The Island’s hub for horse racing, and more.
The origin of its name is the native chief Canobaná, and the municipality is known as la Cuna de los Indios (The Indians' Cradle) or Pueblo Valeroso (The Valiant Town), in part because the local tribe helped defend the Spaniards from the native Taíno uprising in 1511. But the name that is most relevant nowadays is la Ciudad de las Carreras (The Racing Horse Town), since it is home to the only horse track on the Island and the local culture is closely tied to equestrian sport.
Located in the northern part of the east region, Canóvanas is technically part of the San Juan metropolitan statistical area. Its location makes it an easy day trip (only about 30 minutes from Old San Juan), or as a stopping point along the way from the capital to Río Grande and the natural beauty of El Yunque, the Island’s famed rainforest, the beaches of Luquillo, and much more.
Things to Do
The main river that flows through Canóvanas is the Río Grande de Loíza, the Island’s largest river by volume, which famous Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos described as a "fallen piece of blue sky."
The Hipódromo Camarero is the center of horse racing in Puerto Rico. Catch the excitement during regularly scheduled events, Thursdays through Sundays, when the track comes alive with thundering hooves, racing enthusiasts, and more.
The Casa Museo Jesús T. Piñero, located on highway PR-3, was the home of the first Puerto Rican governor appointed by the U.S. government. The museum documents the lives of the governor and his family, as well as his political career. Visitors can revel in historic photographs, beautiful gardens, and cultural events that the museum often hosts.
Whether you forgot to pack something or are in search of some retail therapy, check out the Outlet on Route 66, which offers 100 stores, including brands like Calvin Klein, Guess, Nautica, and Van Heusen. The mall doubles as a local favorite for family fun, with a movie theater, indoor rope course, arcade, bowling alley, and go-cart racing.
More Activities Nearby
Thanks to its central location and close proximity to many exciting locations — including the Island's east coast — you’ll find a range of opportunities for adventure within a short distance. Plan a visit to Carabalí Rainforest Adventure Park, an action-packed ranch, where you can ride horses on the beach, drive ATVs the foothills of El Yunque, and race one- and two-person go-carts on an outdoor track.
For a more peaceful expedition, head to the beautiful Luquillo Beach. Set your blanket or chair on golden sand beneath swaying palm trees and splash in the beautiful Caribbean waters. Or, stroll over to the beloved Luquillo Kiosks, an outdoor market with dozens of vendors where you can taste local delicacies and find only-in-Puerto Rico souvenirs.
Families with kids and teens might also enjoy the Children's Museum in Carolina, which has more than 100 hands-on exhibits ranging from the arts to physics.