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Geographical Location





Puerto Rico is a Caribbean, island located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic


The city of Isabela is located on the northwestern most tip of Puerto Rico.

The taino indian chief Mabodamaca, one of the most important chieftains of the Island of Boriken (Taino name for the island of Puerto Rico) during the 18th century, ruled the region of the 'Guajataca' (Taino name for the northeastern region of Puerto Rico) where Isabela was originally founded. Although the actual date of the origins of the first spanish settlement is not precisely known, a small settlement/hermitage is known to have existed by the end of the 17th century or beginning of the 18th century in a great extension of land into what encompass today the municipalities of Isabela, Camuy and Quebradillas. The settlement bordered to the east with the shoreline of the Guajataca River and it was located on the grounds of an earlier Taino settlement.

According to documented history, around 1725, José Antonio de Mendizábal y Azares (Governor of the island of Puerto Rico) granted authorization to base a population on the existing hermitage/village. Its given name, San Antonio de La Tuna, derives from the avocation of the spanish settlers to the saint San Antonio de Padua and in honor of a wild cactus growing in 
the region (Tuna is the Spanish name for cactus). At the end of the eighteenth century San Antonio de la Tuna had a church, more than sixty houses and almost 1,200 inhabitants, which was a considerable population for those times. At present, the 2000 U.S. Census reveals it has a population of 44,444 souls.

Relocation
Prompted by economic and health factors, the decision to relocate the hermitage to a more favorable location was pursued. Around 1818, the village obtained authorization from then Governor Salvador Meléndez to transfer the population to a new location closer to the coast . The new community would be named Isabela in honor of Queen Isabel of Castile. Meléndez approved the transfer request and a new town was founded the following year May 21, 1819. In this same year the construction of the church began, which finished in 1824. In 1918 the church was damaged during a strong earthquake that affected the western region of the island, it was rebuilt soon after.


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Driving time from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, in San Juan, to Isabela is between 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the day of the week and time. It's less than an hour's ride from the smaller Rafael Hernandez Airport, in Aguadilla. It borders with the Atlantic Ocean to the North, San Sebastián to the South, Quebradillas to the East, and Aguadilla and Moca to the West.

It has 14 wards (the equivalent of counties): Arenales Alto, Arenales Bajo, Bajuras, Bejuco, Coto, Galateo Alto, Galateo Bajo, Guayabos, Guerrero, Jobos, Llanadas, Mora, and Pueblo.

Topography
It could be said that Isabela is a hybrid town of sorts, with the rarity of being a coastline city that has beaches but is also known for its mountains (with peaks of over 1000ft
above sea level), rivers (surface and submarine), lake, caves (surface and submarine), cliffs, coastal flats and forests (Tropical and Mangroves).



Geographically
, the municipalit
y of Isabela belongs to the Northern Coastal Plains.
Running through the south, the Aymamón mountains, a prolongation of the Jaicoa Mountain Range that begins in the neighboring town of Aguadilla, boasts peaks of over 1000ft above sea level. The most prominent hills that are part of these mountains are La Bandera (Galateo Alto ward)) at 368 meters (1,207 feet); La Silla (Arenales Alto ward) at 337 meters (1,106 feet); El Sombrero (in Galateo Alto) at 330 meters (1,083 feet); Indio (Planas ward)) at 310 meters (1,017 feet); and Monte Encantado (in Arenales Altos) at 280 meters (919 feet) of elevation above sea level. The central part of the territory, which consists mostly of flatlands, the mountains does not surpass 200 meters (656 feet) of height; the coastline flats (Bajuras), is slightly above sea level.

 

  
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