Puerto Rico is offering travelers a chance to explore a route that digs deeply into the island’s ancient cultural roots.
La Ruta Taína, or Taína Route, is a new attraction that gives visitors a chance to learn about Puerto Rico’s indigenous history through a guided trek across the lands of the Taino people, who were among the inhabitants of the pre-Columbian Caribbean and surrounding areas.
The educational tours, which runs north and south near the center of the island through several towns and natural locations, “invites the world to take an in-depth look at our roots,” says Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Among the sites along the multiple tours are ancient ceremonial centers, indigenous petroglyphs and tombs, plus caves, beaches and natural reserves.
La Ruta Taína destinations include the northern coastal town of Arecibo, home to a vast cavern system that includes Cueva del Indio and Cueva Ventana Indio; the Centro Ceremonial Indígena Caguana and Cacique Don Alonso monument in Utuado; Piedra Escrita de Jayuya and Museo del Cemí in Jayuya; and Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Tibes in Ponce.
Created by a team of archaeologists, along with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and conservation groups, La Ruta Taína can be completed individually or with the nearly 20 tour guides certified by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
For information on packages that include accommodations, meals and transportation, go to seepuertorico.com/en/rutastainas/
La Ruta Taína follows the launch this year of Ruta de la Salsa — the Salsa Route — that takes music fans to historic sites and attractions that played major roles in the development of one of the world’s most popular and influential music genres.