Explore Puerto Rico's diverse southern landscapes in Guayama. After leaving the San Juan metro area, you’ll rise to the lush green slopes of the Central Mountain Range and descend through the rolling yellow hills of the south region on your way to the Caribbean coast.
Guayama’s Coastal Gastronomy Trail
Eventually, Guayama’s peninsular Coastal Gastronomy Trail begins, flanked on one side by the mangrove-lined Jobos Bay and Aguirre State Forest and the vast Caribbean Sea on the other. This strip of the 7710 road, which crosses a sector known as Pozuelo, is a favorite destination for locals who want to enjoy fresh seafood.
Casual Restaurants in Guayama
As you arrive, restaurants with Ruta Gastronómica de la Costa signs (this translates to Coastal Gastronomic Route) line both sides of the street. Some, like El Trapiche Seafood Restaurant and Restaurante Donde Pica el Pejeare, are sit-down establishments with varied menus. Expect dishes with local seafood and fish as well as other options, like mofongo, chicken, or meat-based dishes.
Other places, like El Fogón de Suza, El Sabor de Mi Tierra, El Balcón de Gerald, and Villa Pesquera Punta Pozuelo, have open-air seating (usually under tarps or on a patio surrounding the restaurant). These will typically have a more limited menu emphasizing fried foods like alcapurrias (fritters made with root vegetables and stuffed with meat, chicken, fish, or seafood) and pastelillos (deep-fried empanadas) and fish or seafood dishes. The atmosphere is casual but the quality of the food is on par with formal restaurants.
The Best-Known Restaurant along Guayama’s Gastronomy Trail
Probably the best-known restaurant on the route is La Casa de los Pastelillos, famous for its 12-inch long pastelillos made to order and the alcapurria called La Boa Puertorriqueña. Find dozens of fritter fillings like lobster, steak, and shrimp, fried pork mofongo, chicken with mojo sauce, crocodile, pizza, and more. They also serve appetizer plates, stuffed mofongo, meat, fish, seafood, and desserts. Sit beneath a covered terrace with ample seating and access to the beach facing the sea.
If you want to stay in the area, book a room at Casa Pura Bed & Breakfast, a guesthouse that offers sailing trips along Jobos Bay. Its restaurant, Tapas Comedor de la Abuela, specialized in fish tacos.
Along with sampling local delicacies, you can also take a tour of Jobos Bay on the Paseo a la Bahia ferry, or book a day charter to the mangrove cove known as Isla del Barco. You can also park by one of the small piers along the bay side of the road for leisure fishing, or explore the bay via kayak or paddleboard. If you’re looking for a quiet beach that’s tranquil enough for swimming or sunbathing, visit Los Limones beach.
Hikers will enjoy the Aguirre forest, where a trailhead along the 7710 road awaits. Be warned that trails are wild and require bushwhacking and some navigation skills.
Beyond the Coast
Guayama has two more official gastronomic routes established by the municipal government as a way to promote tourism in the area.
The Ruta Gastronómica de la Montaña showcases the mountainous part of the town, where you can do a small chinchorreo (mountain bar and restaurant hop) and visit the eight businesses specializing in traditional criolla (creole) food as well as fritters and Puerto Rican barbecue.
There is also the Ruta Gastronómica Urbana, which goes through the center of town and has a wider variety of restaurants, including several coffee and pastry shops like Bourbon Coffee Bar, Azuka, Declart and Cake, and Púrpura Açai Smoothies and Juice Bar.