Updated: Oct 10, 2021
The coastal town of Luquillo can be found at the northeastern corner of the island nestled between luscious mountains and vast beaches. Rich in history, the Sierra de Luquillo was first sighted by Christopher Columbus on November 16, 1493. The township wasn't settled until 300 years later by Don Cristóbal de Guzmán under the patronage of San José. The name of Luquillo derives from “Loquillo”, the young taíno brave, cacique at the time, whose true name got lost in history in exchange of the nickname bestowed on him by the Spanish conquistadors, “Crazy One”, because of his association with the neighboring caribs, known for being cannibals, and for his battling for his land and his people until his death. The town grew with time, rich with culture and heritage, until it became the tourism destiny it is today. Luquillo boasts many attractions for its locals, its visitors, and its tourists. The newly remodeled Parroquia San José, for example has an impressive wooden carved altar with a pelican and its young. When you stay in town you are within walking distance of everything you can wish for, from monuments, to restaurants, to beaches, and even a river. The plaza is the heart of the town, the main square from which everything you could possibly want radiates. It is bordered by the town hall, the Parroquia San José, diverse private homes and businesses. La Monserrate Liquor Store, or Casa 'e Chelo as the locals know it, is a known watering hole, as far as finding out about the town's activities. Known for its gorgeous murals painted by the local talented artist Heidi Martínez, it is also the entrance to the neighborhood called La Marina, where you can stay at the Love.Soul.Beautiful Bed and Breakfast guesthouse and stroll between the beach and the plaza. Beyond La Marina is the surfers' beach famously known as La Pared. Staying in town has its advantages because it also gives you the chance to explore our monuments like the Plaza de la Paz at the entrance of town at PR3, the Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón monument at the plaza, and the Parque Bicentenario with the sculpture of the cacique Loquillo by Luquillense artist Tomás Batista, located at the edge of town behind the post office, bordering PR3. If you like sculptures, we also have the massive abstract “La Tintorera” (female shark) by local artist Carlos Guzman, at the juncture of La Marina, La Pared and Costa Azul, right in front of the ocean. If you prefer urban art we have those also. You can check out the mural “Pasaje a la Capital del Sol” by Roberto Hernández and a group of local high school students at the entrance of the Plaza del Mercado (the Marketplace). We also have a gallery painted by Don William Rosa and a group of high school students. This emblematic and colorful mural can be found on the main street into town, right past the ballpark and on the wall of the elementary school. Across the street you can find Cafetería La Diferencia, a local popular sandwich shop with some of the best breakfast and lunch specials in town. Another emblematic urban art gallery can be found behind Playa Azul. It consists of a mixture of mosaics and picturesque stamps of local life in town and nature. Beyond Playa Azul, if you keep to the main sidewalk out of town, you can make it to the local beach, Balneario La Monserrate, and even past that to our famous gastronomic strip, Los Kioskos, consisting of 60 lots with diverse restaurants and food shacks, bordered by PR3 and an extension of the public beach on the other side with groves of palms and pines, and a small cement dock overlooking coral reefs. Behind PR3 lies the Sierra de Luquillo with its mountain range of glorious emerald and jade, crowned by El Yunque, our local rainforest. If the town is not exciting enough for you, we are within less than an hour's driving distance from San Juan. But if we were to go by experience, most people who visit Luquillo, either return to visit, come back to stay, or never leave. Which are you going to do?