Aibonito – “The Switzerland of Puerto Rico”
Aibonito is a small town situated near to the Cayey mountain range located on the island of Puerto Rico. The town was first founded on the 13th of March 1824. Aibonito can be found at a height of 2,401 feet or at 731 meters above the mean sea level and is considered to have one of the highest town squares in Puerto Rico. Other mountains that Aibonito is near to include Asomante, which is at 2,042 feet; La Sierra at 2,394 feet; and Torre Degetau, which stands at 2,109 feet.
The mountain town of Aibonito is spread over eight different municipalities and is near to towns like Salinas, Barranquitas, Coamo, Comerio, Cayey and Cidra. Aibonito has a number of rivers flowing through it including the Cuyon, La Plata, Usabon and the Aibonito River.
The temperature of Aibonito is relatively cool all year round, considering the town’s high elevation. In fact in 1917, on the 9th of March Aibonito experienced the lowest temperatures the island had ever recorded when the temperature dropped to 40°F. It’s no wonder that Aibonito has been nicknamed the “Switzerland of Puerto Rico”. The temperatures experienced in Aibonito are excellent for growing flowers, coffee and tobacco. Cattle and chickens are also farmed in Aibonito. The Industrial sector of the town produces furniture, tapestry, ceramics, pottery and clothing.
In 1825 the first Catholic Church was built in the town of Aibonito. Later, in 1887, the Church was knocked down and another Catholic Church was built in its place. After ten years the building was finally completed in 1897. Other sites and attractions in Aibonito include Cañon de San Cristóbal (Canyon San Cristobal), which is a tube or a narrow passage that runs between two mountains. The canyon is steep and it goes down until it reaches the bottom of the mountains where it is met by water. La Trinchera de Asomante, Casa Manresa and La Piedra de Degetau are other attractions found in the town of Aibonito.
During the year there are a number of festivals or events that take place in Aibonito. In May there is the Fiestas de Pueblo, in July there is the Festival of the Flowers and the Patron Saint Celebrations. In August you can attend the Festival del Pollo and in November it is the Maratón del Pavo as well as the Festival de la Montaña. There is so much for one to see and do in the town of Aibonito.