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Toa Baja

Municipio Autónomo de Toa Baja
Punta Salinas Beach in Toa Baja
Punta Salinas Beach in Toa Baja
Flag of Toa Baja
Coat of arms of Toa Baja
Coat of arms
Ciudad de los Valles del Toa,
Ciudad Bajo Aguas,
Los Llaneros
Anthem: "Mi Pueblo Es Toa Baja"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Toa Baja Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Toa Baja Municipality
Commonwealth  Puerto Rico
Founded 1745
 • Total 41.7 sq mi (108.0 km2)
 • Land 23.16 sq mi (59.99 km2)
 • Water 18.54 sq mi (48.01 km2)
 • Total 75,243
 • Density 1,804.4/sq mi (696.7/km2)
Demonym(s) Toabajeños
Time zone UTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Codes
00949, 00950, 00951, 00952
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR urban primary 2.svg PR urban primary 165.svg PR urban primary 167.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 22.svg

Toa Baja is a town and municipality of Puerto Rico located in the northern coast, north of Toa Alta and Bayamón; east of Dorado; and west of Cataño. Toa Baja is spread over five barrios, including Toa Baja Pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). Toa Baja is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area. Toa Baja is located fifteen minutes by car from San Juan and two hours from Ponce.


The region of what is now Toa Baja belonged to the Taíno region of Toa and Bayamón, which was located on the north coast of Puerto Rico. The regions were led by cacique Aramana and Majagua respectively. During the Spanish colonization, a farm was settled in the region around 1511 where Spanish settlers tried to learn from the Taínos how to grow fruits and vegetables. Some of the families that settled in the region were the Marrero, Salgado, and Martínez, which came from the Canary Islands.

In 1745, the town was officially organized, with the parish being built in 1749. It was dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception). It is said that in 1776 there were six cattle ranches and 12 sugar cane estates in the region. However, rises in the flow of nearby rivers were problematic for the population. Because of this, in 1841 a group of residents requested the settlement to be transferred to what is now Dorado. The town of Dorado was officially founded the next year.

In 1902, after the U.S. invasion, the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico approved the consolidation of several municipalities, which resulted in the annexation of Toa Baja to the city of Bayamón. However, in 1905 the law was annulled, and Toa Baja regained its status as an independent town. In 2010, Toa Baja was among the top ten municipalities in Puerto Rico, in terms of population, with 89,609.


The town of Toa Baja is located in the Northern Coastal Plains of the island, in the karst zone. It has an area of 62.4 km2 (24.0 miles2). The terrain consists mostly of alluvial deposits and clay-like surface as a result of the surrounding waters.

The elevations range from 60 to 150 meters above sea level, with most of its highest parts located in the south. The rest of the area is mostly plain. The northern part of Toa Baja is characterized for its mangroves and marshes, while the southern part is classified as typical karst area.

Water features

There are three main rivers in Toa Baja: Río la Plata, Río Cocal, and Río Hondo. La Plata is the longest river in the island and crosses Toa Baja in the east. Cocal is the natural boundary between Toa Baja and Dorado.


Toa Baja PR, Punta Salinas Radar Installation
Punta Salinas Radar Installation in Toa Baja PR.


Toa Baja is divided into six barrios.

  • Candelaria
  • Media Luna
  • Palo Seco
  • Campanilla
  • San Jose
  • Toa Baja Pueblo

Landmarks and places of interest

Hacienda Azurarera Santa Elena, Sugar Mill Ruins, 1.44 miles North of PR Route 2 Bridge Over Rio De , Toa Baja (Toa Baja County, Puerto Rico)
Sugar Mill ruins of the Santa Elena Hacienda
  • Cañuelo Fortress
  • Central Constancia (sugar mill)
  • Isla de Cabras
  • Hermana Island
  • Nuestra Señora del Carmen Catholic Church
  • Palo Seco Thermoelectrical Power Station
  • Punta Salinas Beach
  • San Pedro Apostle Catholic Church
  • Santa Elena Hacienda
  • Coliseo Antonio R. Barceló


Like most municipalities, Toa Baja celebrates its fiestas patronales annually. They begin in June 30 and are dedicated to Saint Peter. There are other festivals celebrated through the year. A Crafts Festival (Feria de Artesanías) is celebrated in March, and a Beach Festival in July.

The Fiestas de la Santa Cruz are celebrated during May, with the participation of various churches and cultural groups. It is dedicated to the Saint Cross, and lasts nine nights. Also, in October, the town celebrates the Festival de la Zafra, with musical groups of bomba and plena.


Toa Baja doesn't have a team in the island's main male sports leagues. They do have a female volleyball team from the Liga de Voleibol Superior Femenino, the Llaneras de Toa Baja.

Each year, Toa Baja hosts both the Pee Wee Reese World Series (for baseball players of ages 12 and under) and the Willie Mays World Series (for baseball players of ages 10 and under). The town has a team, the Llaneros de Levittown, in the PeeWee Reese Category baseball team from the Pro-Deportes/American Amateur Baseball Congress.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 4,030
1910 6,254 55.2%
1920 7,121 13.9%
1930 9,865 38.5%
1940 11,410 15.7%
1950 15,761 38.1%
1960 19,698 25.0%
1970 46,384 135.5%
1980 78,246 68.7%
1990 89,454 14.3%
2000 94,085 5.2%
2010 89,609 −4.8%
2020 75,243 −16.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020
Race (self-defined) Toa Baja, Puerto Rico
– 2010 Census
Race Population  % of Total
White 62,920 70.2%
Black/African American 15,074 16.8%
American Indian and
Alaska Native
522 0.6%
Asian 228 0.3%
Some other race 7,787 8.7%
Two or more races 3,076 3.4%

In 2020, Toa Baja had a population of 75,293. This represents a decrease of 16% since 2010, when the population was 89,609. In 2000, the population was 94,085. The population in Toa Baja had steadily increased from 1899, when it had 4,030.



Toa Baja's coat of arms

Toa Baja's official flag features two vertical bands: the left side is green and the right side is gold. The green band represents the plains of the Toa River (now known as La Plata), and the golden band represents the sun. The green band features two keys, one across the other. One is gold and the other silver, symbolizing the Apostle Saint Peter, the patron saint of the city.

Coat of arms

Toa Baja's coat of arms features a green waving stripe, representing the Toa River, one of the first mentioned in the history of Puerto Rico. Like the flag, it features two keys, one across the other, symbolizing Saint Peter, patron saint of the town. The coat has the letters "F" and "J" to each side of the keys, representing Ferdinand II of Aragon and V of Castile, and his daughter, Joanna of Castile, sovereign of Castile and León.

The gold fields above and below the green stripe represent the wealth of the city. It also feature handfuls of yucca, one of the main crops of this area. It constitutes a symbol of the Taínos who cultivated it, and whose main food was cassava or bread of yucca. Two sugar cane stems surround the shield, representing the cultivation and industry of sugar cane, which was the main source of Toa Baja's economy.


Toa Baja is approximately 25 minutes in non-rush hour from San Juan by car, however, it may take up to 90 minutes in rush hour. The main road to the city is the PR-22 and PR-165.

A new bus rapid transit (BRT) system called Metro Urbano operates in the center of José de Diego Expressway (PR-22) in high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) from Candelaria in Toa Baja to the Bayamón Station of the Tren Urbano metro system.

There are 29 bridges in Toa Baja.


For many years, Toa Baja's economy relied in agriculture, particularly sugar cane and cattle. Because of this, the municipality was the site of many important haciendas like Santa Elena (founded in 1790), Central Constancia (founded in 1867), and Media Luna. In the middle of the 18th century, fishing also became a primary source of Toa Baja's economy. Cattle ranches were also among the best in the island, processing large amounts of milk. The growth of small fruits also continues to be one of Toa Baja's main products.

After the 1950s, manufacturing started replacing agriculture as the main economic source. Currently, the industrial sector continues to be one of the most important factors of economic growth in the region. Some of the products manufactured in Toa Baja are metal, plastic, concrete, textile, electrical and electronic machinery, and rum.

Notable people

  • Josué E. Rivera - State Director USDA Rural Development
  • Madison Anderson - Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2019 and Miss Universe 2019 1st Runner-Up

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Toa Baja para niños

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