The area surrounding the city's elegant central Plaza Colón is among the prettiest in the city, with several restored historic buildings. A bronze monument of Christopher Columbus atop a globe surrounded by 16 female statues dominates the plaza, which is also marked by mosaic tiled walkways and gurgling fountains, blooming tropical gardens, and squat leafy trees.
The neo-Corinthian Mayagüez City Hall and the Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, which has gone through several incarnations since the first building went up in 1780, are noteworthy buildings right off the plaza.
Make sure to stroll down nearby Calle McKinley, home to the fabulous, recently restored Yaguez Theater. The neoclassical jewel served as both an opera and a silent movie house and is still in active use today. Originally inaugurated in 1909, a fire destroyed the structure in 1919, but it was rebuilt. The city's smashing Art Deco post office is also located here.
Mayagüez's historic waterfront district, with a restored 1920s Custom House and rows of neat warehouses, is also worth a look. The century-old University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez campus is also beautiful.
To soak in the magical sunsets of the Puerto Rican west coast, either head to the hills surrounding the city or down to the new lineal coastal park that was built as part of a host capital works projects for the city's hosting of the 2010 Caribbean and Central American Games.
Beaches & Watersports
Nearly the entire west coast has great beaches except for Mayagüez, but beach lovers might consider staying here if they want to explore several different beaches. That's because the city perhaps alone puts visitors in such easy reach of the tranquil Caribbean waters to its south, or the rough surfing paradise to its north.