For the past 9 yrs, I have visited Puerto Rico for several weeks at a time every year. I wanted to explore the island as much as I could especially since my husband lived there his entire life and his wonderful family still lives there. I absolutely love the island and everything it has to offer. I took a trip around the entire island and saw almost every beach there was to see and travel to all the connecting islands as well. There is a few places that I really enjoy and go there every chance we get. Here I will highlight those secret places and give you information about things you only can learn from locals. I will also be helping you with things to be mindful of when you go and what to bring on your trip.
This place is no secret but it worth a visit for sure. That's San Juan. With the rich colors, rock fort with beautiful greenery, and wonderful food options, you are sure to love this place. The cobblestone roads takes you on a journey to remember. When you go to San Juan remember to bring sunblock, camera, money and an adventurous spirit. There is tons of options to dine and plenty of places to buy your souvenirs. Don't forget to go to the Fort and look over the ocean and watch the waves crashing against the rocks, It is just beautiful.
Cayo Icacos and Palomino islands are a fifteen-minute water taxi ride from Fajardo. You can do like we did and took a tour with mini boats to both Cayo Icacos and Palemino island with Mini Boat Tour company. Both these islands are uninhibited.
These islands are popular snorkeling and tourist destination. The water around them is very beautiful. We had a blast and the boat company linked above also offered to do pictures for an extra $16. We did to the photo package. It was well worth it. We had a blast. However, if you are afraid of the ocean and get sea sick easily the mini boats might not be the ideal way for you to get to the island. The beaches are sandy white and the water is beautiful and clear. They are definitely worth going to though.
Gilligan’s Island, Cayo Aurora – Guanica, Puerto Rico is a magnificent place to go. We had so much fun on this island.
Few tourists and travelers get to enjoy this relaxing haven, it’s still one of the unbeaten paths of Puerto Rico. The few lucky ones that do, get to enjoy this island with very few crowds during winter high travel season. It only gets busy with locals during holiday weekends and summers.
Surrounded by a healthy mangrove system, Gilligan’s Island is a a snorkelers haven with crystal clear waters with schools of tropical fish, and a few places with live healthy coral.
There are composting toilets on the island, bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser. Picnic tables, get here early to claim one. Barbecue pits – bring everything you’ll need and be sure to clean up after yourself please.There are trash bins on the island, use them. There are no lifeguards there so make sure to stay safe and to keep an eye on your kids if they are with you. Bring bug spray, the mornings are ok, by 2pm mosquitos and sand flies can become bothersome. There are no shops on Gilligan’s Island. It is best to bring a cooler with everything you’ll need. There is a restaurant at the Ferry that sells food and they’ll take your order and bring it to the island if you wish. The Ferry runs every 1 to 2 hours I believe unless it has changed.
There is not much beach area. The middle of the island is mostly covered in mangrove trees. There is a little sand areas that are just wide enough to enter and exit the water. You can walk through the mangroves on the island and there is two parts to it, but you have to go through the water to get to the other side. The water is not very deep at all though, maybe 2 feet in most areas. The waters are so shallow that you can bring your lounge chair and place them right on the water under the shade of a mangrove tree or right in the middle of the natural pool. Snorkeling around he mangrove is amazing. Many different kinds of fish live there. We came across a very large blowfish. We really enjoyed snorkeling there. The fish would come up to you and be just as interested in you as you are of them. It is definitely worth going to see.
Las Paylas, do you want to experience a locals fun event. Well this is the place for you. This is a fun natural waterslide with beautiful clear water. Followed google maps and once it says you are there you have to go a little further and you will see the sign on the driveway! Pay the $5 to park and make your way down to the river! if you walk down the rocks further you will run into a place that is called the black hole. Many have jumped into it and enjoyed it. My husband and kids did. I'm too much of a chicken. Rumor has it though that some have jumped down and never came back up, so jump at your own risk. I hated my family doing it, but they did no listen to momma. They all came out fine though. I thought that sliding down the rocks might hurt a little, but it did not. There was locals there surfing down it. It was pretty fun to watch. I am very glad we explored it. I would definitely wear water shoes and wear sunblock. They do have a restroom there.
There are other small islands that you can visit that are well worth the trip such as Culebra Island. We rented a beach cottage and a jeep and stayed for a few days. We took a small plane called Viequez Air. it was $45 a person round trip. The flight can be a little scary, but fun. We really enjoyed Culebra Island and go almost every year. The beaches are awesome. Especially turtle beach. If you explore Culebra Island you will find very neat places to see, but you have to go off the beaten path. They have a few restaurants there and shops and only one grocery store. Snorkeling is allot of fun in Culebra Island.
I will be heading back to Puerto Rico in a month and will do another article on new locations and new things that I discovered. Please come back for more information soon.
Here are few other beaches that are very pretty in Puerto Rico. Sorry this is short. I could not find all my photos from all our trips. I think they are on a hard drive somewhere in my office. lol...But I promise that more is to come.