Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park
Walk the grounds of the mysterious Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park near Utuado and you can almost hear the shouts of the Taino indians as they play their soccer-like game on the ten courts (bateyes) that are carefully laid out there. The Tainos have dissapeared but their sacred site remains. Many of the bateyes are lined with stone monoliths, permanently inscribed with symbols drawn by their invisible hands.
The mountain barrio of Caguana was the most important ceremonial center of Taino culture in the West Indies. Most of the 30 or more courts discovered so far are in this area. The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture restored the site and maintains it as a museum of the Taino culture.
The center consists of a large main court, a circular court and 10 smaller rectangular courts. Monoliths, petroglyphs, and a collection of Indian artifacts can be seen. A botanical garden recreates the plants the Tainos used for food (such as the yautia, sweet potatoes, corn and tobacco), and building materials, such as the ceiba, ausubo, tabonuco and royal palm.
In Arecibo, take Road 10 to Utuado and turn right on Road 11 to km. 12.3. The drive passes through karst country and skirts rivers, lakes and impressive interior mountain peaks.
The Park is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.--there is no charge for admission.