Many of the adjectives used to describe Maunabo point to its relative seclusion. Maunabo is a coastal municipality, nestled between mountains in the southeastern corner of Puerto Rico. Its nickname is “Ciudad Tranquila” (Tranquil City). For years feeling somewhat disconnected from the rest of the island, residents decided to publish their own local newspaper called La Esquina (The Corner). Not only is La Esquina distributed free of charge throughout neighboring towns, but it is now also available online (http://www.laesquina.com/).
Maunabo’s beaches are especially well-suited for rest and relaxation, from the popular Los Bohíos, with its seafood restaurant facing the ocean, to Playa Escondida, a “hidden beach” only accessible by a sandy footpath. The waves here are known to be wild, and daring surfers can often be spotted among the crowds.
A historical attraction in Maunabo’s coast is the Faro de Punta Tuna, a lighthouse dating to the last decade of Spanish rule. The “faro” was part of the lighthouse system the Spaniards built all around Puerto Rico to protect commercial ships. Punta Tuna’s doors recently reopened for curious visitors. The neighboring Punta Tuna Wetlands have also been given natural reserve status. The area’s Long Beach features golden sands where sea turtles nest, as well as rough waves for professional surfers.
Maunabo’s sports teams are given the name “los Jueyeros,” due to the abundance of crab harvesters in this town. All kinds of crab dishes can be found in Maunabo, especially during their annual Festival Jueyero in September.
The town anxiously awaits the completion of a tunnel system running through the mountains and connecting Maunabo more directly to the neighboring municipalities of Yabucoa and Patillas.
However, Maunabo might charm with its tucked-away atmosphere, but maunabeños are anxious for easier flow into neighboring towns. Better access to the rest of the island is in the best interest of the town’s and the region’s economic betterment. Like the river Maunatabón that gives it its name, Maunabo now gets ready to flow elsewhere while enriching its own soil.