Bayamón may be part of the metropolitan area, but this city of more than 200,000 people has a vibe all its own.
There are museums exhibiting the works of treasured local artists, an interactive science park perfect for families, and a thriving bar scene — all of which make it a great day trip from the capital.
To get started, head over to the alcaldía (town hall), where visitors are encouraged to tour the building and learn about Bayamón before venturing out. Here’s a look at some spots that shouldn’t be missed:
Museo Francisco Oller
Nestled in a neoclassical building that once housed City Hall, the Museo de Arte Francisco Oller showcases the work of beloved Puerto Rican painter Francisco Oller. At age 14, Oller shocked his countrymen with his artistic talent, and went on to become the only Latin American artist involved in the development of Impressionism. After a stint in France, Oller returned to Puerto Rico to paint some of the most astonishing pictures and portraits of his era. The museum also exhibits the works of many other Puerto Rican artists, including Tomás Batista, Consuelo Gotay, and Lorenzo Homar.
Museo de Arte de Bayamón
Fashioned around the great masters of past centuries, the recently renovated Art Museum opens a window to knowledge and designs that trace the tendencies of plastic art dating back to the 18th century. Take a stroll through its spacious corridors, where you’ll find classic still-life and portraits, as well as contemporary works of world-renowned creators. Their impressive permanent collection features pieces from international artists such as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Wilfredo Lam, and many more. You can also find the creations of over 50 Puerto Rican artists and a delightful sculpture garden. Access the art museum through the guarded gate at the Luis A. Ferré Science Park’s main entrance.The establishment operates from Tuesday through Saturday and the visit is free of charge.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Bayamón at its Central Park, or Paseo Lineal, a family-friendly green space with many scenic pathways and trails. Running for several miles along the Bayamón River, the park is perfect for walking and running, biking, skating, and picnicking, and has a children’s playground with slides and swings.
Hacienda Santa Ana
This splendid estate houses the distillery of Ron del Barrilito, one of Puerto Rico’s most acclaimed rums. The spirit is made and aged right there at this former sugar plantation, which has been owned by the Fernández family since 1797. Although Hacienda Santa Ana doesn’t offer regular public tours, you may be able to make an appointment in advance for a private walk-through of the facilities. Even if you don’t venture inside, the house is a must-stop location for a photo-op.
El Nido and La Esquinita
Get a taste of Bayamón’s nightlife scene at these two neighborhood spots, located just a few blocks apart.
La Esquinita, which means “little corner,” is Bayamón’s first beer garden, offering locally brewed beers and food trucks; the relaxed, open-air setting makes this a popular after-work hangout, and a perfect stop for visitors to Bayamón, too.
El Nido is a fashion and art bar located right by a Tren Urbano (urban train) station, and combines the worlds of local beer and design with a trendy, modern ambiance. Both bars offer live music on weekends.