Waterfalls, history, and more in “The Valley of the Flamboyant Trees”.
Peñuelas is located along the south coast of the island and nestled against the Caribbean Sea. It is known as "The Valley of the Flamboyant Trees," the island’s emblematic tree, and "the Capital of the Güiro,” a traditional percussion instrument. But what makes Peñuelas truly special is its beautiful views and pleasant climate throughout the whole year.
Rivers, Cays, and Caves
Peñuelas offers a bounty of natural landscapes and yet is relatively simple to navigate. The location of the coastal town provides direct access to both nearby beaches and the central mountainous interior, allowing visitors to enjoy and explore different environments. Additionally, it is surrounded by the Macaná, Tallaboa, and Guayanés rivers which add to the refreshing natural beauty of the area.
On the Guayanés River you can find La Soplaera, a relaxing network of waterfalls with crystal clear waters in natural pools in the Jaguas neighborhood. From there you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the mountains. The route is marked, there is some parking available, and a trail leading directly to the falls.
For those seeking a relaxing day on the water, and away from the crowds, consider an outing to one of the town’s nearby cays. These tiny, uninhabited slices of paradise include Cayo Parguera, Cayo Río, Cayo Caribe, Cayo Palomas, and Cayo María Langa, which are all accessible by boat, if you’re want to take some supplies and explore for the day. Or, rent kayaks for a paddle adventure to see marine life, colorful birds and more. Just don’t forget fresh water and sunscreen.
A Journey Through History
For a taste of the island’s sugar industry history, you can see a famous locomotive that transported sugarcane to Hacienda Dolores La Negra Cocola and throughout the area. Head to the northwest corner of the Plaza de Recreo to find the antique train.
To dive deeper into local culture, drop by the Ramón Rivera Museum, which hosts exhibits about the art and history of Peñuelas. Among the collection are peñolanos items, pre-Columbian and colonial artifacts, historical photos, and more. In addition to the items on display, the facility is a community center where gatherings of all sorts take place throughout the year.
Other places of interest are the monument to the nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos, a tribute to the unknown soldier, and a Spanish cannon, all located in the Parque de Bombas.