Isabela is a municipality of Puerto Rico located in the northwestern region of the Island, north of San Sebastián, west of Quebradillas and east of Aguadilla and Moca. Isabela is spread over 13 wards and Isabela Pueblo, which serves as the downtown area and the administrative center of the city. It is a principal city of the Aguadilla-Isabela-San Sebastián Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the 2010 census, there are 43,282 citizens in Isabela, througout its wards and Isabela Pueblo. These wards are:
Arenales Altos - Arenales Bajos - Bajuras - Bejucos - Coto - Galateo Alto - Galateo Bajo - Guayabos -Guerrero - Isabela Pueblo - Jobos - Llanadas - Mora - Planas.
The town is known as the "Jardín del Noroeste," the "Garden of the Northwest," because of the many wild flowers in its landscape. It is also knowns as el "Pueblo de los Quesitos de Hoja", the "town of Leaf Cheeses," for its production of this typical fresh white cheese wrapped in banana plant leaves, reputed to be the best. It is also known as la Ciudad de los Gallitos or the "City of the Fighting Cocks." Since the 18th century, cock fighting was very common throughout the island, and the town became famous and well known for the quality of its fighting cocks and special breeding and training techniques used by its people
The early economy of the hermitage had been based mainly on cattle ranching, its derivative products and hogs products, but trading was limited because of many factors: its inland location and topography, the settlement was posted above a hill overlooking the river (now river Guajataca) and it made difficult the use of the river as a trading route as did the location's propensity to disease and outbreaks.
After the transfer to the present Isabela the economic realities that resulted from the new land and property opportunities that were readily available, the healthier environment formed due to the wide open plains and prevalent northern winds, and the proximity to the coast and the natural sea port at the bay of 'Punta Sardina' prompted for the diversification of the agricultural products and an increase on trade. The cultivation of sugar cane, coffee, tobacco, cotton, yuca, coconuts and fruits was stimulated further, Isabela has continued to flourish until recent years with the island's economic crisis, the closing of important factories, and the rising crime rate.
Isabela also has and hi-tech plants, a higher education institution, a world-renowned agricultural research center and a major shopping center, Plaza Isabela.
One of present Isabela's main industries is tourism, because it's a coastal city with several beautiful beaches, outstanding panoramic views and other diverse attractions such as its rainforest, rivers, lake, cordillera mountains, submarine rivers and caves and archaeological sites among others. It is visited by many local tourists as well as those seeking some sun and fun from the United States and other countries.
Landmarks and places of interest
- El Pozo Brujo (The Bewitched Well)
- Jobos Beach & Pozo de Jacinto
- Montones Beach
- San Antonio de la Tuna Ruins
- Punta Sardina
- La Poza de Punta Sandina
- La Princesa Beach & Blow Hole
- Centro Empresarial Playero - Villa Pesquera
- Shacks Beach
- Río Guajataca
- Guajataca Tunnel
- La Cara del Indio (The Indian's Face)
- La Posita de Teodoro
- Middle Beach
- La Posita de Montones
- Casa Parroquial
- Parroquia San Antonio de la Tuna
- La Posita de la Princesa
- Shore Island Beach
- Paseo Lineal
- San Antonio de la Tuna Museum
- La Pocita de Isabela(Poza de Teodoro)
- La Cueva de las Golondrinas
- Cueva los Vientos (Bosque Guajataca)
- Photo Museum of Isabela
- Alcaldia de Isabela
- Bajura Beach also known as shacks beach know for the best wind/sail surfing in the world