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Municipio Autónomo de Barceloneta
Town and Municipality
Barceloneta in letters sculpture
Barceloneta in letters sculpture
Flag of Barceloneta
Coat of arms of Barceloneta
Coat of arms
"La Ciudad de las Piñas", "La Ciudad Industrial," "El Pueblo de los Indios", "El Pueblo de Sixto Escobar"
Anthem: "Querido Barceloneta"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Barceloneta Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Barceloneta Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded July 1, 1881
 • Total 36.39 sq mi (94.24 km2)
 • Land 32 sq mi (82 km2)
 • Water 4.73 sq mi (12.24 km2)
 • Total 22,657
 • Density 622.68/sq mi (240.418/km2)
Demonym(s) Barcelonetences
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR secondary 2.svg PR secondary 140.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 22.svg

Barceloneta is a town and municipality in Puerto Rico located in the north region, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1,000 miles south of Florida, east of Arecibo and west of Manatí. Barceloneta is spread over 3 barrios and Barceloneta Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Barceloneta was founded on July 1, 1881 by Don Bonocio Llenza Feliú, an immigrant from Barcelona. The name of Barceloneta ( Little Barcelona ) is derived from the Spanish city. Barceloneta was one of the last municipalities created by the Spanish Government in Puerto Rico.

About a decade after its foundation, the town had a significant economic development led by agriculture and industry. By 1894, there were three sugarcane estates, 93 sugar mills, and 100 of other fruits.

In 1899, Barceloneta requested to be annexed to the town of Manatí. An election was scheduled for August 14, 1899 to decide the matter. However, on August 8, the island suffered the effects of Hurricane San Ciriaco, which prevented the elections from being held. The following year, Governor George Whitefield Davis ordered the annexation of Barceloneta into Manatí. The annexation was short-lived, though; 11 years later, the government reinstated Barceloneta as a municipality.

After sugarcane mill Central Plazuela closed in 1963, Barceloneta started reinforcing its agricultural economy towards pineapples and other minor fruits. Efforts to revive the economy weren't that successful, until pharmaceutical industries started establishing themselves in the town during the 70s.

Because of its location next to the Río Grande de Manatí, Barceloneta was also known for many years a site of important port activity, for both the shipment of sugar and salt, as well as a passenger route to New York City and Barcelona. Don Bonocio's son was the owner of a sail ship that made those routes.


The Municipality of Barceloneta sits on the northern karst region of Puerto Rico, on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by the municipalities of Arecibo, Florida, and Manatí. In terms of physical features, the municipality occupies a roughly rectangular area in the northern coast of the island. It has a surface area of 36.4 square miles (94.24 km2).

Barceloneta's terrain is predominantly plain. Since it is located in the karst region, it features hills, ponors, and caves. Near the coast, the terrain is occupied by the Tiburones cienaga.

Water features

The Río Grande de Manatí travels across the municipalities of Manatí and Barceloneta and drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Barceloneta also features the Caño Tiburones, the largest swamp on the island.



  • Barceloneta Pueblo
  • Florida Afuera
  • Garrochales
  • Palmas Altas
  • Villa de Barcelona
  • Villa Georgetti


  • Palenque
  • Abra del Pimiento
  • Las Piedras
  • La Cité
  • Catañito
  • Angostura
  • Tiburon I, II y III
  • Magueyes
  • Seboruco
  • Catalana
  • Cataluña
  • Llanadas
  • Fortuna
  • Punta Palma
  • La Boca
  • Sabana Aguila
  • Cimarrona
  • Quebrada
  • Imbery


Landmarks and places of interest

Coast scene at Barceloneta
A coast scene in Barceloneta
  • Antiguo Muelle (Old Seaport)
  • Cambalache Reserve
  • Caño Tiburones Marshland
  • La Monserrate Refinery Ruins
  • Las Criollas Beach
  • Marqués de la Esperanza Hacienda Ruins
  • Palmas Altas Beach
  • Sixto Escobar Museum
  • Centro Cultural de Barceloneta: Located in the heart of the city, the museum is dedicated to the culture and history of Barceloneta. Also features a collection of archaeological artifacts and Taino pieces.



Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 9,357
1910 11,644 24.4%
1920 13,442 15.4%
1930 15,751 17.2%
1940 18,545 17.7%
1950 19,897 7.3%
1960 19,334 −2.8%
1970 20,792 7.5%
1980 18,942 −8.9%
1990 20,947 10.6%
2000 22,322 6.6%
2010 24,816 11.2%
2020 22,657 −8.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020

Names and symbols


The flag of Barceloneta is a variation of the flag of Barcelona in Spain, from where the town borrows its name. It features four fields, two of them bearing the cross of Saint George (in Catalan, Sant Jordi), with five red and yellow bars in vertical direction to the right of each cross. These are all symbols pertaining to the city of Barcelona, and the community of Catalonia, where it is located, since the town was founded by a Catalan immigrant. The remaining two fields in the flag are blue, representing the Atlantic Ocean, which lies to the north of Barceloneta.

Coat of Arms

Barceloneta's coat of arms is similar to the flag, since it features the same Catalonian symbols. However, it features three sugarcane flowers ("guajanas") on top of the blue fields. The "guajanas" symbolize the source of life of the old agricultural economy of Barceloneta. The blue symbolizes the beaches and marine ports that contributed to the industry and commerce of the town. Like many coat of arms, it features a crown with three towers.


Barceloneta is referred to as La Ciudad de las Piñas (city of the pineapples) due to its plantations of that fruit. It is also known as La Ciudad Industrial (industrial city) for its many industries, most of them pharmaceutical.

Other names are Ciudad de los Indios (town of the Indians) and Pueblo de Sixto Escobar (town of Sixto Escobar) for being the birthplace of the Puerto Rican boxer.


Barceloneta has recently added the use of trolley cars, free of charge, for local transport within the town itself. For travel outside Barceloneta, there is a station for carros publicos (public car transportation), which is a type of taxi.

There are 9 bridges in Barceloneta.


Barceloneta has the biggest pharmaceutical complex in the world (14 industries). It is known that these companies have chosen Barceloneta to establish their facilities for its underground water reservoirs. The water in Barceloneta is so pure that it requires very little treatment for use in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products.

The employment created by these companies, along with a well-developed plan for urban growth, has allowed Barceloneta to be more than simply a town where people go to work. Puerto Rico Premium Outlets, conveniently placed near the expressway, have made the town into a favorite destination for shopping and consuming, and consequently a prime place for investment in food chains and entertainment. Increased employment opportunities have also caused an increase in population in Barceloneta and its surrounding municipalities. Barceloneta is looking at a future with tourism.

Barceloneta is also famous for its blue sand beaches, due to the high iron content found in the sand.


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