First of all, if you come here without doing some research on the area you are going to be in for a surprise.
Jayuya is the probably the most isolated town in Puerto Rico. No one speaks English (again if you do research you will know this- only 30% of Puerto Ricans speak fluent English), it has a revolutionary history (1950 they declared a short lived independence). You will be 4000 feet above sea level. There will be mosquitoes, lizards, wild dogs, and roaming chickens. Instead of riding bikes, the kids ride horses, yet they seem to wear all the up to date clothing. The ride there will be one of the most scenic and windy you have ever witnessed.
If this kind of stuff interests you as it does me, you will love it. It was a great escape from the resorts at the Rio Grande and the hustle and bustle of San Juan.
For $130/night two people get fed dinner and breakfast (average), but that is a steal even if they are feeding you dog food.
For the best experience ask for room number 5 as it has the largest balcony.
The beds are somewhat uncomfortable and there is no hot water, but this does not take away from the relaxing nature of the hacienda. Bring a book, some bug spray and relax in the nice wooden rockers on the main 30 ft balcony (that has spectacular views of the mountains). Relaxation is the key here.
It does seem that the hacienda has deteriorated a bit since the town has taken over, but it still has great charm, and if you have a small Spanish phrase book you will be fine.
When you go into "town" check out the rock with Taino paintings, the beautiful river where you can swim, the Taino museum the recreated mayors house (if you don't speak Spanish ask for Omar, he has basic comprehension of English and will love to tell you/rant about the history of the town. He will also offer you tours on horses and ATVs for discount prices compared to the more touristy areas around San Juan.
If you do decide to come here, please do not cheat yourself out of driving straight from San Juan. The roads are clearly marked and you cannot get lost. This drive was remarkable and something that can only be understood by those who have done it. It is not dangerous at all (my girlfriend was freaking out the whole time before the trip, but was not scared at all when we were finally doing the drive). Just stay around 20/mph, honk around sharp turns and keep the camera on for amazing pictures. Do not go south to Ponce and then up!
Do not go come here with children, as they will kill themselves with boredom and/or they might ruin an otherwise peaceful experience for other travelers.
I WILL go back there, it is the type of place that one would retire to and purchase and run themselves!
- Also Known As:
- Hacienda Gripinas Jayuya
- Hacienda Gripinas Hotel Jayuya
- Hacienda Gripinas Puerto Rico/Jayuya