Vega Baja – The Syrup City
Vega-baja del Naranjal de Nuestra Senora Del Rosari, commonly known as Antonio Viera, founded the town of Vega Baja (pronounced VAI-gah BAH-hah) on the 3rd of October 1776. Since then, Vega Baja has become a thriving city with a population of over 63 355. It is also known as the ‘syrup city’ or ‘La Ciudad del Melao Melao’ because of the harvests of sugar cane and pineapples that are enjoyed here.
Vega Baja is one of the main cities that lie on the Northern coast of North Central Puerto Rico. West of the city lies Vega Alta, east is the town of Manati and north is the town of Morovis. Vega Baja extends over 13 different wards. It is a town filled with natural beauty with a lush countryside. The landscape is generally quite even and this makes it excellent terrain for cycling and walking enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy rolling hills, nature parks, natural lagoons and a UNESCO World Heritage site, which consists of public Renaissance buildings, and 100 000 palm forests.
Through the middle of this beautiful city you will find one of the many rivers that have played a role in the shaping of this dynamic landscape. The river Cibuco has a variety of names that have distinct meanings. The first name used is ‘Sebuco’ which means ‘chief’. The second name is ‘Cacique’ which means ‘Taino Indian of the area’. The story of the Cibuco River has been told by the many Taino carvings that have been collected from off its exposed reefs. It shows the many activities they performed on a daily basis as well as the type of fish they caught by spear fishing.
Vega Baja enjoys heavy seasonal rains that cause its many rivers to flood. The lasting benefits of this are deeply rich mineral soils as well as a wealth of life found in the reefs and oceans. The town is also well known for its cattle, leather, clothing, machinery and electrical goods.
During your visit to this lovely city you will also want to take a look at some of the fascinating places within Vega Baja town centre. Some places of interest are the Hall of Fame, the Fenix Theater, the Man of the Sugar Cane Monument, Trinitarias Park and the Tortuguero Lagoon. Like most of Puerto Rico, the town has a wealth of festivals throughout the year. These include the Melao Melao marathon in October and the Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament.