Since its foundation in 1804, the humble hill town of BARRANQUITAS has produced so many famous Puerto Ricans that it’s known as the Cuna de Próceres, the “cradle of important persons”. Much of the old town was destroyed in the great fire of 1895, hurricanes adding to the damage over the years, and though only a handful of historic homes remain, it can be an absorbing place to spend a few hours, with a compact core of steep, narrow streets and a couple of important sights. The town’s chief claim to fame is as the burial place of two political heavyweights, Luis Muñoz Rivera (whose home has been turned into a museum) and his son, Luis Muñoz Marín, but it also has a reputation for high-quality arts and crafts, best appreciated at the annual Feria Nacional de Artesanías. Established in 1961, this takes place around July 17 to commemorate the birthday of Muñoz Rivera, livening up the central plaza with over two hundred stalls.
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