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Vega Alta

Municipio Autónomo de Vega Alta
Town and Municipality
Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción in Vega Alta
Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción in Vega Alta
Flag of Vega Alta
Coat of arms of Vega Alta
Coat of arms
Pueblo de los Ñangotaos, Los Maceteros
Anthem: "En La Costa Norte De Mi Islita"
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Vega Alta Municipality
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Vega Alta Municipality
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
Founded 1775
 • Total 27.75 sq mi (71.87 km2)
 • Total 35,395
 • Density 1,275.53/sq mi (492.49/km2)
Demonym(s) Vegalteños
Time zone UTC-4 (AST)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 787/939
Major routes PR secondary 2.svg PR secondary 694.svg Ellipse sign 160.svg Ellipse sign 647.svg Ellipse sign 676.svg Ellipse sign 690.svg Ellipse sign 693.svg
Toll plate yellow.svg
PR primary 22.svg

Vega Alta is a town and municipality of Puerto Rico. Vega Alta is on the northern coast of the island, north of Morovis and Corozal; east of Vega Baja; and west of Dorado with an area of 28 square miles (73 km2). Vega Alta is subdivided into seven barrios and Vega Alta barrio-pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city). It is part of the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Vega Alta is west of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Vega Alta is known for the beach at Cerro Gordo. Other points of interest include the town's Catholic church, known as Inmaculada Concepción, which was founded in 1813, and the Vega Alta Forest.

During the first week of December, Vega Alta celebrates its patron saint, the Immaculate Conception.


Vega Alta was founded in 1775 by Francisco de los Olivos. It was first named La Vega de Espinosa and known as el pueblo de los Ñangotaos ("the squatters", in reference to the "jíbaros" country folk who would squat due to lack of benches to wait for the train). Before this it was part of a group of towns known as "Las Vegas." It was then that one area was named Vega Baja and the other Vega Alta.

On October 12, 1898 the city's mayor, Francisco Vega, received U.S. troops as part of the Spanish–American War. On that same day, for the first time in Vega Alta's history, the U.S. flag was lifted on city hall. From 1902 to 1905, Vega Alta became once more part of the neighbor city of Vega Baja. In 1905, the government of Puerto Rico passed a law, allowing Vega Alta to become a municipality with its own limits.


  • Rivers: Río Cibuco, Río Mavilla and Río Unibón.
  • Beaches: Cerro Gordo Beach
  • Land area: 27.75 square miles (71.87 km²)
  • Water area: 9.76 square miles (25.28 km²)


According to the Weather Channel's website, June is the warmest month, March is the coolest month, October is the wettest month, and June is the driest month. Records:

  • The highest recorded temperature was 98 °F in July 2007.
  • The lowest recorded temperature was 40 °F in January 1945.




  • Bajura
  • Candelaria
  • Cienegueta
  • Espinosa
  • Maricao
  • Mavilla
  • Sabana
  • Pueblo (downtown)



Vega Alta Maceteros (Double A Baseball League)

Vega Alta is known for having amateur ball players as well as professional. Basketball is played in local communities. Other sports practiced include tennis, volleyball, handball, cock fighting, and amateur surfing among others.

Vega Alta is also known for having famous Major League Baseball players such as The Molina Brothers which consist of Yadier Molina, Bengie Molina and José Molina. Other famous sport personalities include former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams and professional boxer Ángel Chacón.


A well known musician from Vega Alta was Ladislao Martinez a.k.a. "El Maestro Ladi" (June 27, 1898–February 1, 1979), a master cuatro musician. He became the first Puerto Rican to play a cuatro solo on the radio.

Fiel a la Vega, a rock en español (rock in Spanish) band, was formed in 1994. Band members Tito Auger and Ricky Laureano are from Vega Alta, while brothers Pedro Arraiza and Jorge Arraiza come from next-door Vega Baja. Their first album spawned hits like "Salimos de Aquí" and "El Wanabí", both of which were released with videos.

The Puerto Rican musician and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda is from a family with roots in Vega Alta and has made frequent visits.

Festivals and events

  • Three Kings Fiestas - January
  • Sung Rosary - February
  • Vegalteño Carnival - February
  • Kite Festival - July
  • Virgen del Carmen Walk - July
  • Rooster Festival - October
  • Patron Festivities - December


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 6,107
1910 8,134 33.2%
1920 9,970 22.6%
1930 12,333 23.7%
1940 14,329 16.2%
1950 16,521 15.3%
1960 17,603 6.5%
1970 22,810 29.6%
1980 28,696 25.8%
1990 34,559 20.4%
2000 37,910 9.7%
2010 39,951 5.4%
2020 35,395 −11.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1899 (shown as 1900) 1910-1930
1930-1950 1960-2000 2010 2020


Puerto Rico's Highway 22 provides access to Vega Alta from as far away as Mayagüez, and connects the municipality to San Juan. Highway 2 also provides access from the western municipalities of Manatí, Arecibo and the eastern San Juan suburban municipalities of Bayamón and Guaynabo bordering the shore to the Atlantic Ocean. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the town from San Juan. The closest airport is Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina. Other public transportation close to the area is Tren Urbano metro system in Bayamón.

There are 16 bridges in Vega Alta.


In 1908, Vega Alta was producing coffee, sugar, oranges (which were famous in the mainland United States) for their sweetness, tobacco and rum.


  • Banana, fruits, grains, and sugar cane.
  • Flowers and ornamental plants.
  • Dairy and meat cattle, pigs, and poultry.


  • Manufacture of chemicals, electrical and electronic machinery, furniture, food, and plastics.
  • Logistics Center


Public schools

  • Antonio Paoli/Elementary
  • Elemental Urbana/Elementary
  • Elisa Davila Vazquez/Elementary
  • Ignacio Miranda/elementary school
  • Dr. Cañaco Stalingrad III/ High School
  • Jose D. Rosado/Elementary
  • Jose M. Pagan/Elementary
  • Rafael Hernadez/Elementary
  • Apolo San Antonio/Former high school
  • Nueva Escuela Brenas/Middle School, Second Unit
  • Adelaida Vega/Middle School, Second Unit
  • Ileana de Gracia/High School
  • Ladislao Martinez (Maestro Ladi)/Second High School

Private schools

  • Academia Dicipulos de Cristo (Disciples of Christ)/Elementary and Middle School
  • Colegio de la Vega
  • Academia Cambu

Notable natives and residents

  • Yadier Molina - Professional baseball player

Images for kids

See also

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