Masks Required (updated 13 Jan 2022)
😷 Indoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public indoor spaces 😷 Outdoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance, or where there are 50 or more people
Busness Closure & Dry Law (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 All businesses that serve the public must remain closed from midnight until 5am. Exceptions to closure include supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, health facilities, hospitals, among others. Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc ARE closed midnight to 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
🍺 Dry Law (no sale nor public consumption of alcohol) is in effect from midnight until 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🍔 ALL CUSTOMERS (2 years old and older) must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results - In order to be admitted to food establishments you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the restaurant, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per executive order EO-2021-081.
👪 The capacity of "any place that serves (and people consume) drinks or prepared food" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to restaurants, bars, theaters, food courts, etc. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Stores, Offices & similar places that serve the public indoors (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 The capacity in all facilities that "serve the public indoors" will be limited to 75%. This applies to stores, malls, offices, etc. Effective 17 Jan 2022 through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2022-002.
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party (5 years old and older) are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Per executive order EO-2021-062 and EO-2021-075.
Tours & Excursions (updated 13 Jan 2022)
⛵ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of less than 250 people at facilities that encourage crowding, indoor or outdoor, must show proof of vaccination OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. This applies to everyone 5 years old and older. Kids under the age of 5 are not permitted to attend these events at all. Effective 22 December 2021, per EO-2021-080, and modified by EO-2022-002
👪 The capacity of "event or activity venues" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to stadiums, coliseums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 30 Dec 2021)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, and must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 20 Dec 2021)
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 27 Dec 2021, per EO-2021-081)
All DOMESTIC travelers (2 years old and older) arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show BOTH
  1. negative COVID test results from test administerd by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in PR AND
  2. either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery.
  • If you do not have your test results upon arrival, you have 48 hours to produce those results, or you will be fined $300 per person.
  • If you are un-vaccinated, you are required to quarantine for 7 days, even if you have negative test results.
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.
📄 ALL TRAVELERS arriving in Puerto Rico are required to submit a travel declaration upon arrival via the PR Government Travel Safe website. This is where you will upload your COVID vaccination card and/or negative COVID test results.

Relax Surrounded by Nature at Reserva Tortuguero

10/20 The Nature Reserve has Re-opened, but it is a “partial” re-opening. The boat dock is available, trails seem to be open and clear, and there are port-a-potties, but the buildings, the fishing platform and gazebos are not yet repaired and grass is not cut.

Laguna Tortuguero Nature Reserve is a large, natural body of water that is in the towns of both Vega Baja and Manatí. Just off the north coast of Puerto Rico, it is home to many species of plants and animals. Though the lagoon is known mostly as a fishing and kayaking area, the marsh and sandy land around it have other diversions like bird watching, trails for mountain biking and walking, and picnic pavilions. Managed by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales or DRNA), it is a nice place to spend some time exploring.

Laguna Tortuguero

Our Visit

This area has been on our should-stop-in-list for a long while, but it never made it to the top of the list until recently. Since we don’t fish and don’t own a kayak, I didn’t know if there was anything there for us to do. Well, as it turns out … there is!

We stopped while in the area to check out a near-by natural spring. This lagoon is also fed by a natural spring, but can be brackish from the ocean which is so close by. Just beyond the parking lot there is a nice picnic area, and a little boardwalk, so you can stand and watch the fish and crabs, or fish. There is also a boat ramp for those with kayaks. Looks like kayaking here would be great — no waves and lots of little places to watch nature. It’s not a place for swimming, but pretty to look at.

As usual, we came to explore, so we followed the road (on foot) past the DRNA office, and came to the gate at the beginning of the non- motorized paths. There is no real map, so we just set off to see what we could find.

Just a couple minutes in along this path, you will find a nice trail called Nido de Aguila (Eagle’s Nest). This path has steep steps that go up to a nice viewing platform. After taking some photos here, we returned to the main path and continued walking.

In a little bit, we came to another gate that was right along the road. We decided to go to the right … into the forest. The other option was to continue going straight on the path along the road (which the DRNA ranger said is a short path that leads to another recreation area). I liked the trail we chose, it was quiet and breezy. All along the way, we saw lizards and lots of birds. We passed by some serious bird enthusiasts enjoying the area.

We assumed our trail would eventually lead us to the water (hoping to get water views or a caiman sighting), but it doesn’t. It continues around the water. We walked pretty far and eventually found ruins of what we thought might have been a sugar mill. Of course later the ranger told us they were left overs from a National Guard waste incinerator. Well, what ever the ruins were, it was pretty cool to find.

All along the way, the area is riddled with mountain bike trails. We took a few just to see where they went — a bunch of twists and turns that are probably real fun on a bike, but not so much for walking! The main trail went on and on. We did not bring water with us (oops!), so we had to stop and turn around. But it was a nice quiet area to walk and enjoy nature for a little while.

Laguna Tortuguero

Details

There is no cost to use the nature reserve.

The nature reserve is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 7am to 3:00pm.

If you plan on spending time walking in the forest, bring water and insect repellent.

To get to the nature reserve, take Route 22 to exit 42A, then turn right (east) onto Route 2, then left (north) onto Road 687. The entrance is on Road 687 at KM 2.1, in Vega Baja.

Click on a placename below to view the location on Google Maps ...

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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