Manatí, Puerto Rico

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Municipio Autónomo de Manatí
City and Municipality
Copa La Candelaria in Manatí
Copa La Candelaria in Manatí
Flag of Manatí
Coat of arms of Manatí
Coat of arms
"Ciudad Metropolitana", "La Atenas de Puerto Rico"
Anthem: "Atenas de Borinquen"
Location of Manatí in Puerto Rico
Location of Manatí in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°25′57″N 66°29′4″W / 18.43250°N 66.48444°W / 18.43250; -66.48444Coordinates: 18°25′57″N 66°29′4″W / 18.43250°N 66.48444°W / 18.43250; -66.48444
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
 • MayorJosé Sánchez González (PNP)
 • Senatorial dist.3 - Arecibo
 • Representative dist.12, 13
 • Total145.53 km2 (56.19 sq mi)
 • Land120 km2 (50 sq mi)
 • Water25.53 km2 (9.86 sq mi)
 • Total44,113
 • Density300/km2 (790/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Zip code
Major routesPR secondary 2.svg PR secondary 149.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 22.svg

Manatí (Spanish pronunciation: [manaˈti], Manatee) is a city and municipality of Puerto Rico on the northern coast, north of Morovis and Ciales; east of Florida and Barceloneta; and west of Vega Baja. Manatí is spread over 8 barrios and Manatí barrio-pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Manatí logo Atenas de Puerto Rico (in English: Athens of Puerto Rico)

Manatí was founded in 1799 by Don Pedro Menendez Valdes. The Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria church was built in the seventeenth century and is still standing in its original spot.[1] Manati is known as La Ciudad Metropolitana (The Metropolitan City), and also as Las Atenas de Puerto Rico, (The Athens of Puerto Rico).[2] It is named after a sea mammal, the manatee (the sea cow).

During those early years, the mayor of the town was Jose Aulet. Juan Ponce de León picked the Manatí leg of the Manuatabón River as the first area to pan for gold.[1] The Aulet family owned lands rich in pineapples, sugar cane, and green bananas. The Aulets sold the land to the government in 1985.

When after the Treaty of Paris (1898), the U.S. conducted its first census of Puerto Rico, the population of Manatí was 13,989.[3]

In 1853, the region shifted from mining to an expansion of agriculture, particularly cultivation and processing of sugar cane. The demand for and price of sugar remained high in international markets. The main commodity crop was sugar cane. Carpentry also became popular. During that year, the town consisted of 280 homes, 2 squares, 8 streets and a school with 50 pupils.


Manatí is on the northern central coast.[4]

Hurricane Maria[edit]

On September 20, 2017, the lives of Manatí residents were disrupted when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico causing widespread flooding, landslides, and damage to critical infrastructure.[5]


Buildings in Manatí barrio-pueblo

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Manatí is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and a large Catholic church are located in the center of the municipality, in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[6][7][8][9]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1899 (shown as 1900)[12] 1910-1930[13]
1930-1950[14] 1960-2000[15] 2010[8]


In 2014, Manati welcomed its first hotel, the Hyatt Place Hotel and Casino, located next to Casino Atlántico and a LongHorn Steakhouse, which opened in April 2014. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, 3 meeting rooms and a fitness center. The official name was Hyatt Place Manati & Casino. Manati is popular for its beaches and is part of the Porta Altantico tourism district.

In 2019, Manatí began offering free tours of its city, beaches, historic places and eateries.[16][17]

Landmarks and places of interest[edit]

Some of the places of interest in Manatí include:[17]

La Plaza de la Historia de Manatí en Puerto Rico
Near Mar Chiquita Beach
  • The Acropolis Sports Complex
  • Biblioteca Nacional Francisco Álvarez [1]
  • El Salón del Poeta
  • Historic Zone
  • Los Tubos Beach
  • La Esperanza Beach
  • Playa Cueva Las Golondrinas, where visitors have been cited for public indecency. Puerto Rico does not have nudist beaches.[18]
  • Mar Chiquita Beach[19]
  • Marqués de la Esperanza Hacienda Ruins
  • Ruinas de la Oficina de la Central Monserrate
  • The New Manati Arena
  • Manati Baseball Stadium



Isidoro Colón established the "Candelaria" sugar mill in the years between 1860 and 1870, located between Manatí and Barceloneta. Manatí is the pineapple center of Puerto Rico. In addition in Manatí, there is cultivation of fruits, sugar cane, and coffee.[2] Los Frutos del Guacabo is a farming company in Manatí that provides local fruit and vegetables to local chefs.[20][21]


Current manufacturers in Manati include


  • Burlington store[22]

Special Communities Program[edit]

Spearheaded by then governor Sila María Calderón, Law 1-2001 was passed in 2001,[23] to identify Puerto Rico's marginalized communities.[24] In 2017, then governor Ricardo Rosselló created a new government agency to work with the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program.[25][26] Of the 742 places on the list of Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico, the following barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods were in Manatí: Cerro Gandía, Cerro Quiñones and El Horno.[27]


Manati has two large, private hospitals, Doctor's Center Hospital, and Manati Medical Center Dr. Otero Lopez (formerly the government owned Hospital de Area). There is also the smaller Municipal Hospital.

The area surrounding PR-2 is known for having many medical offices.


Manati has 3 high schools: Petra Corretjer de O'neill High School, Fernando Callejo High School, and the Escuela Instituto Tecnologico Recinto De Manati, the latter also serving as a technical institute.

Private Schools:

  • Colegio Marista "El Salvador" Manati
  • Colegio De La Inmaculada
  • Piaget Bilingual Academy
  • Academia Discipulos de Cristo
  • Colegio Hispano Americano
  • La Reine Christian Bilingual School

Manati's only university is the American University of Puerto Rico, Manati Campus. There are several technical institutes, such as Instituto de Banca y Comercio, Atenas' College, EDC college and Dewey University.


Manati has 15 bridges.[28]


Festivals and events[edit]

  • Patron Fetivities - February: "La Virgen De La Candelaria"
  • Cross Festivities - May
  • Beach Festival - July
  • Manatee Festival - July
  • Halloween Festival - October
  • Christmas Festival - December

Radio stations[edit]

Notable natives and residents[edit]

Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the people of Manatí who have distinguished themselves, therefore a category has been created to this effect:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Manatí, PR - The Athens of Puerto Rico." Eye Tour. 2011. Web. 7 Dec 2011.< Archived 2011-11-05 at the Wayback Machine>.
  2. ^ a b Rivera, Magaly. "Manati" Welcome to Puerto Rico! 7 Dec 2011. <>.
  3. ^ Joseph Prentiss Sanger; Henry Gannett; Walter Francis Willcox (1900). Informe sobre el censo de Puerto Rico, 1899, United States. War Dept. Porto Rico Census Office (in Spanish). Imprenta del gobierno. p. 161.
  4. ^ "Manatí Municipality". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
  5. ^ Vicens, A. J. "Portraits of suffering and resilience in Puerto Rico six months after Hurricane Maria". Archived from the original on 2019-09-28. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  6. ^ Picó, Rafael; Buitrago de Santiago, Zayda; Berrios, Hector H. Nueva geografía de Puerto Rico: física, económica, y social, por Rafael Picó. Con la colaboración de Zayda Buitrago de Santiago y Héctor H. Berrios. San Juan Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Puerto Rico,1969. Archived from the original on 2018-12-26. Retrieved 2018-12-31.
  7. ^ Gwillim Law (20 May 2015). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  9. ^ "Map of Manatí at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  10. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". US Census. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  13. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930 1920 and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  14. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 30, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 24, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Discovery Manati". Discovery Manati. Archived from the original on 2019-09-28. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  17. ^ a b "Conoce las playas y la naturaleza en Manatí". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). August 9, 2019. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  18. ^ "Investigan la existencia de una posible playa nudista en Manatí". Univision (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2019-09-28. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  19. ^ "Encaminado un proyecto para declarar reserva ecológica en Mar Chiquita". Primera Hora (in Spanish). March 29, 2019. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  20. ^ Modak, Sebastian (February 15, 2019). "Visiting Puerto Rico, and Finding the Up Beat". Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019 – via
  21. ^ "Lanzan primer proyecto del Grupo Interagencial de Impacto Social". Primera Hora (in Spanish). March 25, 2019. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  22. ^ "Burlington set to re-open 2 additional P.R. stores in Río Piedras, Manatí – News is My Business". News is my Business. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  23. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Evoluciona el proyecto de Comunidades Especiales". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 24 February 2017. Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  27. ^ Rivera Quintero, Marcia (2014), El vuelo de la esperanza:Proyecto de las Comunidades Especiales Puerto Rico, 1997-2004 (Primera edición ed.), San Juan, Puerto Rico Fundación Sila M. Calderón, p. 273, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  28. ^ "Manati Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External links[edit]