Adjuntas – Puerto Rico’s Own Little Switzerland
If you are planning to spend some time in Puerto Rico but do not enjoy hot or humid weather, you might want to consider spending some time in Adjuntas. Also known as ‘La Suiza de Puerto Rico’ – which means ‘the Switzerland of Puerto Rico' – this little town has gained its reputation because it has much lower average temperatures than most other towns in Puerto Rico. The town is situated in the shadow of a mountain known affectionately as ‘the sleeping giant’ and visitors usually find it to be a cool and comfortable sort of city with a lazy pace of life.
The beautiful little town of Adjuntas in the Porta Caribe region of Puerto Rico was founded on 11 August 1815 by a gentleman known as Diego Maldonado. The town was formed by combining a section of a much older, already existing town with a newer town. Thus, the term ‘tierras adjuntas’ was used to describe this merger of ‘adjoining land’ and this is where the town got its name from. Today you will find that Adjuntas is a small mountainside town situated in the La Cordillera Central mountain range which is located west of Ponce. It takes about two hours to reach if you drive westward from San Juan so is really quite accessible.
Even though the population of the town is only about 20 000, Adjuntas is popular. This has got much less to do with its history and much more to do with its being one of the leading examples when it comes to the preservation of natural resources in Puerto Rico. The change came about in the 1990s when copper, gold and other minerals were discovered in the area. However, local community leaders and environmentalists were concerned about the effect that intensive mining would have on the natural resources of the area and they opposed the mining with success. Today they provide a shining example of how to place the importance of natural wealth above that of mining minerals.
The town of Adjuntas itself has a few small attractions you may want to explore before setting off to discover its natural wealth. It is home to a church which was established in 1815, as well as the island’s first Health Center which was built in 1950. The Museo Casa Pueblo combines an art gallery, a craft shop and a library and makes for a great morning out. Guests commonly stay in either the local hotel, which is called ‘Monte Rio’, or in the nearby country inn, which is named ‘Villa Sotomayor’. Both provide excellent accommodation and the town itself is an enchanting destination.