A Taíno ceremonial site with monoliths, petroglyphs, and ball courts. Considered one of the most important Pre-Columbian archaeological sites in the Caribbean, Caguana is nestled in the mountains of Puerto Rico’s Cordillera Central, a short but fun drive away from the crowded beaches along the coast.
The site is estimated to have been built around 1270. Archaeologists have identified approximately 13 ball courts and plazas (bateyes), many of which have been restored how they might have looked when they were first built. In addition to the ball courts, there are monoliths around the site, some marked with petroglyphs carved by the Taíno.
How the courts and stones are laid out at Caguana indicates that their placements are were aligned with specific astronomical events. It is possible that the Taíno might have used this ceremonial site to observe the stars and their movements.
Know Before You Go
Caguana hours of operation are 9 am to 4 pm every day of the week (Monday to Sunday).
The site is on road PR-111, roughly halfway between the pueblos (town centers) of Lares and Utuado. This is a winding mountain road with many sharp curves, still being repaired in some portions from the damage brought by severe hurricanes in 2017 and 2022. As of December 2022, a portion of the PR-111 road segment between Lares and Caguana is closed, requiring a detour through very steep side roads. The PR-111 road segment between Caguana and PR-10 (near Utuado town) is in fair condition.