Local coffee and so much more
Called El Pueblo del Café (“Coffee Town”), Yauco has long been a hub in the Puerto Rican coffee industry. While the area continues to produce stellar beans, it lends itself to other crops as well, like tropical fruits and tobacco.
The municipality is situated between Maricao, Lares, and Adjuntas to the north; Sabana Grande and Guanica to the west; Guayanilla to the east; and the Caribbean Sea to the south. Yauco is about a half-hour’s drive from Ponce and an hour and forty-five minutes from San Juan.
You might also hear Yauco referred to as La Capital Taîna (“the Taíno Capital”), a name bestowed because of the area’s importance amongst the Taíno people, who originally inhabited the island.
Yauco’s mountainous terrain and natural irrigation from rivers including Rio Yauco, Rio Chiquito, and Rio Naranjo make the area ideal for coffee farming, and the municipality is renowned for its rich, flavorful varieties.
Cuatro Sombras and Gustos Coffee Company are among some of the well-known Puerto Rican brands that use beans grown here. To enjoy brews made from locally grown beans, stop into one of Yauco’s charming cafes, like Cafeito or El Café de Marta.
The Coffee Festival, held annually in February, celebrates the harvest and honors the history of Yauco through a parade, music and dance, food and drink, arts and crafts, and, of course, coffee tastings.
Yauco has much to offer travelers who want to spend time in the great outdoors.
Surrounded by lush hills, Lago Luchetti is a manmade reservoir that’s perfect for fishing, boating, and relaxing amidst breathtaking scenery. The lake is part of the Lago Luchetti Wildlife Refuge, where you can enjoy recreational activities like camping, hiking, and bird watching.
If you’re up for a physical challenge, hike to Cerro El Rodadero, a peak 2,864 feet (873 meters) above sea level, where you can see as far south as the Caribbean Sea on a clear day.
Making the trek to the Salto Santa Clara waterfall can also be rigorous, but the hour-long journey is well worth the effort when you arrive at this majestic wonder set deep in the forest.
Art for All
Thanks to a group of visionary Puerto Rican artists led by local Jonathan “Pito” Hernandez, Yauco is a shining example of the power of urban art. The Yaucromatic and Y2 projects have transformed building facades all over the municipality’s main town, replacing blank walls with brilliant murals. In the age of selfies and social media sharing, Yauco has emerged as a sought-after, photo-ready tourist destination. You can access an interactive map online that will lead you to each of these outdoor masterpieces.
In addition to stand-alone works scattered around town, a “macromural” entitled Brisa Tropical (Tropical Breeze) visually unites a stretch of 19 homes and stairways in the La Cantera community. The brightly colored, eye-catching pattern has become an iconic image synonymous with the municipality itself.