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)
πŸ›’ 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)
πŸ” 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.
πŸ‘ͺ 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)
πŸ›’ 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)
β›΅ 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
πŸ‘ͺ 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.
πŸ“„ 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.

Isla Mata la Gata – A Tiny Island Paradise

10/2020- Open for your enjoyment!

Mata la Gata

The mangrove cayos (keys or cays in English) in La Parguera are really something to see. They are tiny specks of green in middle of the blue ocean. Most are nothing more than clumps of mangroves and broken coral. However, there is one in particular — Mata de Gata — that has the facilities that you need to make a perfect setting for a picnic.

Being an island, you will need a kayak, boat or another type of watercraft out to it. But once there, you may never want to leave!

Kill the Cat?

The name of the cayo, Mata la Gata translates literally to Kill the Cat. However, loosely translated in local vernacular it means Nurse Shark Grove.

Isla Mata la Gata is situated between Cayo Enrique and Cayo Caracoles, which are all part of La Parguera Nature Reserve. If you are trying to find these on a map, they are located 1 to 2 nautical miles south of La Parguera, which is in the town of Lajas, which is in the south-west part of Puerto Rico.

Isla Mata la Gata is a small island, measuring only about 1500 feet long and 1200 feet wide. It was formed by coral fragments that got caught in the red mangrove roots.

Mata la Gata

The island is under the control of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA), and they have constructed a boat dock for dropping-off passengers, picnic tables (both covered and uncovered), BBQ area (bring charcoal, aluminum foil, and all cooking implements), restroom (with composting toilets), changing rooms, and showers. It has a SMALL beach area with white sand.

They also enclosed an area of the calm ocean, making a natural ocean pool that is protected from surges and currents. And the fencing around this natural pool helps keep the jellyfish and other sea critters out.

You need to bring any food and beverages, because nothing is for sale on the island. There is a small boardwalk trail through the mangroves that leads from one side of the pool to the other.

Mata la Gata

There is a decently healthy coral reef all along the south side of the island, but you need to be careful of the waves and currents. This reef also runs along toward a deep boat channel on the east side of the island. If you snorkel in this area, make sure you have a marker so that you are visible to boaters.

We visited Mata de Gata during a great kayak trip on the Sunday of Veterans Day weekend (in November), and the place was empty. I have read it is very well-used, but I am guessing that is only during weekends in the summer months. It seems like all the local boat crowd anchor and hang out by the small cays.

Details

There are a couple different ways to get to Mata la Gata. You can hire a boat to take you, you can rent a small motor boat and drive yourself, you can go on a guided kayak tour. If you want to take one of the tours, I’d recommend contacting them ahead of time to make a reservation.

The first step is to get yourself to La Parguera in Lajas. Once you get there and park (see map below), there will be a number of different tour operators hovering around the parking lot hawking their tours. You can talk to one of them about getting to Mata la Gata. They will typically drop you off and return to pick you up at a pre-determined time.

Mata la Gata

The island is "open" Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Closed on Mondays.

Boat rides usually cost about $10 per person, round trip. Price will depend on time of year, size of your group, and where you want them to take you. Typically, cash only.

Boat rides from La Parguera take 10 to 15 minutes to reach Mata la Gata.

Some operators that offer kayaking in La Parguera include

  • Parguera Water Sports Adventures — offering kayak tours
    phone 787-899-6086 or 787-390-6086
  • Kayaking Parguera Tours — offering kayak tours and/or hourly kayak rentals
    phone 787-899-6086 or 787-390-6086
  • Some operators that offer boat rentals and/or boat taxi service in La Parguera include

    No pets allowed. No jet skis.

    Bring towels, sunblock, food/drinks, bathing suits &meash; everything you need for a beach day. There is nothing for sale on the island.

    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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