The Historical Town of Aguada
On the western side of the island of Puerto Rico lies a little village known as ‘Aguada’. The city was founded sometime between 1508 and 1510 by Cristobal de Sotomayor and as such, is often called ‘La Villa de Sotomayor’ (Sotomayor’s village) by the locals. Aguada is commonly thought to be one of the oldest towns on the island and there have been many unfounded claims that it was here that Christopher Columbus landed in 1493.
Whether Christopher Columbus really did land here or not can never be proved beyond a doubt, but what is known is that Aguada is one first attempts by colonists to set up a town on the island. Before long Aguada became a popular point for ships to stop over en-route from Spain to South America. Its popularity was later boosted in 1737 when the King of Spain issued a declaration that stipulated that all mail from South America to Venezuela must leave from Aguada in Puerto Rico. This meant that many more ships would stop to make port here and this lead to Aguada’s economic growth.
Today Aguada is a fairly large city with a population of more than 42 000 people spread out over an area of approximately 78 square kilometers. The city has approximately 17 wards excluding the administrative center of the city, which is known as ‘Aguada Pueblo’. The city may not be at the top of the average tourist’s list of places to go, but it does have some interesting attractions such as the Ermita Espinar Ruins. The Aguada Museum is a great place to start. This decent museum is located in an old railroad station building and allows visitors the chance to browse through a variety of relics left behind by early Puerto Rican settlers. Some of these historical relics include items abandoned by the Taíno Indians who once populated the area. The museum is open from Monday to Friday between 8:00am and 12:00pm and reservations are required.
Other interesting landmarks include the Coloso Sugar Cane Refinery, the Hermitage del Pinar, the Pico de Piedra Beach, the Loma Linda Stables and the San Francisco de Asis Parish. The Platano Loco (The Crazy Plantain) is a great place to grab a bite to eat and it serves more than just a great plantain sandwich. If you get your timing right you may even be able to enjoy the events surrounding one of the many festivals which are hosted in Aguada. The city hosts five different festivals between June and November each year and each one of them is a treat. So visit Aguada in Puerto Rico and discover a whole new side to the island.