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5 Things You Need to Know About Caguas, PR

Caguas is about ninety minutes from San Juan and full of interesting things to do. Beautiful weather year-round and an old-style municipal trolley make getting around a treat in itself. As it happens, though, a lot of people find following the Route of the Creole Heart to be adventure enough. 

Caguas Museum 

The convenient aspect about hopping on this 12-mile route is that it takes you through the heart of Caguas and starts right at the tourism office. From the tourism office you'll make your way to your first two stops—the Caguas Museum and Herminio Torres Grillo Tobacco Museum. 

The Caguas Museum—sometimes referred to by its former name, the King's House—has been around since the late 19th century. Although the building saw its design in 1860 as the United States' Civil War was getting underway, today's Caguas Museum took another 27 years from that date to open as a city hall in 1887.

Governor Palacios swung open the doors for business and municipal government activities in 1889, but the beautifully decorated building itself has served a number of different functions over the years. Variously used as a school and shelter, the neoclassical building is today known as the Caguas Museum and houses oil paintings of erstwhile mayors of Creole City from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. 

Herminio Torres Grillo Tobacco Museum 

Just one stop down the Route of the Creole Heart you'll find the Herminio Torres Grillo Tobacco Museum. This second museum is as much a testament to the cultural history of Caguas as the Caguas Museum itself. The Herminio Torres Grillo Tobacco Museum speaks to the long history of Puerto Rico's largest organized labor movement and chief export (tobacco) for many generations. 

Like the Caguas Museum, the Herminio Torres Grillo Tobacco Museum has been used for a few different purposes over the years. Once a coffee shop and furniture store, the colonial neoclassical building made primarily of old-style brickwork commemorates a key commercial activity in Puerto Rico's history. Wooden beams and ornate embosses also make it an architectural standout to this day. 

The Sangria Factory 

If you're just looking for the best sangria after a long walk or you need a refreshment after taking in all that history, the Sangria Factory is there to serve. The Sangria Factory is in the east region of Caguas and offers a variety of tasty, fruity sangrias, including grape and passionfruit flavors. It tastes great already!  

Caguas Botanical and Cultural Garden 

The average temperature in Caguas is a balmy yet very relaxing 78 degrees. Due to year-round temperateness, the city of Caguas can house one of the most beautiful botanical gardens around. The Caguas Botanical and Cultural Garden allows you to immerse yourself in regional Caribbean history and find a true sense of harmony with Mother Nature.

The botanical garden is navigable with the help of meandering gravel paths, and the ground itself is a testament to Puerto Rican history. That's because the park sits on an old sugar mill that today arguably creates the botanical garden's most scenic backdrop. Vestiges of the old sugar mill remain in that you'll find a chimney to the mill's refinery sprouting out of the Earth as well as a path that leads you through many defunct sugar cauldrons from decades past. 

The history represented at the Caguas Botanical and Cultural Museum stretches back much further than Puerto Rico's industrial past, however. There are "ancestral groves" in the cultural garden that give you a flavor for the area's Taino Indian and African heritage. Paintings, sculptures and trees indigenous to these ancestral regions can all be found at these, at times breathtaking, ancestral groves. 

For those merely looking for a rigorous walk and scenic sights there are, of course, flowers galore to take in as well as a dedicated orchid house. 

Popular Arts Museum 

We're back at the beginning in the sense that the Popular Arts Museum is right on the 12-mile-long Route of the Creole Heart.

The only difference is that this is the last stop on the route that snakes around Caguas and takes you through the Caguas Art Museum, Creole Musical Center and Sweet Name of Jesus Cathedral before touching down at the Popular Arts Museum. 

Whereas the first floor of the Caguas Museum was a tribute to Puerto Rico's collective historical past, the Popular Arts Museum provides homage to many local, contemporary artists.

The Popular Arts Museum was actually the first museum in the city of CaguasBusiness Management Articles, and earlier this year received an award from the Puerto Rico tourism company as the peoples' favorite museum in the Caguas area.

Give Yourself a Relaxing Staycation

And one final thing to keep in mind when you go to Caguas. Local pest control services are advising always to have mosquito repellent at hand since mosquitos are one really big problem in the area and it’s best to keep your skin well protected from those annoying pests.

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Brian Mase is a freelance writer, blogger and marketer.

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