Puerto Rico, with the 5th largest population on the island.

Caguas’s city center is a family friendly place to spend the day to enjoy the surrounding museums and ice cream parlors.

It was founded in 1775 and has a rich history with both the Taíno natives and the Spanish colonization of the 15th century.

It was named for a Taíno cacique (chief), called Caguax who once led the entire region. 

Check out the video below for an aerial view of Caguas:

You can learn more about the Taínos and the cultural impact they left in our History of Puerto Rico article. 


Where in Puerto Rico is Caguas located?

Caguas is located just south of San Juan, about a 20-minute drive away.

Caguas is a short drive from San Juan, and a good stopping point if you are en route to Ponce.

Other important nearby cities/towns include Humacao, which is about the same distance headed north.

Even with its close proximity to coasts and large cities, Caguas is still part of Puerto Rico’s mountain range. 

While the city is technically in the Valley of Caguas, and it’s directly connected to one of Puerto Rico’s largest rivers.

image of El Río Grande de Loíza
El Río Grande de Loíza runs into Caguas from Puerto Rico’s northeastern shores.

El Río Grande de Loíza heads directly into Caguas, with smaller rivers and creeks also snaking into the city’s landscape.

Check out the Google Map below for the exact location of Caguas:

If you’re planning on driving around the island, check out our article on How to Get Around Puerto Rico.


What is Caguas Puerto Rico known for?

This city is greatly known for being a housing offset for San Juan; meaning the large population often has jobs and social lives in the capital and enjoys a quiet home life in Caguas.

Paseo de las Artistas in Caguas hosts a lively art fair featuring music, food, and the works of local artisans on the third Saturday of each month.

Some of the biggest attractions for visitors in Caguas are the Botanical Gardens, historic locations, museums, churches, and historic homes.

Fans of the outdoors can also check out all the natural spots; rivers, cave systems, and nature reserves.

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Photo credit: @rocaliza

For even more outdoor adventures, check out the 15 Best Outdoor Activities in Puerto Rico.


What are some things to do in Caguas?


One of the most stunning places to visit in Caguas is the Botanical Gardens, full of nature trails and a wide variety of endemic plant life.

image of Botanical Gardens
The Caguas Botanical Gardens are known as one of the most beautiful maintained gardens in Puerto Rico.

There are areas dedicated to fruit trees, traditional agriculture, and historic Taíno plants and culture.

You can learn more in our article Caguas Botanical Gardens – All You Need To Know.

Visitors can enjoy spending their day at the Caguas Real Golf & Country Club.

image of Caguas Real Golf Club
Caguas Real Golf Club is among one of the favorite golf courses on the island.

This is one of our 12 Best Golf Courses in Puerto Rico, and the most challenging course for veterans of the sport.



Caguas also has a great selection of historic sites and museums, including amazing structures in the city center. 

Caguas’s Criollo Salsa Route allows you to explore locations where you can both dance and listen to salsa music.

You’ll have the opportunity to check out record stores and musical instrument shops, as well as visit public art installations, monuments, and places frequented by renowned “salseros”.

Caguas’s tourism office offers many free, self-guided walking tours where you can learn more about Puerto Rican culture through music, museums, and art.

If you stop by the Caguas Tourism Office located in the city plaza, they will give you a map to a self-guided tour of La Ruta del Corazón Criollo. You can spend the day walking around Caguas and enjoying its many free museums.

The Caguas Museum of Art is located in an antique home known as “Casa Amarilla”, and boasts both permanent and temporary exhibits.

image of Museo de Arte de Caguas
The Museo de Arte de Caguas first floor is devoted to the works of Carlos Osorio, a painter from Caguas, while the second-floor features rotating exhibits.

There’s also the Caguas Museum of Tobacco, another antique building in the city center.

This museum is a great place for anyone who enjoys tobacco, as they have a variety of local products both on display and for sale.

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Photo Credit: @destinationpuertoricodmc

If you’re interested in touring more museums around the island, check out our 12 Best Museums in Puerto Rico


Where to eat

Caguas is also an amazing gastronomic center, with plenty of local restaurants and cuisines to choose from.

The municipal office has an official Gastronomic Route, with enough variety to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

An island favorite is Burger Town PR, with restaurants in San Juan and Caguas!

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A post shared by Burger Town (@burgertownpr)

Photo Credit: @burgertownpr

For foodies visiting the island, make sure to peek at our 3 Best Local Food Tours in Puerto Rico


Grab a drink

Visitors who enjoy having a drink should also visit Los Hermanos Sangria in the heart of Caguas. 

These fruity drinks are a fan-favorite, and small amounts (about a liter per person) can be brought to the US in checked luggage. 

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A post shared by Sangría Los Hermanos (@sangrialoshermanos)

Photo Credit: @sangrialoshermanos

Other popular drink spots include F.O.K Brewing Company, with over 20 different types of locally brewed beers.

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A post shared by FOK Brewing- La Cervecería 🍻 (@fok_brewing)

Photo Credit: @fok_brewing

It’s important to note the drinking age in Puerto Rico is 18, but drinking responsibly and safely is always key. Learn more in our article about the Drinking Age in Puerto Rico – All You Need To Know.


Is Caguas safe for tourists?

Caguas is as safe to visit as the rest of the island.

It’s important to note that the metropolitan areas near San Juan, including Caguas, tend to have higher crime rates than the rest of the island.

The Cathedral Dulce Nombre de Jesús in the city center serves as the primary church for the Diocese of Caguas.

Still, the island is a very safe place for visitors.

You can read our article on Safety For Travel in Puerto Rico for everything you need to know. 


FAQ section

Is Caguas worth visiting?

Absolutely! Caguas has a huge variety of fun activities close to San Juan, making this a perfect stop for travelers on a tighter schedule.

How far is the drive from San Juan to Caguas?

Caguas is about a half-hour drive from San Juan. Rental cars and rideshares are available in the area, so rental cars aren’t a necessity.


Final thoughts

You can think of Caguas as a smaller and more relaxed version of San Juan; lots of fun things to do, but half the crowds!

The Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful nature parks on the island, unique for its flora, fauna, and history; visiting it is an absolute must.

For more fast-paced fun nearby, check out our Guide to San Juan.

You can also find one of Puerto Rico’s Bioluminescent Bays less than an hour away, in the coastal town of Fajardo.

Caguas, Puerto Rico (2024 Guide) – All You Need To Know
Article by

Adriana Mercado

Writer at I am a writer, editor, and freelancer. I was born and raised in San Germán, Puerto Rico, where I experienced the best landscapes, local eateries, and shops the region has to offer. Sharing the rich culture and history of Puerto Rico’s Southwest gives me the perfect reason to keep exploring! 

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