Aibonito is located on a relative high elevation (its main plaza is the highest in the island at 2,401 ft [731 m] above sea level), which makes its climate cooler than most of Puerto Rico's towns.
Before the Spanish colonization of the Americas, it is believed that there were Taíno settlements in the region that belonged to Cacique Orocobix domain.
After the Spanish arrived, it is believed that a ranch was established in the region by Pedro Zorascoechea in 1630, which led the development of a hamlet. However, it wasn't until 1822 when Don Manuel Veléz presented himself before the government, representing the inhabitants of the area, to ask for Aibonito to be officially declared a town. This was authorized on March 13, 1824, by Governor Don Miguel de la Torre. The first Catholic church in Aibonito was built in 1825. The building was replaced by the current church, which was started in 1887 and completed in 1897. After the town was officially constituted, wards started developing in the area.
On the Spanish–American War of 1898, around 800 Spanish and Puerto Rican soldiers were able to defeat the invading American troops due to their strategic placement in the Asomante mountain. This scrimmage came to an end when the Spanish government surrendered on August 12, 1898. It is interesting to note that the Spanish and Puerto Rican forces at Asomante never surrendered and would have held their position indefinitely if not for the buckling of the Spanish government in Madrid.
There are several stories regarding the name of the town. Some people say that it is derived from the Taíno word "Jatibonicu", which was the name of a Cacique (leader) of the area. This name was also used to refer to a river in the area and was also the name used by the tribe of Orocobix, Taíno chief of the area. Finally, there's a legend that tells of a Spanish soldier called Diego Alvarez who on May 17, 1615, reached one of the highest peaks in the area and upon watching the view, exclaimed "Ay, que bonito!" ("Oh, how pretty!") which eventually was turned into the name of the region.
Aibonito is located in the Cayey mountain range ("Sierra de Cayey"), part of the Cordillera Central in Puerto Rico. Aibonito is the town with the highest elevation in Puerto Rico, located at 2,401 feet above sea level. Some of its mountains are La Sierra (2,394 ft), Asomante (2,042 ft) and Buena Vista (2,042 ft).
Some of the rivers that flow through Aibonito are the Río de Aibonito, Río Cuyón, Río de la Plata and Río Usabón.
Aibonito holds the record for the lowest temperature in Puerto Rico. That is 40 °F (4 °C) on March 9, 1911. The highest temperature record is 98 °F (37 °C) recorded on September 29, 1920. Aibonito is among Puerto Rico's coolest towns.
Aibonito is divided into 9 barrios:Cañón de San Cristóbal – Between Barranquitas and Aibonito
Casa Manresa – Aibonito
La Piedra de Degetau – Aibonito
La Trinchera de Asomante – Aibonito
Casa Museo Federico Degetau – Rescued in 2004 and open to the public since October 2012.
Edificios Militares en los prebios de la Escuela elementar Degetau- Aibonito.
El puente la llorosa
La Iglecia catolica San Jose 1898
Aibonito had a BSN basketball franchise called the Polluelos de Aibonito. In 1986 they beat the defending champions, Atleticos de San German, in seven games to win their only championship. In 1987, the Polluelos reached the finals once again, but that time, they lost in seven games to the Titanes de Morovis. Recently, the Polluelos have not been able to see action on the BSN's tournaments because of economic and team ownership problems. Also Aibonito had a Double AA baseball. The franchise is also Polluelos de Aibonito. In 1966 they won the only baseball championship.
Aibonito is known for its annual Flower Festival, held in July. During this event, many visitors from other towns and countries come to Aibonito to see a huge display of various flowers and others. Aibonito also celebrates a Festival de la Montaña in November. Finally, the town's Fiestas Patronales are held in July.
Aibonito has several plantations of tobacco and coffee. They are also known for their flower plantations. Also, a popular chicken producer in the island, To-Ricos, operates from Aibonito.
Baxter International has one of its factories located in Aibonito. They produce medical tools for the hospitals and other medical uses.
Other industries located in Aibonito are clothing, furniture and tapestry factories, as well as pottery and ceramics.
All municipalities in Puerto Rico are administered by a mayor, elected every four years. On November 4, 2008, William Alicea Pérez (of the New Progressive Party), won the elections, beating former mayor Hon. Jose Alberto Diaz (PPD) by 3,658 votes.
The city belongs to the Puerto Rico Senatorial district VI, which is represented by two Senators. In 2012, Miguel Pereira Castillo and Angel M. Rodríguez were elected as District Senators.
The flag of Aibonito features four equal horizontal bands of blue, white, red, and yellow; a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bears the town's coat of arms.
The coat of arms features a four-paneled shield. The upper left corner features the Asomante mountain with a sword in front, representing the last battles of the Spanish–American War that took place there. The upper right corner features a white band on a blue field, symbolizing the fog that covers the region in winter. To each side of the band, a purple color flower and a golden lily. The lower left corner features the gold tower of Casa Manresa, to symbolize the spiritual value of the institution. In the lower right corner a divided green mountain which represents the Cañon San Cristóbal with a seashell above it that symbolizes Apostle James.
Luis "Torito" Melendez, Major League Player and also was manager for the 1995 Puerto Rico dream team at the Caribbean Series held in San Juan, Puerto RicoRubén Berrios Martínez, politician
Rafael Pont Flores, journalist
Juan Martínez Capó, writer
Manuel Álvarez Nazario, writer
Dennis Rivera, former president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
Obie Bermudez, artist
Tomas "Aguilucho" Carpena
Miguel "Miguelon" Berrios