Cayey, Puerto Rico (2023 Guide) – All You Need To Know

Cayey is a gorgeous town in the mountain region of Puerto Rico.

Residents from the island love visiting Cayey! Especially during the weekend.

I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years and Cayey is my favorite place to visit to enjoy delicious roast pork and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. 

In this article, I will cover everything that you need to know about Cayey, Puerto Rico:

What is Cayey?
Where in Puerto Rico is Cayey located?
What is Cayey, Puerto Rico known for?
What are some things to do in Cayey?
Is Cayey safe for tourists?
Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Cayey?

Cayey is a town located in the mountain region of Puerto Rico. 

It was founded on August 17, 1773, by the first mayor “Juan Mata Vázquez.”

Cayey is known for its rich history, scenic beauty, and friendly locals. Around 45,000 people are living in Cayey which is one of the largest municipalities in Puerto Rico.

image of Puente de Cayey puerto rico
Cayey is a mountainous area in Puerto Rico with around 45,000 residents.

There are different nicknames for Cayey, it’s called the town of the little bull (La Ciudad Del Torito) , and the city of the fog (La Ciudad de las Brumas).

According to one theory, the name “Cayey” is derived from the Taíno word “Kai-ey,” which means “place of waters.” 

This name is thought to refer to the numerous streams, rivers, and springs found in the area, which have been an essential water source for residents for centuries.

In terms of natural beauty, Cayey boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Puerto Rico. 

La Curva del Árbol is a popular photo destination where you can swing and overlook the mountains of Cayey.

The Central Mountain Range runs through the municipality, offering visitors breathtaking views of the lush green hills and valleys. 

Additionally, Cayey has parks and nature reserves like Guavate Forest and Caves that allow outdoor activities.

Cayey is also known for its vibrant cultural scene. 

The municipality has several annual festivals and events, such as the “Fiestas Patronales de Cayey” and the “Cayey International Film Festival.” 

These events showcase the best of local culture, from traditional music and dance to modern art and film. 

Below is a video of an aerial view of Cayey, Puerto Rico:

Several museums are located in Cayey, including the Cayey History Museum. 

Visiting Cayey is the a perfect mid-way stopping point driving from San Juan to Ponce.

 

Where in Puerto Rico is Cayey located?

Cayey is located in the central mountain range of Puerto Rico, about 35 miles southeast of the capital city of San Juan.

Cayey is located towards the southern side of Puerto Rico, about halfway between San Juan and Ponce.

The cities of Cidra, Salinas, Aibonito, and Guayama border the municipality, which covers an area of approximately 72 square miles.

A network of roads and highways, including the PR-1, provides easy access to other parts of the island. PR-1 runs through the center of the municipality, connecting Cayey to other parts of Puerto Rico.

Check out the Google Maps below that shows exactly where Cayey, Puerto Rico, is located:

From San Juan to Cayey, it’s about a 55-minute drive.

Cayey is known for its stunning natural areas, check out our guide to the 20 Best Hiking Trails In Puerto Rico where you can find a few different trails in this region.

 

What is Cayey, Puerto Rico known for?

There are a few things Cayey, Puerto Rico is famously known for.

Cayey is known for its twin peaks locals call “Las Tetas de Cayey” (Cayeys breasts).

These were formed by volcanic activity. 

image of Las Tetas de Cayey
Las Tetas de Cayey are two famous mountain peaks located in the hills surrounding the town.

Driving down the Cayey highway, you’ll find the Puerto Rican countryman monument, known as “El Monumento del Jíbaro Puertorriqueño.”

This monument pays homemade to the Puerto Rican countryman: Hardworking, wise, and impoverished. 

Cayey is also known for the Carite Forest Reserve, which we’ve previously mentioned in our 15 Best Waterfalls In Puerto Rico article.

image of El <yoastmark class=
A popular swimming area in Cayey, Charco Azul is a great place to relax.

But I believe one of the first things that pop into people’s heads when they hear Cayey is the Lechoneras!

Cayey, specifically the neighborhood of Guavate, is famous for its strip of cafeteria-style restaurants and kiosks selling a ton of Lechón Asado, or “roast pork,” called Lechoneras.

A lechonera is a South American/Caribbean restaurant that sells roasted pork. 

image of Lechonera El Mojito
A restaurant in South America and the Caribbean that specializes in selling roasted pork is known as a lechonera.

Residents of Puerto Rico, locals, and visitors worldwide love visiting Cayey to enjoy delicious roasted pork, rice with gandules beans, and viandas. 

If you plan to visit Cayey, it’s best to visit during the week as it’s quiet and not so busy. 

image of food in platter
Roast pork, flavored rice and plantains can be found on the Pork Highway of Guavate.

But during the weekend, the entire area becomes a street party where family and friends come from all over the island to enjoy delicious food, dance salsa and have a fantastic time.

Check out our guide to the 30 Best Puerto Rican Street Foods before you go.

 

What are some things to do in Cayey?

1. Charco Azul

Charco Azul is a natural pool and swimming area in Cayey and part of the Carite Forest Reserve.

image of charco azul
The perfect place to cool off after a hike through the Carite Forest.

You can swim in the calm, refreshing waters or simply lounge on the rocks and soak up the sun.

Charco Azul is perfect for picnics, day trips, or family outings. 

If you’re looking to cool off on a hot day or simply want to enjoy the beauty of nature, Charco Azul is worth a visit.

 

2. Jíbaro Monument

This statue honors the island’s traditional rural farmers and their contribution to Puerto Rican culture and heritage.

image of monument to the Puerto Rican countryman
Monument to the Puerto Rican Countryman, or Jíbaro.

The white statue depicts a Jíbaro family, a farmer, and his wife caring for their newborn baby in traditional rural clothing. It is located on the side of the highway as you go south to Salinas.

It’s about 40 miles from San Juan and takes 55 minutes.

Visitors to the Jíbaro Monument can admire the statue and learn about the critical role that Jíbaros played in shaping the history and culture of Puerto Rico.

 

3. Loma de los Tres Reyes Mago

Loma de los Tres Reyes Magos is a hill located in Cayey, Puerto Rico, that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

image of Loma de los Tres Reyes Magos
The Hill of the Three Kings is a special place for Christians that pays tribute to the popular holiday of Three Kings Day, celebrated every January.

The hill is named after the Three Wise Men, or Three Kings, revered in the Christian tradition for bringing gifts to the baby Jesus.

Fun fact, Puerto Ricans celebrate two Christmases every year. The traditional Christmas holiday is during December and then Three Kinds Day every January 6. 

Loma de los Tres Reyes Magos is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, who enjoy the scenic views, go hiking, or simply relax in the fresh mountain air. 

image of tourist spot
Visitors to the area can take in the views of Cayey from the top of the hill.

Green vegetation surrounds the hill, which offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains, forests, and rivers.

 

4. Monumento al Veterano

The Veteran Monument (Monumento al Veterano) is a statue that honors the sacrifices and contributions of Puerto Rican veterans who have served in the military. 

image of Monumento al Veterano
Monumento al Veterano (Veterans Monument) pays tribute to the Puerto Ricans that serve in the US armed forces.

The statue symbolizes the municipality’s deep appreciation for its veterans and their families.

It’s a testament to the bravery and patriotism of all those who have served in the military.

 

Is Cayey safe for tourists?

Yes, Cayey is safe for tourists.

image of Cayey highway
The popular route 52 that connects San Juan to Ponce runs directly through Cayey.

Cayey welcomes tourists from all over the world! This town is known for its friendly atmosphere. Cayey residents are warm, hospitable, and always happy to help.

Like any other destination, tourists should take basic safety precautions and be aware of their surroundings, but overall, Cayey is considered a safe place to visit. 

Learn more in our article Is Puerto Rico Safe?

 

FAQ

Is Cayey worth visiting?

Yes! Cayey is worth visiting.

How far is the drive from San Juan to Cayey?

The drive from San Juan to Cayey is about 55 minutes to 1 hour long.

 

Final thoughts

In conclusion, Cayey, Puerto Rico is worth the visit.

You can do a wide range of activities in Cayey, such as visiting Charco Azul, Monumento el Jíbaro, Loma de los Tres Reyes Magos, and enjoying delicious roast pork in Guavate. 

This is a hidden gem in Puerto Rico; if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, be sure to add Cayey to your list of must-do activities in Puerto Rico.

Check out our 12 Free Things To Do In Puerto Rico article for more things to do in Puerto Rico.

Cayey, Puerto Rico (2023 Guide) – All You Need To Know
Article by

Miguel Concepcion

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years and have experienced every inch of this stunning island. Growing up in Puerto Rico has helped me truly learn about the rich culture and extensive history this island has to offer. I share my local knowledge in all of the articles that I write.

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