Enjoy culinary experiences, fun festivals, and rich traditions near San Juan.
Join the people of Trujillo Alto and enjoy some delicious food, fun horseback-riding trips, and popular celebrations on the Island. Located a short distance from San Juan and Carolina, this town’s friendly nature earns it the nickname el Pueblo de los Arrecostaos (the laid-back town).
Local Food Specialties
The Ruta del Lechón (Roast Pork Route), one of Puerto Rico’s culinary heritages, runs through this region. The name refers to a series of lechoneras (open-air, roadside restaurants that specialize in slow-roasted, whole-hog preparation and traditional side dishes like plantains, arroz mamposteao, and more). These friendly local spots are a must for visiting food-lovers. Along PR-175 in Barrio Carraízo, you’ll find a road lined with lechoneras such as El Lago, Angelito's Place, and La Casita de David.
Another local specialty is the tasty macabeo, a fried dish made with plantain-based dough and stuffed with meat. It is one of the town’s signature gastronomical creations. The Macabeo Festival was started in 1983 to honor the dish. Held each year in mid-December, there is music, a troubadour contest, local crafts, and, of course, plenty of macabeos.
Festivals and Events
There are a variety of events and celebrations hosted in Trujillo Alto throughout the year. Hundreds of horses (and their riders) gather for the Caravana del Arrescostao. The event starts at the Family Equestrian Park and then heads out for a ride that celebrates the family tradition of traveling on horseback to various barriadas (neighborhoods). Attendees can enjoy food, vendors, a farmers market, live music, and other entertainment.
The Maratón del Arrecostao is a sufficiently laid-back event — rather than 26.2 miles, it’s a 5K run held in mid-September. But it draws a big crowd from across the Island and is among the more popular running events.
Traditional festivities for the patron saint also take place each year in mid-September with the celebration of Holy Mass in the Parroquia Santa Cruz. These are held in honor of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which is September 14. After the religious rituals have taken place, a big party starts in the town where music, art, and entertainment for the whole family fill the streets.
Even More Things to Do
Located in the center of town, Plaza de Recreo is built for the enjoyment of the community and includes landscaping and sculptures that speak to the historical essence of the area. For more local history, head to La Casa de la Cultura for a glimpse into the town’s past. The two-level structure combines modern and historic elements and also includes an exhibit hall, amphitheater, and more.
The large steel structure over the Río Grande de Loíza, known as the Historic Bridge, was opened in 1941 and is one of two Pennsylvania Truss bridges from the era still surviving on the Island. Cars haven’t crossed it in more than 30 years because it has been transformed into a pedestrian walkway over the river. From there, you can stroll along the Bicentennial Walk, which was inaugurated in 2007. The walkway borders the river and includes plaques honoring various social and cultural events throughout the town’s history.
The iconic Parque La Cascada is a grand public park that includes an impressive set of fountains. Each of the eight jets represents a different neighborhood in the area. Surrounded by natural beauty, the park features amphitheater seats, pergolas, food kiosks, a picnic area, landscaped gardens, and more.