The Taino people, a tribe indigenous to the Caribbean and present upon Columbus’ arrival, were known for their early construction of ceremonial ballparks, development of a universal language, and creation of a complex religious cosmology. From ancient history to modern Puerto Rican culture, here’s how to experience Taino culture on the island.
- Explore El Yunque National Forest, the rain-forest dwelling place of the deity Yúcahu in Taino mythology.
- Sample Puerto Rican foods made from ingredients like yucca root, guanabana, squash, papaya, yams, and corn—all staples of the Taino diet.
- Visit the Cemi Museum (Museo el Cemi) in Jayuya to peruse the collection of Taino art and religious artifacts.
- Just outside of Ponce, tour the Tibes Indigenous Ceremonial Center (Centro Ceremonial Indigena), one of the largest archaeological sites in Puerto Rico, believed to be last inhabited by the Taino.
- Take a day trip to the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park (Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana), an important Taino archaeological site with more than 20 petroglyphs, in Utuado.