Fog-swathed Maricao is the minutest of Puerto Rico's main island municipalities, and a gem of a mountain retreat near the western end of the Ruta Panorámica. Commerce here is dominated by agriculture, and a coffee festival celebrating the most important local crop is the year's biggest event. Otherwise, this is a place of rushing streams, hair-raising switchback roads and weather so cool and damp that some houses have stone fireplaces to take the nip out of the air. Outside town lies resplendent mountain terrain and Puerto Rico's largest state forest, the Bosque Estatal de Maricao.
Maricao is just the kind of locale in which legends take root. Some claim it was the strong coffee cultivated here that woke up the devil on the island. Another story tells of 2000 Taíno that survived here into the 19th century, centuries after the last native Puerto Ricans were thought to have disappeared.