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Manatí (Spanish pronunciation: [manaˈti], Manatee) is a municipality of Puerto Rico (U.S.) on the northern coast, north of Morovis and Ciales; east of Florida and Barceloneta; and west of Vega Baja. Manatí is spread over 8 wards and Manatí Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Municipio Autónomo de Manatí
Town and Municipality
Copa La Candelaria in Manatí
Copa La Candelaria in Manatí
Flag of Manatí
Coat of arms of Manatí
Coat of arms
"Ciudad Metropolitana", "La Atenas de Puerto Rico"
Anthem:"Atenas de Borinquen"
Location of Manatí in Puerto Rico
Location of Manatí in Puerto Rico
Coordinates: 18°25′57″N 66°29′4″W / 18.43250°N 66.48444°W / 18.43250; -66.48444Coordinates: 18°25′57″N 66°29′4″W / 18.43250°N 66.48444°W / 18.43250; -66.48444
Country United States
Territory Puerto Rico
 • MayorJosé Sánchez González (PNP)
 • Senatorial dist.3 - Arecibo
 • Representative dist.12, 13
 • Total145.53 km2 (56.19 sq mi)
 • Land120 km2 (50 sq mi)
 • Water25.53 km2 (9.86 sq mi)
 • Total44,113
 • Density300/km2 (790/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
Zip code
Major routesPR secondary 2.svg PR secondary 149.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 22.svg



Manati Atenas de Puerto Rico

Manatí was founded in 1799 by Don Pedro Menendez Valdes. The Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria church was built in the seventeenth century and is still standing in its original spot.[1] Manati is known as La Ciudad Metropolitana (The Metropolitan City), and also as Las Atenas de Puerto Rico, (The Athens of Puerto Rico).[2] It is named after a sea mammal, the manatee (the sea cow).

During those early years, the Mayor of the town was Jose Aulet. Juan Ponce de León picked the Manatí leg of the Manuatabón River as the first area to pan for gold.[1] The Aulet family owned lands rich in pineapples, sugar cane, and green bananas. The Aulets sold the land to the government in 1985.

When after the Treaty of Paris (1898), the U.S. conducted its first census of Puerto Rico, the population of Manatí was 13,989.[3]

In 1853 the region shifted from mining to an expansion of agriculture, particularly cultivation and processing of sugar cane. The demand for and price of sugar remained high in international markets. The main commodity crop was sugar cane. Carpentry also became popular. During that year, the town consisted of 280 homes, 2 squares, 8 streets and a school with 50 pupils.


Manatí[4] is on the northern central coast.


Buildings in Manatí barrio-pueblo

Like all municipalities of Puerto Rico, Manatí is subdivided into barrios. The municipal buildings, central square and large Catholic church are located in the center of the municipality, in a barrio referred to as "el pueblo".[5][6][7][8]


Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1899 (shown as 1900)[11] 1910-1930[12]
1930-1950[13] 1960-2000[14] 2010[7]


In 2014 Manati welcomed its first hotel, the Hyatt Place Hotel and Casino, located next to Casino Atlántico and a LongHorn Steakhouse, which opened in April 2014. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, 3 meeting rooms and a fitness center. The official name was Hyatt Place Manati & Casino.

Manati is popular for its beaches and is part of the Porta Altantico tourism district.

Landmarks and places of interestEdit

La Plaza de la Historia de Manatí en Puerto Rico
Near Mar Chiquita Beach
  • The Acropolis Sports Complex
  • Biblioteca Nacional Francisco Álvarez [1]
  • El Salón del Poeta
  • Historic Zone
  • Los Tubos Beach
  • La Esperanza Beach
  • Mar Chiquita Beach
  • Marqués de la Esperanza Hacienda Ruins
  • Ruinas de la Oficina de la Central Monserrate
  • The New Manati Arena
  • Manati Baseball Stadium



Isidoro Colón established the "Candelaria" sugar mill in the years between 1860 and 1870, located between Manatí and Barceloneta.

Manatí is the pineapple center of Puerto Rico. In addition, is fruits, sugar cane, and coffee.[2]


Current manufacturers in Manati include

Special communitiesEdit

Since 2001, when law 1-2001 was passed,[15] measures have been taken to identify and address the high levels of poverty and lack of resources and opportunities affecting people living in specific places (barrios, communities, sectors, or neighborhoods) of Puerto Rico. In 2004, the following places in Manatí were on the list of Comunidades especiales de Puerto Rico or marginalized communities:[16] Cerro Gandía, Cerro Quiñones and El Horno.[17] In 2017, Governor Rosello created a new government agency to work with the Special Communities of Puerto Rico Program and Jesús Vélez Vargas, its director stated that the program was evolving.[18][19]


Manati has 2 large private hospitals, Doctor's Center Hospital, and Manati Medical Center Dr. Otero Lopez (formerly the government owned Hospital de Area). Both hospitals also have large office buildings. There is also the smaller Municipal Hospital ( Newly Renovated, and expanded with a new four story building)

The area surrounding PR-2 is known for having many medical offices.


Manati has 3 high schools: Petra Corretjer de O'neill High School, Fernando Callejo High School, and the Escuela Instituto Tecnologico Recinto De Manati, the latter also serving as a technical institute.

Private Schools:

  • Colegio Marista "El Salvador" Manati.
  • Colegio De La Inmaculada.
  • Piaget Bilingual Academy.
  • Academia Discipulos de Cristo.
  • Colegio Hispano Americano.
  • La Reine Christian Bilingual School.

Manati's only university is the American University of Puerto Rico, Manati Campus. There are several technical institutes, such as Instituto de Banca y Comercio, Atenas' College, EDC college and Dewey University.


Manati has 15 bridges.[20]


Festivals and eventsEdit

  • Patron Fetivities - February: "La Virgen De La Candelaria"
  • Cross Festivities - May
  • Beach Festival - July
  • Manatee Festival - July
  • Halloween Festival - October
  • Christmas Festival - December

Radio stationsEdit

Notable natives and residentsEdit

Due to space limitations it is almost impossible to list all of the people of Manatí who have distinguished themselves, therefore a category has been created to this effect:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Manatí, PR - The Athens of Puerto Rico." Eye Tour. 2011. Web. 7 Dec 2011. <>.
  2. ^ a b Rivera, Magaly. "Manati" Welcome to Puerto Rico! 7 Dec 2011. <>.
  3. ^ Joseph Prentiss Sanger; Henry Gannett; Walter Francis Willcox (1900). Informe sobre el censo de Puerto Rico, 1899, United States. War Dept. Porto Rico Census Office (in Spanish). Imprenta del gobierno. p. 161.
  4. ^ "Manatí Municipality - Municipalities - EnciclopediaPR". Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (FPH).
  5. ^ Picó, Rafael; Buitrago de Santiago, Zayda; Berrios, Hector H. Nueva geografía de Puerto Rico: física, económica, y social, por Rafael Picó. Con la colaboración de Zayda Buitrago de Santiago y Héctor H. Berrios. San Juan Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Puerto Rico,1969.
  6. ^ Gwillim Law (20 May 2015). Administrative Subdivisions of Countries: A Comprehensive World Reference, 1900 through 1998. McFarland. p. 300. ISBN 978-1-4766-0447-3. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b Puerto Rico:2010:population and housing unit counts.pdf (PDF). U.S. Dept. of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. Census Bureau. 2010.
  8. ^ "Map of Manatí at the Wayback Machine" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  9. ^ "US Census Barrio-Pueblo definition". US Census. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  11. ^ "Report of the Census of Porto Rico 1899". War Department Office Director Census of Porto Rico. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  12. ^ "Table 3-Population of Municipalities: 1930 1920 and 1910" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  13. ^ "Table 4-Area and Population of Municipalities Urban and Rural: 1930 to 1950" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  14. ^ "Table 2 Population and Housing Units: 1960 to 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Leyes del 2001". Lex Juris Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Comunidades Especiales de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). 8 August 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  17. ^ Rivera Quintero, Marcia (2014), El vuelo de la esperanza : Proyecto de las Comunidades Especiales Puerto Rico, 1997-2004 (Primera edición ed.), San Juan, Puerto Rico Fundación Sila M. Calderón, p. 276, ISBN 978-0-9820806-1-0
  18. ^ "Evoluciona el proyecto de Comunidades Especiales". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 24 February 2017. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  19. ^, Por. "Ya es ley Oficina para el Desarrollo Socioeconómico y Comunitario". El Vocero de Puerto Rico (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Manati Bridges". National Bridge Inventory Data. US Dept. of Transportation. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External linksEdit