Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Catano Puerto Rico

Catano Puerto Rico

Catano Puerto Rico is unique for many reasons. It is the smallest city on the island, at only five square miles of territory (12.5 km2), but has a big influence on the local culture. Located across the bay from San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico, and bordered on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean, the city has long been an important port and access point for the island.

The city of Catano was originally founded in the late 1920s and named after its founder, Hernando de Catano, one of the first physicians to arrive during the era of Spanish colonization. Over time, the city grew over the flat plains of northern Puerto Rico and became one of the most notable areas of the island. The heart of the city is the central plaza, a place for official and unofficial events and home to the municipal buildings and the Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Carmen Roman Catholic church. Here, people gather to socialize from daybreak to sunset. Every July, a patron saint festival is held in the plaza in honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel featuring parades, amusement rides, live entertainment, regional food, and games.

There is a ferry service still in operation that has traveled between Catano and Old San Juan since 1853, taking travelers on the five-minute trip across the bay every 30 minutes 7 days a week. The ferry pier is a great jumping off point for an adventure in Catano. During the trip across the water, travelers will see large cruise ships docked as they prepare to set off to other exotic locations. They will also be able to see the Castillo del Morro, an impressive six-level fortress built to protect the island from sea-faring attackers.

Near the Catano ferry terminal is the Bahia Viva waterfront boardwalk. Stretching about 1.5 miles (2.4 km), the boardwalk has a variety of activities available for people of all ages to enjoy. There are people walking their dogs, others jogging or biking, and some just strolling along enjoying the artwork and sculptures along the way. There are playground areas for kids, exercise areas with communal equipment, and fishing areas surrounded by beautiful scenery and cooling breezes.

The waterfront area also has an elevated boardwalk and a stage for music and other types of entertainment. Restaurants, bars, and snack shacks offering a wide variety of local delicacies can be found along the long promenade. Near the end of the walkway, there is a painted pyramid and the ruins of an old church.

Casa Bacardi

The ferry port is also close to the Bacardi Rum Plant, one of Puerto Rico’s most popular tourist attractions. The plant, which started operations in 1936, covers 127 acres and processes roughly 100,000 gallons of rum daily. Visitors can take a 45-minute historical tour that explores Bacardi's past and taste a free rum cocktail. There is also a 90-minute tasting tour where guests can sample five different types of the brand’s liquors and a 90-minute mixology class where guests can learn how to craft the perfect rum cocktail.

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