Over the last few years, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has become extremely popular. It is very easy to do, requires just a little equipment, and provides a great whole-body workout. If you haven’t tried it yet, or even if you are an experienced pro, paddling in Puerto Rico is a great vacation activity that the whole family can enjoy.
Articles in the Nature Category
We spent a half-day meandering off the beaten path on Route 123 in Utuado and found a number of cool things to check out. Taking the highway might get you where you’re going quicker, but taking some of the winding roads through rural areas can give you a good idea of what the “back country” of Puerto Rico looks like.
We’ve known for years that there are pre-Columbian petroglyphs in the river down the road from our house. We cross the bridge over that river every time we leave our house … that’s how many times since 2005? We finally made the time to stop and check them out. Wow! What a great (and easy to get to) find!
There are so many little gems hidden around Puerto Rico, and Charca las Vegas is another one of them. This little waterfall and river swimming hole was a huge surprise. So peaceful and pretty. And obviously its beauty has been appreciated by people for many hundreds of years – there are pre-Columbian petroglyphs on the rocks around the pool as evidence.
When I first saw a photo of Laguna Guaniquilla, I knew that I had to find it myself. Huge, jagged rocks that look like they came from the moon in the middle of a lagoon … you don’t see that every day! It was so unusual looking — hauntingly beautiful and roughed. A photographer’s and hiker’s dream …
Punta Ventana is a natural rock “eye” that very few people get to see. It is in an out-of-the-way place along the coast in Guayanilla, and not visible from any road. But, with the right planning, it is not too difficult to get to — and well worth the effort.
Most people think that the town of Camuy is all about “the Caves”. But there are more things to do and see in Camuy. Peñón Amador Beach is one such place — good for surfing (in winter), fishing and sunbathing. And there are a couple surprises to be found here, too!
The Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program at the Dorado Beach Ritz-Carlton Reserve offers eco-oriented activities for children, teens, and adults. Each of the programs are designed to highlight an aspect of Puerto Rico’s natural wonders and cultural heritage, while promoting the importance of ecology and sustainability. Unlike most activities at the Ritz-Carlton, these ones are available to anyone, even those not staying at the resort.
Julio Enrique Monagas Park in Bayamon offers both a unique nature respite for families, and amazing adventure opportunities. It is a great place for bird watching, walking trails, picnics and playground fun, without having to go too far from San Juan. For the more active person, it also has bike (MTB) trails and lots of karst (limestone) rock walls, perfect for rock climbing.
We managed to snorkel, hike, explore white sand beaches, hunt sea glass and shells, play in the water and relax all in one day on a recent trip in Culebra when we kayaked over to Cayo Luis Pena. This little island is rarely visited, but it really is worth the effort to experience this beautiful nature reserve.
What do you do when you get tired of lying on a beach on Vieques? You go for a hike! There aren’t that many places for hiking on the island, but Cayo de Tierra, at the western end of Playa Sun Bay, offers a challenging uphill walk that has some great views at the top.
I love exploring the karst region of Puerto Rico. The landscape is ruggedly beautiful, the caves hold many secrets from the past, and there is a great diversity of plants and animals. Tierra del Encantos Eco Tours offers a hiking adventure that allows you to get up close and personal with nature in the area.
I really love visiting the small out-islands around Puerto Rico. They are so pretty – just spits of white sand and palm trees surrounded by clear blue water. But with a name like Isla Ratones (Rat Island), this one kind of scared me. But then I finally got to go, and it’s a cute little island. It’s a nice place to visit for a couple hours (or a day) if you are in the area.
When you think of Puerto Rico, wine might not be your first thought for a local beverage – but it should be. Yet another great example of the island’s diversity is the Bodegas Andreu Solé vineyard and winery in Guánica. The coastal Guánica region has just the right weather conditions for growing grapes, and the winery is serving up some really nice local wines and liqueurs, and live music, in a beautiful waterfront setting.
Culebra is a small island off the east coast of PR, that offers some great water-based activities. There are some even smaller, less-visited islands surrounding Culebra that are just begging to be explored. But, to get to those, you need a boat. Captain Bill Penfield offers charters to all areas around the waters of Cuelbra on his Pez Vela sailboat. It is a great way to spend a day!