The History of Puerto Rico’s Pork Highway
Native to Spain, lechón, or spit‑roasted pig, is popular in most regions where Spanish colonists left their mark. But in Puerto Rico, lechón is a national dish – a family‑style feast that’s traditionally served at festivals. Follow the snaking mountain roads south of San Juan, however, and you’ll find a highway where every weekend brings a party worthy of the best bbq pork.
La Ruta de Lechón, or the Pork Highway, is about a 45‑minute drive from Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, in a rural area called Guavate. Here, a stretch of road spanning a few miles is hugged by a row of lechóneras (restaurants specializing in lechón).
Legend has it the Pork Highway began as a handful of neighbouring lechóneras and, as their numbers grew, so did the scale of their pig roast celebrations. Live music adds a party vibe to many of these spots, where Medalla beers flow on tap and diners spill out into the street, setting the scene for a massive community shindig.