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.

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.

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

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.

Land Area: 65 sq km (25.0 sq mi)
Water Area: 46.27 sq mi
Population: 31,854
Density: 500.5 per sq km (1,301.4 per sq mi)
Housing Units: 10,927
Housing Density: 562.0
Per Capita Income: $5,283
Source: 2000 Census
Hymn: Loiceños en Acción
Coordinates:    18° 25' 11.5104" N, 65° 52' 23.1456" W
Wards: Canóvanas, Medianía Alta, Medianía Baja, Pueblo, Torrecilla Alta and Torrecilla Baja.
Driving Distance: 6.6 miles *
Driving Time: 13 minutes *

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.

Quick Links

* The distance was calculated from San Juan.

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Did You Know?

In 1509, Juan Garrido, a conquistador in Juan Ponce de León's entourage, became the first African to set foot on the island.