Skip Navigation

Loiza

(loo-EE-zah)

Loíza is known as "El Pueblo de la Cacica". Loíza was proclaimed a town officially in 1692 and named in honor of Yuisa or Luisa, one of the women caciques on the island when the Spanish conquerors arrived. It was not until 1719 that the Spanish government declared it as an official town. It was founded by Gaspar de Arredondo.

Settled by Nigerian slaves of the Yoruba tribe in the 16th century, Loíza is a center for African-inspired traditions, retaining one of the highest percentages of African descendants of all island towns. Among those traditions Loíza celebrates the "Fiestas Patronales" where salsa dancing, masquerades, colorful parades and rich Puerto Rican food make this festival a classic. The nine days of this carnival pay homage to Loízas patron saint, St. James.


Loiza Flamboyan (Photo: Alberto DeJesus)

Loíza is a great place to sample the Puerto Rican variety of Afro-Caribbean cuisine.

Every July Loíza host the very popular St. Jaime's Carnival. This colorful carnival-like celebration features costumes, masks, parades, and bomba dancers, along kiosks selling crafts and traditional food. The event reflects the African and Spanish heritage and traditions.

Its San Patricio Church (begun in 1645) is the oldest on the island still active as a parish church.

Loíza is located in the northeastern coast, north of Canóvanas; east of Carolina; and west of Río Grande.

The surrounding areas produces sugar cane, fruits, and coconuts.

There are many well-known "loiceños", among them: Ramón Suarez and Belen Zequeria de Cuevas.

Loiza is made up of 6 barrios (wards/districts):

  • Canóvanas
  • Loíza Pueblo
  • Medianía Alta
  • Medianía Baja
  • Torrecilla Alta
  • Torrecilla Baja

Things to See and Do In Loiza

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

What to Do and See?

Where to Eat?

Where to Stay?

Festivals and Events

  • Fiestas Patronales de San Patricio - March
    Salsa dancing, masquerades, colorful parades and rich Puerto Rican food make this festival a classic. (787) 794-1135
  • St. James Festival - July
    This annual folk and religious ceremony honors St. James the Apostle. The jubilant carnival-like celebration features costumes, masks, parades, and bomba dancers, and reflects the African and Spanish heritage. (787) 876-1040

Symbols

The flag is tricolor featuring undulating stripes in red, gold and green. A bell tower decorates the red area and symbolizes the Christian tradition.


Loiza Coat of Arms

The local patron St. James on his horse is displayed prominently in the coat of arms. The wavy bar symbolizes the Rio Grande de Loiza river. The crown symbolizes the local woman chief Luysa, after which the town is named. The bordure shows some flames, symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The trebols symbolizes the other local patron saint, St. Patrick of Ireland.

Anthem: Loiceños en Acción

Education

There are 10 public schools in Loiza, education is handled by the Puerto Rico Department of Education.

Climate

10 Day Forecast

Demographics *

Population
24,223

Puerto Rico: 3,285,874

Land Area: 19.37 sq mi

Density: 1,298.80 per sq mi

Median Age: 40.4

Sex: 54% female

Economics **

Per capita income
$9,515
Puerto Rico: $21,058

Median household income: $17,363
Puerto Rico: $21,058

Persons below poverty line: 50.4%

Housing, families and educational attainment *

Number of households
8,734
Housing units density:
655.1 (2013)

Persons per household: 2.87

High school grad or higher: 75.6%

Marital status: 33% married

* U.S. Census Bureau 2020 data, unless otherwise noted - Source: Quick Facts Puerto Rico.
** U.S. Census Bureau 2016-2020

Map References

Coordinates: 18.4197° N, 65.8731° W

Zip Code: 772

Driving Distance from San Juan: 6.6 miles

Driving Time: 13 minutes


Did You Know?

San Juan is the second oldest European city in the Western Hemisphere.