Caribbean Tourism

Getting There

Excursions

Puerto Rico’s coastline is protected in many places by coral reefs and cays which are fun to visit and explore. La Cordillera is a nature reserve of cays and rocks off the northeast tip of Puerto Rico, including Icacos, Diablo, Ratones and Las Cucarachas, which have a rich coral reef, clear water and sandy beaches. There is an abandoned limestone quarry on...

Vieques

Vieques a peaceful, relaxing, low-key island of rolling hills, is located 11 km across the sea from Puerto Rico. It was catapulted into the limelight in 1999-2000 when locals campaigned for the removal of the US military from their bases at the east and west ends of the island. The island is about 34 km long by 6 km wide, the inhabitants mostly concentrated...

The Southwest

A round trip through the west half of the island would take in Ponce, the second city (reached by motorway from San Juan via Caguas), Guánica, Parguera, San Germán, Boquerón, Mayagüez (the third city), Aguadilla, Quebradillas and Arecibo, with side trips to the Maricao State Forest and fish hatchery, the Río Abajo State Forest and Lake Dos Bocas, the...

San German

Inland from La Parguera, off the main Route 2, San Germán has much traditional charm; it was the second town to be founded on the island and has preserved its colonial atmosphere. It is an excellent base from which to explore the mountains and villages of southwest Puerto Rico. The beautiful little Porta Coeli chapel on the plaza contains a small, rather...

Rincon

Going north from Mayaguez, you come to Rincon, on the westernmost point of the island. Here the mountains run down to the sea, and the scenery is spectacular. For a great view visit the Punta Higuera Lighthouse, built on a cliff overlooking the surf where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet. It was refurbished in 1993 and offers a wonderful panoramic view of...

Panoramic Route

Heading east from Mayagüez is the Panoramic Route which runs the whole length of Puerto Rico, through some of the island’s most stunning scenery. It passes through the Cordillera Central, with large areas of forest, and there are several excursions to various countryside resorts. Despite the fact that you are never far from buildings, schools or farms, the...

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...

Mona Island

Mona Island, 80 kilometres west of Mayagüez, is fascinating for historians and nature lovers, with turquoise sea and white sand. Originally inhabited by Taino Indians and then by pirates and privateers, it is now deserted except for its wildlife. Here you can see one-metre-long iguanas, colonies of sea birds and bats in the caves (possibly pirates too). 60-...

Mayaguez

Mayaguez is a crowded city with little of interest to the tourist. There are botanical gardens, at the Tropical Agricultural Research Station, near the University of Puerto Rico. Free. Monday-Friday, 0730-1630. The city also has a zoo. Adults US$1, children US$0.50. Tuesday-Sunday, 0900-1630. The tourist office is in the Municipalidad on Plaza Colón but...

Guánica

Going west from Ponce is Guánica, the place where American troops first landed in the Spanish-American war. It has an old fort from which there are excellent views. Although Guánica has a history stretching back to Ponce de León’s landing in 1508, the first of many colonist landings in the bay, the town was not actually founded here until 1914. For details...

Eastern Tour

An interesting round trip through the east half of the island can be done by a series of públicos from San Juan – Río Grande – Luquillo – Fajardo – Humacao – Yabucoa – Guayama – Cayey – Aibonito – Barranquitas – Bayamon – San Juan. If travelling by car, a variant between San Juan and El Yunque takes you on Route 187 from Isla Verde, outside San Juan, to...

Culebra

Culebra about 11 kilometres long and five kilometres wide, is even better than Vieques, with less petty theft, less heavy drinking, more peaceful, better choice of accommodation and more absolutely beautiful beaches. The island is poor, with very high unemployment; most people who have jobs work for the municipality or in construction. The climate and...

Getting There

Air From Europe: Martinair from Amsterdam ; Condor from Frankfurt ; Iberia from Barcelona and Madrid ; British Airways from London Gatwick. Lots of other flights with connections in JFK New York or Miami. From Latin America: Most South and Central American countries are connected via Miami or Panama City but there are also direct flights from Caracas (...