Caribbean Tourism

North Coast Road

Route 2, the main road in the north, runs from Aguadilla through Quebradillas to Arecibo, then through urban areas to some extent from Arecibo and completely from Manatí to San Juan. South of Quebradillas in the Montañas Aymamón is the Bosque Estatal de Guajataca, a dry forest with a large number of bird species, on Route 446. There are over 40 walking trails with 40 kilometres of maintained footpaths through the Karst region, three picnic areas and two camping areas with tent sites.


The on-site supervisor is Edwin Avila. Get your permit in San Juan or the regional office in Aguadilla, T8904050 (see Accommodation under Camping). South of Arecibo in the Karst country is the Bosque Rio Abajo, a 2,023-hectare reserve off Route 10. It contains 70 trails and dirt roads, ideal for viewing plant and birdlife, 15 commercial plantations (teak, mahogany, maga trees), two new campsites, two natural springwater swimming pools and some amazing bamboo near the end of the road. The on-site forest supervisor is José Casanovas. There is also a private campsite at Dos Bocas: T J Ranch, a coffee farm run by Tony and Juanita, pool, toilets, no electricity, US$5 per person, breakfast on request, go over the dam on Route 146, first left straight up to the top, past phone booth, then at intersection turn left (small sign for T J Ranch), T8801217, HC02 Box 14926, Arecibo, PR 00612.

If you have the time it is much nicer to drive along the coast then along Route 2. Take Route 681 out of Arecibo, with an immediate detour to the Poza del Obispo beach, by Arecibo lighthouse. Here a pool has been formed inside some rocks, but the breakers on the rocks themselves send up magnificent jets of spray. The bay, with fine surf, stretches round to another headland, Punta Caracoles, on which is the Cueva del Indio (small car park on Route 681, US$1 charge if anyone is around). A short walk through private land leads to the cave, a sea-eroded hole and funnel in the cliff; watch out for holes in the ground when walking around. There are Taino/Arawak drawings in the cave. Públicos run along Route 681 from Arecibo. Rejoin Route 2 through Barceloneta. The State Forest of Cambalache is between Arecibo and Barceloneta. Cambalache Beach has two camping areas, La Boba and La Rusa, with water and showers. Warning Safety depends on numbers. There are eight trails and the beach. The on-site supervisor is Jorge Carnaval, T8787279.

The coast road is not continuous; where it does go beside the sea, there are beaches, seafood restaurants and some good views. Route 165, another coastal stretch which can be reached either through Dorado on the 693, or through Toa Baja, enters metropolitan San Juan at Cataño.


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