After our first visit to Puerto Rico seeing the tourist highlights, this trip we wanted to get off the beaten path and see where the locals hang out. The answer is Guavate and La Ruta de Lechon, AKA The Pork Highway. Guavate is about an hour and a quarter’s drive from Fajardo or an hour from San Juan. The drive was through some of the most scenic parts of the island. Unlike our drive the day before, our rickety rental car made it to the lechoneras just fine.
After much research, we decided to visit Lechonera Los Pinos (above). When you arrive at the open-air lechonera, you get in line and there are signs in both English and Spanish of what food they have. The food is served cafeteria style: You order at the counter and then pay when your name is called. There is a separate bar so if you are traveling with several people, it is a good idea to send one person to order food and another to order drinks. There was live music playing and the vibe was unlike anything I have ever experienced anywhere else.
Of course, the food was fabulous! The pork, lechon, is a whole suckling pig roasted over an open flame until the skin is nice and crispy. The rice with pigeon peas (or loafers as the English menu said) and pink beans were a great compliment. All of this wonderful food and a mojito to wash it down. Honestly, as simple as this meal was, it is probably one of my favorites of the trip and one I think back to often.
If you have the time during your trip to Puerto Rico, definitely make a stop in Guavate and the Pork Highway. It is a food and cultural experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Of course, I recommend Los Pinos, but I’m sure the other lechoneras along the road are good too. For more information about the Pork Highway, visit Discover Puerto Rico.
Thanks for stopping by! To read more about this trip, check out the Returning to Puerto Rico Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.
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