Maricao Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, places to visit, where to stay, what to eat, and much more in Maricao, one of Puerto Rico's hidden gems located in the stunning La Montaña region.

Introduction to Maricao

Nestled in the heart of the western region of Puerto Rico is the picturesque town of Maricao. Often overlooked by tourists, Maricao is a tranquil and serene destination full of natural beauty and cultural charm. Known for its stunning mountain views, lush rainforests, and coffee plantations, Maricao is an ideal destination for travelers seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. In this guide, we will explore all the fantastic things that Maricao has to offer.

List of Places to Visit in Maricao

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Hacienda Juanita: Visit this beautiful coffee plantation founded in the 19th century, which is now a museum. You will learn about the coffee production process and experience the typical lifestyle of the coffee baron in Puerto Rico.
  • Monte del Estado: Situated in the Maricao Forest, Monte del Estado is a popular historical site that was once used as a lookout point during battles in Puerto Rico’s colonial times.

Natural Attractions of Maricao: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Maricao Forest Reserve: A perfect destination for nature lovers. The reserve offers great hiking and bird watching excursions through the lush rainforest with breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys.
  • Mirador de Maricao: Paddle around Lake Guajataka, where you can see an impressive aerial view of Maricao from the observation tower.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Maricao

  • The Maricao Trail: This 15-mile hike takes you through the Maricao Forest Reserve, and it is considered one of the most challenging hikes in the Caribbean.
  • Biking Along Route 108: Rent a bike to explore the scenic route 108. Begin your trip in Maricao and keep pedaling to San Germán, with gorgeous views throughout the entire route.

Best Things to Do in Maricao: Activities and Tours

  • Coffee Tour: Take a tour across the Hacienda Juanita Coffee Plantation and learn about the sustainable coffee production process and unique taste of Puerto Rican coffee.
  • Exploration of Monte del Estado: A guided tour through the Monte del Estado Historical Site is an excellent way to learn about the rich history of the region and visit the colonial fortress.

Week-Long Itinerary for Maricao

Day Activity
1 Explore the Hacienda Juanita Coffee Plantation
2 Go for a scenic drive to La Torre Montemar Natural Reserve and enjoy the view
3 Visit the Monte del Estado Historical Site and take a guided tour
4 Hike the Maricao Trail
5 Walk around downtown Maricao
6 Go for a bike ride along Route 108
7 Take a relaxing day and enjoy the picturesque town of Maricao

Food and Drink Scene of Maricao

Must-Try Dishes

  • Asopao: A hearty Puerto Rican stew made with chicken or shellfish, rice, and other ingredients.
  • Mofongo: A signature Puerto Rican dish that consists of mashed plantains filled with meat or seafood, and often served with a side of rice and beans.

Local Beverages

  • Puerto Rican Coffee: Maricao is famous for its coffee, with numerous microlots of beans providing a unique taste with a full body and creamy taste.
  • Coquito: A sweet, creamy Puerto Rican holiday drink made from coconut milk, rum, and spices.

Where to Stay in Maricao: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Hacienda Juanita: A luxurious 19th-century coffee plantation turned boutique hotel, offering guests a unique glimpse into the area’s coffee production history.
  • Parador Boquemar: An affordable hotel located in the nearby municipality of Boquerón, it’s a great option for families or budget-conscious travelers.

What to Buy in Maricao: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Puerto Rican Coffee: Take home some delicious Maricao coffee to relive the memories of your trip.
  • Artisanal Crafts: Authentic handmade pottery, baskets, and other crafts are often sold at artisanal markets throughout the town.

Local Culture and Customs of Maricao

Maricao has a rich agricultural heritage, with many locals engaged in coffee cultivation and farming activities. The people of Maricao are warm and welcoming, and you can sense a deep sense of pride in their community. Locals normally speak Spanish, although English is also widely spoken.

Best Time to Visit Maricao

The best time to visit Maricao is in the winter months, between mid-December and mid-April, as the weather is usually dry with mild temperatures. However, if you’re looking for a refreshing breeze in the summer, the rainy season between May and October offers a greener atmosphere.

Do’s and Don’ts of Maricao


  • Respect the local culture and customs
  • Try the delicious local coffee and traditional Puerto Rican dishes
  • Explore the natural reserves on a guided tour


  • Act disrespectful towards the community and their customs
  • Avoid trespassing on the coffee plantations or other private property

Safety and Health

Safety in Maricao

Maricao is a safe destination for tourists, but it is always advisable to take standard safety precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night, keeping an eye on your belongings, and being mindful of your surroundings.

Health in Maricao

The health facilities in Maricao are limited. It is advisable to bring all medications that you require, emergency first aid kits, and any other essential medical supplies with you on the trip.

Getting to Maricao: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Maricao

  • Rafael Hernández Airport (BQN): Located 34 miles away from Maricao.
  • Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU): Located around 93 miles away from Maricao.

Bus Stations Near Maricao

There are no bus stations in Maricao. However, there are public transportation buses to take you to the nearby town of Mayagüez, where you can take a direct bus to San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico.

Other Options

You can rent a car or take a taxi from the airport to Maricao.

How to Get Around in Maricao

The best way to get around Maricao is by car as public transportation options are limited. Alternatively, you may explore the region via a guided tour.

Where to Go Next from Maricao: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • San Germán: Visit the Spanish colonial city’s historic architecture and vibrant cultural events.
  • Cabo Rojo: Explore the world-renowned saltwater marsh of the Cabo Rojo Wildlife Refuge and scenic beaches.


Maricao is a hidden gem, where the natural beauty of Puerto Rico is matched by the rich heritage of the area’s coffee production and cultural history. From hikes to scenic drives, and everything in between, Maricao presents a unique opportunity for travelers who want to explore the road less traveled.