Manatí is known as "La Ciudad Metropolitana" (metropolitan city) and "La Atenas de Puerto Rico" (Puerto Rico's athens). Manatí was founded in 1738 by Don Pedro Menéndez Valdéz.

It was the ninth town recognized by the Spanish Crown in Puerto Rico. As a result of its cultural eminence, it began to be called the "Athens of Puerto Rico" during the early part of this century.

Mar Chiquita The first Spanish settlement was made by Juan Ponce de León, who was attracted to the area by the promise of gold in the Manatuabón River. After building the first structures on the shore of the river, Ponce de León moved on to found Villa Caparra.

The area is generously bathed in the waters of springs, lakes, streams, lagoons and rivers, the most impressive of which is the Río Grande de Manatí. Manatí is said to have been named for the many manatees that were sighted in its waters. It may also have had an indigenous origin, derived from the Indian-named Manatuabón River.

Manatí is located in the northern coast, north of Morovis and Ciales; east of Florida and Barceloneta; and west of Vega Baja. The annual precipitation is approximately 62 inches and the average temperature is 78ºF.

Manatí is the pineapple center of Puerto Rico. In addition, grows in its surroundings fruits, sugar cane, and coffee.

Manatí is also a good jumping-off place for a visit to the interior.

There are many well-known "manatieños", among them: Clemente Ramírez de Arellano.

Land Area: 120 sq km (46.0 sq mi)
Water Area: 25.53 sq mi
Population: 40,868
Density: 378.4 per sq km (987.1 per sq mi)
Housing Units: 17,113
Housing Density: 378.9
Per Capita Income: $7,502
Source: 2000 Census
Hymn: Atenas de Borinquen
Wards: Bajura Adentro, Bajura Afuera, Coto Norte, Coto Sur, Pueblo, Río Arriba, Saliente, Tierras Nuevas Poniente and Tierras Nuevas Saliente.
Driving Distance: 37.6 miles *
Driving Time: 59 minutes *

Festivals and Events

  • Festival de Halloween - October
  • Festival de los Manaties - July
  • Festival de Navidad - December
  • Festival Playero - July
  • Fiestas de Cruz - May
  • Fiestas Patronales Virgen de la Candelaria - February
    Every year, Manati celebrates a patron saint festival. The festivities include dances, food, parades and religious processions. (787) 854-2024

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* The distance was calculated from San Juan.

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Did You Know?

The Cuatro is the national instrument of Puerto Rico.