Naguabo is a centuries-old beach town on Puerto Rico’s east coast.


Originally settled by the Spanish in 1513, the municipality of Naguabo is a centuries-old beach town on Puerto Rico’s east coast.

It stretches from the shores of the Caribbean Sea to the peaks of the Luquillo Mountain Range and is bordered by Río Grande to the north, Ceiba to the northwest, Las Piedras to the east, and Humacao to the south. The center of town is a half-hour’s drive from the Ceiba Ferry Terminal and Ceiba International Airport (RVR), and an hour from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).

Naguabo is nicknamed El Pueblo de los Enchumbaos (The Town of the Drenched) for its abundant rainfall, which stems from its close proximity to El Yunque, the only subtropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service. The town is also surrounded by different bodies of water. Six rivers run through the area, including Río Daguao, Río Santiago, and Río Blanco, in addition to exquisite natural pools, cascading waterfalls, and rock waterslides

Safety Tip: Verify the weather information for Puerto Rico to ensure your river visit is safe and fun.

A woman swings from Columpio de los Suspiros in Naguabo

Overlook El Yunque from the Columpio de los Suspiros in Naguabo.

The Other Side of El Yunque

One of the most unique attractions in all of Puerto Rico, El Yunque is a nature lover’s dream come true. The rainforest spans 28,000 acres and is popular for its many enticing options for hiking, swimming, wildlife viewing, and adventuring. While most visitors arrive from Río Grande or Fajardo on the north side of the forest, Naguabo offers an entry point into the southern portion. 

Aerial view of Malecón de La Playa Hucares (el Malecón de Naguabo), an iconic boardwalk lined with restaurants and food kiosks. Naguabo, Puerto Rico.

Chose from more than 30 restaurants and kiosks along El Malecón de Naguabo.

Beachside Food and Fun

While most beach towns throughout Puerto Rico feature waterfront promenades called malecónes, the Malecón de La Playa Hucares (also known as El Malecón de Naguabo) is one of the Island’s most iconic. Sitting next to the Caribbean Sea, this well-maintained hot spot is just a few steps from the beach. As they have for generations, fishermen embark from this site to troll the nearby waters for lobster, conch, capitán, and other indigenous seafood. Their catch is served fresh just hours later at Mickey’s Restaurant, Ikakos Bar & Restaurant, and other charming eateries and kiosks. There are a total of 33 eateries in the malecón. In fact, Naguabo is credited with inventing chapín pastelillos, fried Puerto Rican turnovers filled with coffer fish.

Off the southern end of the malecón you’ll find the remains of Castillo Villa del Mar. Originally built in the early 20th century as the home of local sugar titan Don Faustino Rodríguez Fuertes, the now-crumbling structure was once an impressive example of grand Victorian architecture, complete with Ionic columns, hexagonal roofs, and a multi-colored façade. The castle was added to the National Monuments Registry in 1977. 

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