Gone-but not forgotten- the Window at Punta Ventana
After the earthquake on 1/7/2020, the eye has collapsed- there is no longer a window.
Nature is spectacular! This was another place that has been on my list of “must visit” places for a while, and we finally got there … and I kick myself for not going sooner.
Punta Ventana is a natural rock “eye” that very few people get to see. It is in an out-of-the-way place, and not visible from any road. But, with the right planning, it is not too difficult to get to — and well worth the effort.
The Punta Ventana rock formation is in the south western part of Puerto Rico, along the coastline in Guayanilla, and adjacent to the Guánica State Forest & Bioshpere Reserve (Bosque Estatal de Guánica). It is a beautiful place, and even though it is on the coast, it is still hot and dry.
The beach there is generally covered with floating debris. The water looked rough — so not great for swimming — though there was a small area with a natural barrier that appeared to offer some protection from the waves.
The reason to go here is not the beach, but the rock formation that is amazing, and offers great photo opportunities.
The primary access to Punta Ventana is through a private mango farm. We knew they allowed people to walk from the gate down their road to the beach. So when we arrived one sunny Saturday, we parked our car so as not to block any of the entrances, walked through the gate, and talked with the guard.
There is a guard there 24/7. He told us that “sometimes”, on weekends, if they are not working, “some” of the guards “may” allow people to drive down to the beach. Luckily for us, this was one of those days! So we gladly signed in, hopped back in the car, and drove down.
The road to the beach is about 2 miles, and in full sun. We were prepared to hike to the beach, so this turn of events made us very happy!
The road to the beach is straight, flat, and right down the middle of the mango fields. It is in decent shape in the farming area. As it approaches the beach, the farm road veers to the left, but you need to continue straight to get to the beach. Once you get off of the “farm” part of the road, it is pot-holed and muddy in spots, but passable.
When you get to the beach, you can’t help but be drawn to the outcropping. We went in the afternoon, so the sun wasn’t in the best location for photos. Note — get there before 1pm or so to get best pictures of the window from the beach.
After taking a load of pictures from the beach, we went for a little hike up to the top of the arch, and walked westward. There is a little path you can follow from the beach. It is sharp rock, so you need good footwear for this hike up.
We found, once on top, you really don’t get a great view of the window, no matter how far you walk to the west. But this was a neat area to walk around. There are lots of cliffs that are typical of the southwest region of the island.
An alternate way to get to this arch is to approach it from the west. You can take the Meseta Trail, starting at Playa Tamarindo in Guánica. That walk or mountain bike path, also in the full sun, is just under 3 miles one way. But the views along that trail are breathtaking all on their own, so it might be worth the extra effort.
You can access the area during daylight hours. Make sure to allow enough time to get back before sunset. If the guard allows you to drive in, make sure you find out what time he will be leaving — you want avoid a hassle by having the same guard be there when you drive out since not all of the guards will let you drive in to begin with.
This is in the full sun. It is hot and dry. Take ample drinking water, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy-soled shoes.
This excursion, if hiking, would probably be close to a full-day. You need to allow time to walk at least 4 miles round-trip, in the full sun. Plus whatever amount of time you want to spend exploring the area around the arch.
From Route 2 in Yauco, take Road 3334 to Road 335. Continue south/east on Road 335 until you get to the gate for the “Tropical Fruit” mango farm (they have a sign). Alternately, if you start in the town of Guayanilla, take Road 335 from the center of town until you get to the mango farm.
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