Coamo

(ko-AH-mo)

Coamo is known as "La Villa Añeja" (old villa) or "La Villa de San Blas de Illescas" (San Blas de Illescas villa). Coamo was founded on July 15, 1570 by Cristóbal y Blas de Illescas, making it one of the older towns on the island after San Juan and San Germán. The towns original name was San Blas de Illescas, later changed to Coamo, named after a local Indian chief Coamex or Coamey.

By 1582, there were twenty families living in Coamo, in the same area where the Tainos had had their village of Guayama. Coamo became officially a town in 1616, and given the title of "Villa" by Spanish Royal Decree in 1778.

Coamo is famous for its thermal springs. They are noted for their healing and therapeutic waters. Long before the Spaniards arrived on the island, the Indians bathed in these waters, and according to legend, this was the fountain of youth that the Indians spoke to Ponce de León about which he mistakenly went to search for in Florida, and unfortunately for him the search would end in his death.

Coamo, established by Spanish settlers as the third town on the island, was the capital of the south until the 1880's, when political power moved to Ponce. Long before the Europeans arrived, Indians bathed in a thermal spring at Coamo; according to one legend, this was the fountain of youth the Indians described to Ponce de León. Today, a parador -Los Baños de Coamo- surrounds the famous spring. It was considered the islands most fashionable resort from 1847 to 1958.

Highlights of the town's plaza include an historical 18th-century church and an elegant masonry home converted into a museum with turn-of-the-century furnishings and local history displays. Open daily: 8:00am-noon 1:00pm-4:00pm, (787) 825-1150 Ext. 206.

In 1901, the first school building was constructed, the Franklin Public School.

During the Spanish-American War (1898), it was the scene of decisive battles.

Every year in february Coamo celebrates San Blás de Illescas Marathon, inaugurated in 1963 by Phi Delta Fraternity in honor to the founder of the town. International and local runners compete in a 13.1-mile half marathon. It's Puerto Rico's biggest race, and the crowds are always large.

The town is manufactures trading center for machinery, aircraft radio components, machines, and clothing. The surrounding areas produces corn, mangos, oranges and plantains.

Coamo is located in the southern region, north of Santa Isabel; south of Orocovis and Barranquitas; east of Villalba and Juana Díaz; and west of Aibonito and Salinas. Its rivers are: Coamo, Cuyón, Descalabrado, Lapa, Jueyes and Mina.

There are many well-known "coameños", among them: composer Bobby Capo.

Interesting Facts

In 1755, Coamo became the first city where coffee was produced.

Coamo is made up of 11 barrios (wards/districts):

  • Coamo Arriba
  • Cuyón
  • Hayales
  • Los Llanos
  • Palmarejo
  • Pasto
  • Pedro Garcia
  • Pueblo
  • Pulgillas
  • San Idelfonso
  • Santa Catalin

Things to See and Do In Coamo

Want to know what to see and do in Coamo? Discover few ideas for exploring and enjoying the city.

What to Do and See?

Where to Eat?

Where to Stay?

Festivals and Events

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Symbols

Coamo Flag
Coamo Coat of Arms

Anthem: All muy cerca del pueblo...

Climate

10 Day Forecast

Education

There are 21 public schools in Coamo, education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.

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Other Resources


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Did You Know?

La Fortaleza in San Juan is the oldest executive mansion in the New World.