Puerto Rico is full of natural beauty, from the beaches and coastline, to the mountains, rivers, and forests. These can really be appreciated when you are able to visit some of the most remote and unspoiled parts of the island, and immerse yourself in the wonders that abound. Kalichi Adventures offers an amazing canyoning tour that puts you right in the middle of what we think is the most beautiful part of the island.
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I love old, historic buildings and rum, so of course I had to make a point to visit Hacienda Santa Ana – the home of Ron del Barrilito, one of the local Puerto Rican rum producers. Their rum is made and aged here, on the family’s property, which used to be an old sugar hacienda. Though they don’t offer a factory tour, nor offer rum samples, it’s a quick stop where you can get some good photos of a historic site.
We recently went on a tasting tour at Café Gran Batey in Utuado, and we fell in love. We got to see coffee growing in their fields, and how they process the coffee at every step … all the way up to bagging the freshly-roasted, warm beans for sale. This is not to be missed if you are in the area and have a couple hours to spare.
There are only a few bioluminescent bays left in the world, and Puerto Rico is fortunate enough to have three of them. The biobays in Puerto Rico are Laguana Grande in Fajardo, Mosquito Bay in Vieques, and La Parguera in Lajas — with Mosquito Bay being the brightest of the three. We visited Mosquito Bay recently with Black Beard Sports, and had a great time!
Vieques to known for it’s remote and secluded beaches. Now, thanks to some relatively recent road improvements on Vieques, Playa Caracas (aka Red Beach) is a beautiful white-sand beach in the US Fish & Wildlife reserve that is accessible by the local public transportation. No Jeep required!
Beaches and rain forests are usually at the top of most people’s to-do list when they plan a trip to Puerto Rico. For something a little different, you can try a cheese-making workshop offered by Casa Lila in Old San Juan. You’ll make your own artisan cheese, and you’ll learn how you can try making your own cheese at home.
If you are a classic car buff, or if you are just interested in the history of transportation in Puerto Rico, you might want to check out the Museum of Transportation in Guaynabo. From horses, to trains, planes, and automobiles, this museum has a little bit of info on a lot of things related to moving people and things around Puerto Rico.
Culebra Island Adventures offers some tours that allow you see some great beaches, do some kayaking, and come face-to-face with sea turtles while snorkeling. They can coordinate all of your transportation and act as your tour guide, which makes for a carefree way to see some of the best stuff that Culebra has to offer.
Fine chocolate and fine art … what is not to love? Casa Cortés ChocoBar is a restaurant & art gallery in Old San Juan operated by the Cortés family. This chocolate-producing family has opened this venue to allow the rest of us in on some of their greatest family treasures — meals that incorporate their amazing chocolate, and pieces from their amazing art collection.
Culebra is loaded with amazingly pretty seaside spots. Some are very popular and crowded, while some are little, hidden gems. For us, one gem is Playa Larga on the north-east tip of the island. Playa Larga is not easy to get to, and it is not a spot to go to for swimming, but it is our favorite quiet spot to just sit and enjoy the view.
The Museo Agricola de Aguada contains a varied collection of items and antiques, including carved wooden Santos, a restored locomotive, pre-Columbian artifacts, musical instruments, household items, … and a huge collection of clothes irons. It’s an eclectic collection of “stuff” that will give you glimpse into the history of Puerto Rico.
It is no secret that people in Puerto Rico know how to party, especially around the Christmas holidays. Announce that there will be a parade, music, dancing, libations, food – then add in local artisan crafts for sale – and it all adds up to one crazy celebration! That describes the San Sebastian Street Festival, or Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian, which will be held in 2015 in January. I am guessing Jan 15-18th, 2015. Check back for official dates!
The Guánica Dry Forest has loads of hiking and biking trails, and it offers a number of different sights and opportunities for viewing nature. Our most recent hike on the Ballena Trail was no exception. Besides the amazing cactus and easy bird viewing, we found small cave, ruins, and a 700-year old tree.
Culebrita is a tiny cay located off the north-east corner of Culebra. It is uninhabited, visited only by a few people every day, and holds many wonderful “secrets” waiting to be explored. You can only get there by boat, but it is totally worth the effort in order to experience this unspoiled island.
Tembleque is a coconut dessert that is like a cross between Jello and pudding (tembleque translates to trembling or jiggly). It is fast and easy to make, and it is a sweet (but not too sweet) and delicious way to end a meal.