The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), in collaboration with the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, announced the launch of a new tourist route known as La Ruta Porta del Sol Sagrado. This route further promotes the Porta del Sol region, which consists of the western area of the country as a destination for cultural tourism, diverse historical sites and religious tourist attractions.
“In addition to its natural beauty, welcoming people and delicious cuisine, Porta del Sol is a tourist region rich in history and religious culture that we want to share with the world. For these reasons PRTC, with the assistance of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, officially launched the Porta del Sol Sagrado route,” said the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort.
The name of the area “Porta” del Sol, comes from “Porta” Coeli Church, which means the “door” to heaven. Therefore, the Porta del Sol Sagrado seeks to publicize the deep historical, cultural and religious roots of the region.
Porta del Sol Sagrado includes 15 religious attractions in the towns of Isabela, Mayagüez, Maricao, Hormigueros, San Germán, Cabo Rojo and Guanica. This includes some of the most important and ancient temples of America, religious art, monuments, shrines, archaeological ruins, sacred relics, history, legends, sacred characters, landscapes, cuisine and unique architectural heritage.
Some of the route’s attractions include the Porta Coeli Church, the second oldest church in Puerto Rico, one of the oldest in America and the Museum of Religious Art at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture; the Central Presbyterian Church in Mayagüez, one of the oldest American churches in Puerto Rico, which features a historic stained glass monument created by renowned artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, known for the Tiffany branded lamps; and the Ermita de Espinar of Aguada route, which features 16th century archaeological ruins, which is one of the oldest temples in the history of the evangelization of the New World.
Porta del Sol Sagrado joins existing religious tourism routes such as La Ruta del Beato Carlos Manuel Rodríguez (Charlie) established by the Municipality of Caguas and La Ruta de San Juan Bautista in Old San Juan.
The World Tourism Organization raises exposure of religious tourism or faith tourism, as a form of cultural tourism, offering the visitor the experience of discovering the historical and religious heritage of a destination. In addition to icons of religious tourism, international destinations such as the Holy Land in Israel, Rome; The Camino de Santiago in Spain; among others, have led to tourist destinations such as Mexico and Colombia to aggressively develop this tourism market.
“Porta del Sol Sagrado brings new opportunities to boost tourism and the economy of the Porta del Sol region, through the arrival of more local and international tourists,” concluded Rocafort Rivera.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has trained tour companies on guided tours of Porta del Sol Sagrado. For companies interested in tour guides and trainings, or for more information about La Ruta Porta del Sol Sagrado, please contact PRTC at 787-721-2400 Ext. 2063.