The area that comprises Río Grande saw much fighting between Spanish settlers and the Taíno and Carib Indians. Once the Indian populations dwindled, it became an important agricultural area thanks to the many rivers (Herrera, Espíritu Santo, Mameyes, Sonador, Grande, La Mina) that run through it. Many plantations growing sugarcane and coffee were established here.
Today Río Grande is best known as “The City of El Yunque” because 45 percent of the Caribbean National Forest , as well as the popular El Yunque Recreation Area, is here. It’s also a popular golf destination.