La Capital Indigena – The Gateway to Forest Reserves and Stunning Mountains
Located beside the impressive Toro Negro Forest Reserve of Puerto Rico is the town of Jayuya. This fascinating town provides a marvelous gateway into this stunning reserve. It also provides the perfect introduction to Puerto Rico's Indian cultural heritage. Surrounded by mountains and covering an area of 101 km squared, Jayuya is certainly worth a visit.
Also referred to as “La Capital Indigena” or the “Indigenous Capital”, Jayuya is home to a parador that was once a coffee estate. Running through the parador is a path that leads to Cerro Punta, which stands at 1 338 meters above sea level. Apparently the town of Jayuya is named for the Taíno chief, Hayuya. There is much to see an do in Jayuya and tourists will not be disappointed if they include the town on their itinerary.
It is believed that people began residing in the vicinity of Jayuya back in 1878, but the municipality itself was founded in 1911. The town as very involved in producing coffee and this contributed greatly to its economy. During 1950 the town was affected by the Jayuya Uprising. This revolt against the United States was encouraged by Blanca Canales Torresola, along with Doris Torresola and Elio Torresola.
Today Jayuya is known for its stunning scenery and expert wood carvers. There are several fascinating attractions in the town that are worth viewing. Those interested in history can visit the Casa Canales Museum, El Cemí Museum and Nemesio Canales Museum. There are also numerous monuments for sightseers to visit, including the Nemesio Canales statue and Chief Hayuya Monument. Also worth seeing are the Hacienda Gripiñas, Los Tres Picachos, Taíno Tomb and La Piedra Escrita. Add to this the natural wonders of the Toro Negro Forest, Cerro de Punta (Puerto Rico’s highest mountain), the Rio Grande de Jayuya, Yunes River and Naranjito River and you have the ideal tourist destination.
Many events and festivals are held in Juyuya and these can add to your amazing experience here. These include the Tomato Festival in February, the Patron Celebrations in September and the National Indian Festival in November. Indeed, you are certain to have a wonderful time whilst in Juyuya, no matter how long or brief your stay is.