Mayagüez, PR – City of Pure Waters

The municipality of Mayagüez has its “RUM.” It stands for Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez, a very popular campus of the University of Puerto Rico system. So, this third largest city in the island is one of the few thought of as an “university town.” And no, Mayagüez is not just popular with college students for its beer industry, which produces such brands as Medalla. Shopping centers are abundant, as well as chain restaurants and varied entertainment opportunities, like the casinos and nightclubs at the larger hotels.

Mayagüez is also known for the sangría Fido, its secret recipe making it a sought-after drink all over the island. Mayagüezanos have their own special brand of “brazo gitano,” a “jelly roll”-like dessert, usually filled with guava paste. For more sugar fixes, you can visit during the National Mango Festival in June.

The municipality is located on the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico, which provides visitors with great beaches to cool off from the region’s high temperatures. The beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea beckon, making the beaches here -such as Columbus Landing and Point Algarrobos- into popular activity centers, brimming with sunbathers and water sports aficionados alike. Those looking to get in on the action can find opportunities for everything under the sun: snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing.

The Río Yagüez now features its own Paseo Lineal, a beautiful park along its banks with a monument to the great taíno chief Urayoán. But visitors often flock to the university area where they can find the famous and recently-renovated zoo, a unique planetarium, or the Estación Experimental dedicated to the study of tropical agriculture.

In the town itself there are various historical buildings of interest. The Teatro Yagüez, a theater refurbished to reflect its original early 20th century design, serves as an elegant cultural center. The tree-lined Plaza de Recreo Colón boasts a beautiful water fountain and a central statue of Christopher Columbus. There’s also the Casa Grande, which dates back to 1890. This former residence now houses a museum, but once served as meeting place for important political luminaries such as José de Diego.

Zoológico Dr. Juan A. Rivero

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