Visitor’s Guide to Trujillo Alto
When you come to Puerto Rico, many travelers just stick to the obvious tourist spots like Old San Juan, Condado, Isla Verde, and maybe Vieques and Rincón. However, a lot of travelers don’t think to venture off. That’s why I’ve come up with this short (but equally fun) visitor’s guide to Trujillo Alto. If you’re planning to see more of Puerto Rico than the obvious tourist areas, read on!
Trujillo Alto is just South of San Juan, and its newest nickname is Nueva Metropoli (new metropolis). This is due to its population’s growth during recent years. Other nicknames are La Ciudad en el Campo (the city on the countryside), El Pueblo de los Arrecosta’os (this one’s harder to translate, and is basically the town of the laid back people… more or less), and La Ciudad de los Manantiales (the water springs city).
This last one I believe is the most fitting because it has 19 natural water springs. Two of those water springs are used for production of bottled water. Speaking of water, the first place we’ll visit is the Río Grande de Loíza (Loíza river) and the truss bridge that was built in 1939 to cross it.
This is the third post of the Bucket List: Puerto Rico series. You can read more about it here.
Puente de Trujillo Alto and Río Grande de Loíza
This is the longest single-span bridge in Puerto Rico built to cross the Rio Grande de Loíza, the largest river by volume in Puerto Rico. Can you believe that even at 70 feet above the river, this bridge was flooded and almost carried away in 1945?!
You can make a short stop here. Make sure to take pictures and walk a little at the Paseo del Bicentenario, a promenade adjacent to the bridge, built in 2001 to commemorate 200 years of the town’s founding. The view of the river is beautiful!
The bridge and promenade are located at the entrance to the city at PR-181. You’ll have to drive here, as it is nowhere near walking distance from the obvious tourist lodging sites of San Juan and Isla Verde. I would recommend staying closer to San Juan and renting a car.
Carraízo Hydroelectric Dam
Located on PR-175, this concrete gravity dam is the main source of water supply for the San Juan metro area. It was completed in 1953. Its actual name is Represa Loíza (Loiza Dam), but it’s popularly known as Carraízo.
It’s a powerful sight to see when the gates are opened and all that water flows downstream. Otherwise, it’s a nice place to take pictures of the lake. There’s no parking an it’s not open to the public, but you can take pictures from the nearby road.
Lechonera Angelito’s Place
I saved the best for last. This is definitely the highlight of this trip! If culture’s what you’re looking for, this is something you MUST try.
Although Guavate is the most popular place to eat lechón, this is an equal (if not better-tasting) alternative. Guavate can be a long drive, and if you don’t have much time to venture off, this is definitely a great alternative.
Lechón refers to roasted pig. It’s part of our Spanish heritge. It is usually served on special occasions, but we love to have it year-round. While the US has turkey, Puerto Rico has lechón. A favorite of most Puerto Ricans is the pork skin or cuerito, crispy and oh so flavorful!
Many Puerto Ricans cook them at home, but the most popular place to eat this dish is at Lechoneras. Lechoneras are just restaurants that sell this type of roasted pork dish. It’s usually served with arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas), batata frita (fried sweet potato… my favorite!), and morcilla (blood sausage). I always pass on the blood sausage because I really don’t like what it’s made of, but a lot of people love this stuff! It’s a very popular side dish for lechón.
Angelito’s is located on PR 175 Km. 4.8 and has plenty of parking space.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I get no money from promoting this place. My family’s been coming here for lechón ever since I was a little girl, and we don’t go anywhere else. I just promote what I love!
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