The Area

Discover the City of the Open Skies

A city adorned with Spanish-era style

A city adorned with Spanish-era style churches and small downtown area stores, Lares is a breezy area that is about 1.5 hours from San Juan by car. Lares is a mountain municipality of Puerto Rico’s central-western area located north of Maricao and Yauco; south of Camuy, east of San Sebastián and Las Marias; and west of Hatillo, Utuado and Adjuntas. Lares is spread over 10 wards and Lares Pueblo (Downtown Lares).

It is part of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lares has one major claim to fame: The 1868 uprising that happened there, brought on by pro-independence rebels who wanted Puerto Rico to gain its freedom from Spain. The movement, known thereafter as El Grito de Lares (literally, The Cry of Lares, or Lares Revolt), was soon extinguished, making Lares the site of the shortest-lived republic ever.

THE CITY

Lares was founded on April 26, 1827 by Francisco de Sotomayor and Pedro Vélez Borrero. The city was named after one of its settlers, Don Amador de Lariz, a Spanish nobleman. Lares was one of the last municipalities to be established in Puerto Rico, receiving its charter from the then governor and captain-general of the Province of Puerto Rico, Don Miguel de la Torre, on October 6, 1831. The lengthy process was begun in 1824 and was led by Don Juan Francisco de Soto Mayor. However late its official foundation, Lares had its beginnings as el Hato de Lariz in the early 16th century. The Spanish word hato means pasture or cattle ranch. This particular hato owes its name to Don Amador de Lariz a Spanish nobleman and colonizer. In 1525, the Spanish Crown granted him an encomienda (a tract of land) that more or less occupies present day Lares, along with one hundred and fifty Tainos to work the property. The name Lariz is of ancient Basque origin and as far as is known, Don Amador de Lariz left no descendents and his name has disappeared from Puerto Rican genealogy. Over the centuries the Basque name was transformed into a Spanish one but interestingly enough, the Jibaros, or mountain-folk of the region, pronounce it LAH-reh to this day. Prior to becoming a municipality in its own right, Lares was a barrio or ward of the town of San Sebastian del Pepino. The principal reason for Lares’ foundation was the long and arduous travel that families residing there encountered in going to San Sebastian to attend mass and to conduct their secular business affairs. According to Spanish law, any barrio that was at least three leagues distant (a league is roughly equivalent to three miles) from the nearest church and, had a least 10 vecinos (citizens who were the head of their household) could petition the central government to allow it to become a municipality, provided, there were no objections from their present municipal government and, other adjacent ones. In any event, over the course of seven years the founders of Lares overcame various difficulties and the municipality of Lares came into being.

LANDMARKS AND PLACES OF INTEREST

• El Ayuntamiento de Castaner

• Hacienda Collazo

• Parque El Jíbaro

• Hacienda El Porvenir

• Heladería de Lares (Ice Cream Parlor)

• Hacienda La Lealtad

Get Directions

Fill in your address or zipcode to calculate the route



FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

• Catedral de Lares (Lares Cathedral): July 2007

• Feast of the Three Kings – January

• Romantic Party – February

• Almojabana Festival – March

• Founding of Lares – April

• Handcrafted Market – May

• Banana (Guineo) Festival – June

• Cultural World Contest – August

• Grito de Lares – September

• Bonsai Gathering – October

• Feast of the Patron Saint – December