A historical journey through the heart of Caguas, the Ruta del Corazón Criollo offers participants a unique view into the cultural influence of this important city in the valley.
Starting off from the Tourism Office at the corner of Muñoz Rivera and Ruíz Belvis streets, the route’s first stop is Museo Histórico de Caguas at City Hall. The museums two levels feature several exhibits. The lower level relates the settlement of the Turabo valley by indigenous tribes and subsequent Spanish explorations of the area, culminating in the founding of the town. The upper level details the city’s expansion and rise to prominence during the 20th Century.
In front of the museum is the second spot of the tour, Museo del Tabaco. Inside, visitors can view and talk to local artisans practicing the centenary art of tobacco rolling, an important economic activity of centuries past.
The distinctive yellow facade of the Casa Amarilla Dra. Concha Meléndez is stop #3 on our journey and houses the Caguas Museum of Art. Three galleries host paintings, sculptures and other works of art from local talents.
Next stop, the Centro de Bellas Artes is the city’s main concert hall. The ample space serves to promote the arts and is an example of Caguas’s blend of modern and traditional sensibilities.
The Casa del Trovador, Casa del Compositor and Casa Rosada are three renovated buildings each celebrating a distinct piece of the island’s cultural heritage. Casa del Trovador honors the enduring tradition of the décima, a improvised and rhyming form of singing. The importance of the composer in Puerto Rican musical traditions is emphasized in the Casa del Compositor Hector Flores Osuna. Casa Rosada enshrines the life and works of celebrated cagueño author Abelardo Díaz Alfaro.
Preserving the musical legacy of the city of Caguas, the Centro Musical Criollo José Ignacio Quintón also houses a collection of native instruments, like the hallowed cuatro puertorriqueño.
La Ruta’s penultimate stop is la Catedral Dulce Nombre de Jesús, one of the few cathedrals located in Puerto Rico. Across the street from the church is the Plaza Santiago Palmer, the main public square in town. With its distinctive clock and fountain, the plaza is the perfect place to end the informative journey around town. Sit on a bench beneath the shade of the trees and relax.