Just a 90-minute car ride away from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), Coamo is the third-oldest town in Puerto Rico, preceded only by San Juan and San Germán.
Located in a warm, dry valley surrounded by mountains thick with vegetation, Coamo is known as “the village of marathon runners” in honor of el Medio Maratón San Blas, a popular annual sporting event that attracts athletes from around the world. But it’s the natural, geothermal hot springs that really makes Coamo a must-stop for visitors to Puerto Rico.
Here’s a look at things to do while visiting the village of Coamo:
This historic cinema was originally built in the early 20th century, but has recently undergone a major restoration. The single-screen theater now projects 4K movies at affordable prices, and is one of the most popular attractions in Coamo. After you buy your tickets, stop by concessions to buy popcorn, hot dogs, ice cream, candy, nachos, soft drinks, and café colao. Hollywood Theater operates seven days a week and is located steps from Coamo’s town plaza.
Baños de Coamo Hot Springs
The popular Coamo hot springs are located in a facility called Baños de Coamo, where you will find an outdoor spa-like environment with two pools, showers, bathrooms, and open-air seating. For less than $5 you can enjoy a therapeutic and relaxing soak in these healing waters. The facility, which is open seven days a week, is surrounded by gardens and beautiful mountain views. There is also an inn and 18-hole golf course nearby.
Coamo's town plaza is full of Spanish Colonial-style buildings and houses that give an account of the municipality's history. The circa-1784 Catholic Church of San Blas de Illescas, located in the center of the plaza, is one of the most important works of religious architecture on the island, as well as one of the oldest. Also in the public square, you’ll recognize the Town Hall by its tower, which contains a French clock from 1898.
The Town Plaza was remodeled between 1990 and 2000 to become an attractive recreational space complete with trees, gardens, gazebos, old-style benches, and monuments commemorating historical events that took place in Coamo.
San Blas Half Marathon
This sporting event with more than 50 years of history is held annually in Coamo on the first Sunday in February, and marks the end of the patron saint festivities. More than 1,000 runners, including international elite athletes, typically participate in the race. The route is well known for both its beauty and its difficulty, and spectators embrace the opportunity to find a good spot to watch — some even gathering days before the event to camp out and browse the local artisans and food vendors who set up along the route.