Monday, November 24, 2014

Arecibo -

Code of Arms
Arecibo (Spanish pronunciation: [aɾeˈsiβo]) is a municipality on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, located north of Utuado and Ciales; east of Hatillo; and west of Barceloneta and Florida. It is about 50 miles (80 km) west of San Juan, the capital city. Arecibo is the largest municipality in Puerto Rico by area, and is part of the San Juan, Caguas and Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is spread over 18 wards and Arecibo Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). Its population in 2010 was 96,440.
Arecibo is also known as La Villa del Capitán Correa (Captain Correa's Villa) after the Puerto Rican hero Captain Antonio de los Reyes Correa of the Spanish Army, who drove off a British Navy invasion by ambushing forces led by rear-admiral William Whetstone. Arecibo is also known as El Diamante Del Norte (The Diamond of the North) and La Ribera del Arecibo (The shore of Arecibo).
The Arecibo Observatory, known for housing the world's largest radio telescope, is located here. Arecibo is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arecibo.
When the Spanish arrived, they found the area occupied by the indigenous Taíno, led by Xamaica Arasibo, Cacique (chief) of the yucayeque (town) then named Abacoa.
Spanish colonists settled Arecibo in 1556, which they named for the cacique. It was their third settlement on the island, after Caparra (which later became San Juan), and San German. It is named after the cacique. Arecibo was officially founded as a city by the Spanish crown on May 1, 1616, under the governorship of Captain Felipe de Beaumont y Navarra, when the King of Spain granted the land (and the Taino living there) to Lope Conchillos.[citation needed] This gave the city its nickname "La Villa del Capitan Correa".

For some time the island was competed for by other European powers. On August 5, 1702, Captain Antonio de los Reyes Correa, a member of the Spanish Army, successfully defended Arecibo from a British Navy invasion led by rear-admiral William Whetstone. Commanding two British Navy ships and 40 men, Whetstone tried to take control of the city. Correa ambushed his forces, killing 22 British seamen and driving them off. The Spanish defenders suffered only one death and three wounded soldiers.

In 1778, Arecibo, by royal decree, was awarded the "Villa" status, though it was not integrated as such until 1802. In 1850 it was awarded the "Muy Leal" (very loyal). Over time, large part of its territory became separate municipalities. These include Manati, Barceloneta, Florida, Utuado, Jayuya, Hatillo, Camuy, Quebradillas and Isabela. In 1982, it was promoted to city status, though it continued to be affectionately by its previous nickname.
Arecibo is located in the Northern Coastal Plain region of Puerto Rico, extending inland into the Karst region. It lies south of the Atlantic Ocean; north of Utuado; east of Hatillo; and west of Barceloneta and Florida. The city occupies an area of 127 square miles (330 km2), of which, 45.23 sq mi (117.1 km2), is water.

The Rio Grande de Arecibo is the main river in the municipality, running through the middle of it. South of the municipality, in the karst region, it forms the Dos Bocas Lake, a primary source of water for Northern Puerto Rico. Several rivers feed the Rio Grande, including the Tanama River. East of the river, lies Caño Tiburones, an important marshland area that provides habitat for many kinds of birds and wildlife.

Arecibo has two forest reserves. Cambalache State Forest is located along the Barceloneta city limits, while Rio Abajo State Forest is located between Arecibo and Utuado. Caves include Cueva Ventana, which overlooks a valley formed by the Rio Grande de Arecibo, and La Cueva del Indio (Cave of the Indian), where paintings made by prehistoric indigenous peoples have been seen

Landmarks and places of interest
  • Cathedral of Saint Philip the Apostle - Arecibo is one of the oldest colonial towns in Puerto Rico (1616). Among its historic buildings is the Cathedral of Saint Phillip Apostle, built beginning in the late 18th century. The first church, built in the middle of the 17th century, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1787. Construction of its replacement began soon after, although it was not completed until 1846. Four days after its dedication, an earthquake seriously damaged it. Repairs were not completed until 1882. The 1918 earthquake damaged the vault so badly that it was replaced by a flat concrete roof; a vaulted ceiling of composition board was placed inside. The cathedral of Arecibo is Puerto Rico's second-largest church after the Cathedral of San Juan. The plan is rectangular with three naves; the side naves are cut short to allow large flanking chapels, which occupy almost half the length of the church. The apse is semicircular, and has an unusual half-dome covering it. The facade is a triangular composition of three stages. The top stage, a short central tower, is a later addition, according to local architects and historians. Neoclassic ornamentation is used in an academic fashion on the lowest stage, but the other two show a less traditional use of bands and pilasters. The Renaissance-style windows are uncommon in Puerto Rican churches, but the central tower over the entrance is a common motif used throughout the island.
  • City Hall -
    The City Hall, built in 1866, served as jail to revolutionaries of El Grito de Lares in 1868. In the 1918 earthquake, the frontal section of the building was destroyed. When repairs were made, a tower and clock were added to the building. In 1978, the building was restored to its original form. The City Hall of Arecibo is typical of these regional seats of government. It is relatively modest in size, of stuccoed masonry, with an academically correct composition, having a pedimented center pavilion which projects slightly. The lower story is rusticated, with arched openings; the three doorways in the center giving the effect of a loggia. The upper windows all have segmental pediments and balconies; the central trio share one long balcony. Architectural detailing is modest, but the building is graceful and charming.
  • Punta Los Morrillos Lighthouse - In 1898 the Spaniards built the Arecibo Lighthouse. It was automated in 1964 and is still in use. A small park, Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park, has been established around it.
  • Arecibo Observatory - The Arecibo Observatory is the largest single-unit radio telescope ever constructed and one of the world's most powerful radar-radio telescopes. The observatory's purpose is to support scientific studies. It has attracted several Hollywood directors who have filmed there; most recently GoldenEye and Contact. The radio telescope was used in 1974 to send the Arecibo message to space.
  • Cambalache Forest Reserve - Forest between Arecibo and Barceloneta.
  • Casa Ulanga - Originally a residence built by Spanish immigrant Francisco Ulanga, it has served multiple uses. It was later used as a bank, store, city hall of Arecibo, hospital, jail, tribunal, and is now operated as the Arecibo Cultural Center.
  • Cueva del Indio - Archeological site where Taíno drawings can be found.
  • Dos Bocas Lake - Reservoir located between the municipalities of Arecibo and Utuado.
  • Paseo Victor Rojas (Victor Rojas Walk) - Also known as Paseo de Damas or simply El Fuerte, it was built in 1881 where Fort San Miguel's ruins once were.
  • Manuel "Petaca" Iguina Coliseum - Home of the Arecibo Captains basketball team.
  • Beaches - Nearby beaches include Los Morillos, Los Negritos, Poza del Obispo, and Las Tunas.
  • Museum of Art and History of Arecibo - Shows art from local artists and shows the city's history.
Also nearby (18°29′N 66°26′W) is a facility for launching sounding rockets. Since 1966 many rockets of the Nike Apache, Nicke Javellin, Nicke Iroquois, Nike Tomahawk, Black Brant, Taurus Orion, and Terrier Orion types have been launched from this facility.

Festivals and events
  • Bicycle Competitions - January
  • Arecibo Carnival - February
  • Festival de paracaidismo de Puerto Rico[7] (Freefall festival of Puerto Rico) - February
  • Patron Festivities San Felipe Apóstol - May
  • Playero Festival - July
  • Folklore Festival - July
  • Craftsman Fair - September
  • Ceti Festival - November
  • Puerto Rico's Flag Centennial - December
  • Yesenia Montero's Horse festival - December
Stay with us at Villas de Costa Mar for clean, safe, secure, comfortable accommodations in Dorado Puerto Rico and do day trips to anywhere in the island. Directions and instructions in our rentals and on our website...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Villas de Costa Mar Vacation Rentals Dorado Puerto Rico

Monday, November 17, 2014

Aguadilla - El Nuevo Jardín del Atlántico

Aguadilla (Spanish pronunciation: [aɣwaˈðiʝa]), founded in 1775 by Luis de Córdova, is a city and municipality located in the northwestern tip of Puerto Rico bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, north of Aguada, and Moca and west of Isabela. Aguadilla is spread over 15 wards and Aguadilla Pueblo (The downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is a principal city of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Aguadilla has been the recipient of the "Best Quality of Life Award", given by the National Mayor Association, in 2002 and 2004.
Nickname(s): "El Nuevo Jardín del Atlántico"( the New Garden of the Atlantic), "La Villa del Ojo de Agua", "El Pueblo de los Tiburones" (The Village of Sharks).
Anthem: "Playita Aguadillana"

According to sources, a Taíno settlement called Amamón was located close to the Culebrinas River.
The present territory of Aguadilla was originally part of the territory of Aguada. In 1775, the foundation of Aguadilla by Don Luis de Córdova was approved.[3] But it wasn't until 1780 that the territory was properly segregated, making the founding of the town official. Originally, Aguadilla was constituted by the Victoria and Higüey wards.[4] This region was already inhabited and known as Aguadilla before 1770. In 1776, Fray Íñigo Abbad y Lasierra in his description of the towns of the island, mentioned it as the "new Town of San Carlos of the Aguadilla." Nevertheless, according to Dr. Agustín Stahl in his Foundation of Aguadilla, it was not until 1780 that the town was officially founded. The construction of a new church and the proceedings to become an independent village began in the 1775.
The population in the Village of Aguadilla continued to increase constantly mainly due to its excellent port and strategic location in the route of the boats. In 1776, when Santo Domingo became independent for the first time, the loyals to Spain emigrated to Puerto Rico, mainly to Aguadilla, which caused the population to continue increasing significantly. In 1831, according to Don Pedro Tomás de Córdova, the party of Aguadilla belonged to Aguada. At this time, the territorial organization of Aguadilla was as follows: Pueblo Norte (North Town), Pueblo Sur (South Town), Ceiba Alta, Ceiba Baja, Montaña, Malezas, Aguacate, Dos Palmas, Camaseyes, Plainela, Borinquen, Arenales, Higüey, Corrales, Victoria, and Mangual.
Aguadilla is part of the Porta del Sol touristic region in Puerto Rico. The Porta del Sol website highlights Aguadilla's beaches for surfing.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, Aguadilla has the most beaches in the island, with nineteen. Some of the beaches are considered among the best for surfing, like Surfer's Beach, Gas Chambers, Crash Boat, Wilderness, among others. Because of this, Aguadilla has served as host to surfing competitions, like the ISA World Championship in 1988.

Points of Interest
Aguadilla is best known to visitors for its beaches. Aguadilla's most popular surfing beaches include Crash Boat, famous for it's crystal clear waters, Gas Chambers, and Wilderness.

Among Aguadilla's main attractions you will find the popular Parque Acuático Las Cascadas, a modern aquatic theme park, the biggest in the Caribbean and the Merendero, with a beautiful view of the town's bay and the nearby Desecheo islet. Located on Highway #2 in front of the city stadium. Adults $15.95, children $13.95; (787) 819-1030.

The town center is known as Plaza de Recreo, located in front of the old catholic church and the Alcaldía  (Major's House).

Ice Skating Arena
Another of Aguadilla's attractions is the Ojo de Agua (water eye), this is an underground fresh water source that anciently was used by the Aguadilla Harbor in times of Spanish Occupation. As you stroll through the plaza you will find the monument to the memory of composer Rafael Hernandez, considered one of the most important figures in 20th-century popular Puerto Rican music.

The city is also home of the Aguadilla Ice Skating Arena, the only ice skating facility in the Caribbean region. Located in Plaza Plácido Acevedo, Carr. 442 km. 4.2. Open daily. Admissions $10-13; 787-819-5555.

Events and festivals
Aguadilla is the site of several yearly celebrations and festivals. The most notable are:
  • Velorio de Reyes - Celebrated mostly in January, they are a religious ceremony held as gratitude to the Three Kings for some answered prayer. They usually consist of hymns, prayers, and other religious expressions.[17]
  • Kite Festival - Held in April, it includes kiosks, music, and kite flying.[18]
  • Fiestas San Antonio - April[citation needed]
  • Verbena de Corrales - May[citation needed]
  • Beach Festival - June[19]
  • Festival del Atún - Celebrated in July, it is a festival dedicated to the fishing of the tuna.
  • Festival de la Música - July
  • Fiestas Patronales San Carlos - October
Rafael Hernandez
Rafael Hernández Airport (IATA: BQN, ICAO: TJBQ, FAA LID: BQN) is a joint civil-military airport located in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. It is named after the Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernández Marín and is the second international airport in Puerto Rico in the region of Porta del Sol, Puerto Rico's west coast. It is also home to Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen.
Rafael Hernandez Airport mainly serves Puerto Rican westerners living in the Eastern Region of the United States. The airport previously served as a focus city for PAWA Dominicana.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Puerto Rico's Pork Highway in Guavate

If you love pork than we have the right place for you to visit. If you want to experience the true culture and the gastronomy of Puerto Rico than we have a trip you would love. It’s a day to get away from the hotels and casinos and really explore Puerto Rico’s cultural food wonders. Every year thousands of Puerto Ricans and tourist visit the pork highway in the hills of Guavate a sector of the town of Cayey, located on highway 184. This is called the pork highway because it is lined with lechoneras and restaurants. If you are going from San Juan to Caguas on Highway # 52, you should use exit 32 (is labeled Guavate or these are the GPS coordinates 18.1511, -66.1029).

You will get the chance to enjoy traditional dishes like: roast pork, BBQ ribs, rice and beans, “pasteles” (smash green banana filled with meat), pavochón (pork and turkey), Puerto Rican sweets and “piña colada”. Best to make this a weekend trip as most of the lechoneras are open only on weekends and some have live music.

•Lechonera El Mojito (787-738-8888) - Bruny's Restaurant (787-738-4915)
• Lechonera El Rey (787-535-4200) - La Placita (787-738-8600)
•Cultura Bar Artesanal (787-439-0618) - Los Balcones (787-263-4141)
•El Antojito Restaurant (787-263-0069) - Mi Terraza
•Casa Tropical Restaurante (787-263-2660) - El Rinconcito Sabroso (787-204-7113)
•Lechonera Los Gemelos (787-512-5322) - EL Nuevo Rancho (787-286-0265) **Open 7 days**
•Lechonera Los Pinos (787-286-1917) **Open 7 days** - Lechonera La Reliquia
•Rest & Grill Don Felo (787-744-3921)
•El Rancho Original (787) 747-7296

The only issue will be deciding where to eat at!  So get up early, have a light breakfast and head to the hills of Guavate , the minute you get off the exit the aromas will make you think you were in pork heaven. Plenty to do with live music, dancing, Puerto Rican crafts and traditional games. It may well be the highlight of your trip to Puerto Rico if you are a connoisseur of great cultural foods.

Stay with us at Villas de Costa Mar for clean, safe, secure, comfortable accommodations in Dorado Puerto Rico and do day trips to anywhere in the island. Directions and instructions in our rentals and on our website...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rio Grande -

 Río Grande is known as "La Ciudad del Yunque" (Yunque city). (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈri.o ˈɣɾande]). Río Grande was founded in July 25, 1840.

The town was named after the great river that bathe its lands, Río Grande. Río Grande is located in the Northern Coastal Valley, only 30 minutes from San Juan. North of Las Piedras, Naguabo and Ceiba; east of Loíza and Canóvanas and west of Luquillo. Río Grande is spread over eight wards and Río Grande Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area. Coordinates: 18°22′49″N 65°49′53″W

Río Grande was founded in July 1840, by Desiderio and Quilimaco Escobar, with the approbation of governor Miguel López. It was named after the Río Grande and is located where the Río Grande and the Río Espíritu Santo (Holy Spirit) join. Nickname(s): La Ciudad del Yunque
Anthem: "Entre las ondas que juguetean" (Between waves frolicking).

Landmarks and places of interest

Coco Beach
El Yunque
Indio Cave
Las Picúas Beach

Río Grande is home to one of the largest secluded areas with beach access (Coco Beach) on the entire island. Major hotels in the area include Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Resort and Gran Melia Puerto Rico Resort. Every March, the Trump International Golf Club plays host to the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open.
Within a ten-minute drive is El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rain forest within the United States National Forest System and a finalist in the New 7 Wonders of Nature receiving thousands of votes from around the globe.
Festivals and Events
      Fiestas de Cruz – May
      Fiestas Patronales de Nuestra Sra. del Carmen - July Every year, Rio Grande celebrates a patron saint festival. The festivities include dances, food, parades and religious processions. (787) 887-2370

Top-rated Rio Grande Attractions
Rain Forest Zip Line Park

Gran Melia Golf Resort Puerto Rico

Westin Rio Mar Golf Club
Golf Courses
Trump International Golf Club

Stay with us at Villas de Costa Mar for clean, safe, secure, comfortable accommodations in Dorado Puerto Rico and do day trips to anywhere in the island. Directions and instructions in our rentals and on our website...