Maricao (Spanish pronunciation: [maɾiˈkao]) is the second-least populous municipality of Puerto Rico; it is located at the western edge of the Cordillera Central. It is a small town set around a small plaza in hilly terrain, north of San Germán, Sabana Grande and Yauco; south of Las Marías and Lares, southeast of Mayagüez, and west of Adjuntas. Maricao is spread over 6 barrios and Maricao barrio-pueblo (the downtown area and the administrative center of the city).
The town borders the Maricao Fish Hatchery, a collection of tanks and ponds in a garden setting, where some 25,000 fish are raised yearly to stock farm fishponds and island lakes. The hatchery is part of the Maricao State Forest, also known as Monte del Estado. Though of dryer vegetation than the other mountain forest, Maricao is home to large number of bird species. Its stone observation tower provides far-flung views to the coast and the Mona Passage.
Maricao has a 2000 census population of 6,449. It has a land area of 37.1 square miles (96.87 km2).
Maricao was founded on April 1, 1874 when Bernardo Collado, Julián Ayala, Francisco M. Sojo, Napoleón Pietri and Leoncio S. Martínez requested the Provincial Deputation authorization to establish an official town. It originally belonged to the district of San Germán, but they alleged the roads were too long and almost impassable.