Useful information on
Puerto Rico

Welcome

Varies Per Villa
Location
80F
26.6C
57 in
144 cm
El Yunque National Forest/Culebra Island/Old San J

General info

Puerto Rico General Information

The land of diverse island culture and mesmerizing beauty. As white sandy shores give way to clear ocean waters your mind and soul are whisked away to that dreamlike paradise of your youth. Forget about the worries of everyday life, forget about your stresses and give way to the relaxation and comfort that is, Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is a modern progressive and civilized vacation spot that maintains the charm and hospitality of days gone by.  You will find everything that the Caribbean has to offer in this all around family destination – and with it is a people whose warmth is equaled only by the sunshine that graces its shores.  

Villas Caribe has several properties on the island of Puerto Rico.  Make sure you view all available villas and photos.

Restaurants

Puerto Rico Restaurants

Your palate will be pleasantly amused by the range of dining choices available in Puerto Rico. In San Juan you can find more than 200 restaurants serving everything from Italian to Thai, as well as superb local eateries serving comida criolla (traditional Caribbean creole food). There's also a mind-boggling array of U.S. chain restaurants. No matter your price range or taste, San Juan is a great place to eat.

Puerto Rican cooking uses a lot of local vegetables: plantains are cooked a hundred different ways -- as tostones (fried green), amarillos (baked ripe), and chips. Rice and beans with tostones or amarillos are accompaniments to every dish. Locals cook white rice with habichuelas (red beans), achiote (annatto seeds), or saffron; brown rice with gandules (pigeon peas); and morro (black rice) with frijoles negros (black beans). Yams and other root vegetables, such as yucca and yautía, are served baked, fried, stuffed, boiled, and mashed. Sofrito -- a garlic, onion, sweet pepper, coriander, oregano, and tomato puree -- is used as a base for practically everything.

Beef, chicken, pork, and seafood are rubbed with adobo, a garlic-oregano marinade, before cooking. Arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), sancocho (beef or chicken and tuber soup), asopao (a soupy rice gumbo with chicken or seafood), and encebollado (steak smothered in onions) are all typical plates. Also look for fritters served along highways and beaches. You may find empanadillas (stuffed fried turnovers), sorullitos (cheese-stuffed corn sticks), alcapurrias (stuffed green-banana croquettes), and bacalaítos (codfish fritters). Caribbean lobster, available mainly at coastal restaurants, is sweeter and easier to eat than Maine lobster, and there's always plentiful fresh dolphin fish and red snapper. Conch is prepared in a chilled ceviche salad or stuffed. Wherever you go, it's always good to make reservations in the busy season, from mid-November through April, in restaurants where they're accepted.

Villas Caribe Puerto Rican Restaurant Selections

Sand and the Sea:
Eclectic $12 to $30.  In the open-air dining room, the south-coast views are breathtaking, and the evening breezes are cool enough that you might find the fireplace ablaze. Nightly piano performances of show tunes and Puerto Rican ballads take away any remaining chill, especially when they become sing-alongs. Grilled steak, known as churrasco, and seafood dominate the menu, which changes so often that it's posted on a blackboard. Try the Russian tostones (with sour cream and caviar). AE, D, MC, V. Closed Mon.-Thurs.  Address: Rte. 714, Km 5.2, Cercadillo Sector, Cayey, Puerto Rico.
Phone: 787/738-9086

Dragonfly:
Contemporary, $8 to $30.  With Chinese-red furnishings and a charming staff outfitted in kimonos and satin shirts, this hip little restaurant has the feel of an elegant opium den. Surely the frequent lines outside its door attest to the seductive power of chef Roberto Trevino's Latin-Asian cuisine. The platos (large appetizers) are meant to be shared and include pork-and-plantain dumplings with an orange dipping sauce; spicy, perfectly fried calamari; and Peking duck nachos with wasabi sour cream. Reservations not accepted. AE, MC, V.  Address: 364 Calle La Fortaleza, Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Phone: 787/977-3886

Mark’s at the Melia:
Contemporary $12 to $30.  One of the island's best restaurants, Mark's has drawn raves for creations such as plantain-crusted dorado with congri (a Cuban dish of black beans and rice), and the chocolate truffle cake draws fans from far away. Chef Mark French has won praise from the Caribbean Chefs Association, and his dishes live up to that honor. AE, MC, V. Closed Mon. and Tues.  Address: Hotel Meliá, 75 Calle Cristina, La Guancha, Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Phone: 787/284-6275

Augusto’s Cuisine:
Continental, $20 to Over $30.  Austrian-born chef Augusto Schreiner, a graduate of the Salzburg Culinary School, regularly wins awards for his classic European cuisine. His menu changes seasonally; some of the dishes commonly served are veal carpaccio, steak au poivre, and seared tuna or shrimp in a mango curry. The bright dining room is made even cheerier with floral prints and large bouquets. AE, MC, V. Closed Sun. and Mon.  Address: Hotel Excelsior, 801 Av. Ponce de León, Miramar, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Phone: 787/725-7700

Parrot Club:
Contemporary $12 to $30.  This colorful hot spot is the cornerstone of SoFo (South of Fortaleza) restaurant row. Stop by the bar for a passion fruit cocktail before moving to the adjacent dining room or the back courtyard. The menu has contemporary variations of Cuban and Puerto Rican classics. You might start with mouthwatering crab cakes or tamarind-barbecue ribs, followed by blackened tuna in a dark rum sauce. Reservations not accepted. AE, DC, MC, V.  Address: 363 Calle Fortaleza, Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Phone: 787/725-7370

Pikayo:
Contemporary $20 to over $30.  Chef Wilo Benet artfully fuses classic French, Caribbean Creole, and California nouvelle nuances at this delightful museum restaurant. A changing selection of paintings wraps around the main dining room, while a plasma TV broadcasts the kitchen action above the silver-and-black bar. The regularly changing menu might include tostones stuffed with oven-dried tomatoes to start, followed by a hearty land-crab stew or mofongo topped with saffron shrimp. Veal and prosciutto with sweet pea couscous and a decadent three cheese soufflé topped with guava sauce might also be on the menu. Expect to see a well-dressed crowd of local bigwigs here. AE, D, MC, V. Closed Mon. Address: Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, 300 Av. José de Diego, Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Phone: 787/721-6194

History

Puerto Rico History

The first inhabitants of Puerto Rico were Archaic Indians who most likely arrived from Venezuela around 4500 BC. They were followed by the Igneri tribes, beginning about 200 AD, who were replaced in turn by the Taínos around 800 AD.

Christopher Columbus landed on the island, which the Indians called Boriquén or Borinquén, in 1493 and claimed the land for Spain. He named it after San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist). In 1508 Juan Ponce de León founded the first settlement, Caparra, and in 1521 moved it 4 miles away to a small peninsula along a beautiful bay. He called it Puerto Rico (Rich Port). The whole island eventually became known as Puerto Rico and the capital city as San Juan.

Puerto Rico was a Spanish colony from 1493 until 1898, when it became a part of the United States as a result of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Spanish-American War. During those 405 years, the bedrock of Puerto Rican culture was laid: the Spanish language, the Roman Catholic religion, architecture, and art.

The Indian population dwindled and disappeared soon after the arrival of the Spaniards, leaving behind countless place names and other influences on the language and culture of the island—including their DNA, according to recent studies.  To replace the Indians, the Spanish imported slaves from West Africa to work the land. Slavery was abolished in 1873, but by then many elements of African culture had been absorbed into the island’s heritage. In the 19th century there was also significant immigration from Europe, South America, and other Caribbean islands.

Puerto Rico became a possession of the United States in 1898, US citizenship was granted to its inhabitants in 1917, and the island became a self-governing U.S. commonwealth on July 25, 1952. Elections are held every four years.
This is a simplified outline of the heritage. The true history of Puerto Rico is reflected in the literature, art, music, architecture, and in their spirit. You can see it everywhere, from the oldest cities to the newest urban developments. Puerto Rico is many, many things. We hope you will enjoy discovering a few of them!

Golf

Puerto Rico Golf

If you love golf, you’re going to love Puerto Rico, the golf capital of the Caribbean.  You don’t need to be a world champ to appreciate the beauty and variety of our courses. Most have been designed by golf luminaries such as Robert Trent Jones, his son Rees Jones, Greg Norman, George and Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, Arthur Hills, and Puerto Rico’s own Chi Chi Rodríguez. The courses are feats of landscape architecture that impress golfers and non-players alike.

All of Puerto Rico’s courses share the island’s year-round summer weather, tempered by the cool, gentle breezes of the trade winds. You are almost guaranteed a brilliant tropical sky and glimpses of sparkling white sand beaches backed by the blue Atlantic or the turquoise Caribbean. The greens are truly green, planted with strains of Bermuda grass adapted for our climate, including Tiff Dwarf and GN1, a new hybrid, developed in Florida by Greg Norman.

Many of our golf courses are part of world-class resorts, so after you have played to your heart’s content, you can relax in the pool and recharge your batteries in the spa before getting back to breaking par. You don’t have to be a hotel guest, however. All courses – except those on military installations, which are limited to authorized personnel – are open to the general public

Your Villas Caribe concierge will be happy to assist you in arranging your Tee time.

Villas Caribe Puerto Rico Golf Selections

Aficionados may know that Puerto Rico is the birthplace of golf legend Chi Chi Rodríguez -- and he had to hone his craft somewhere. Currently, you can find nearly 20 courses on the island, including many championship links. Be sure to call ahead for tee times; hours vary, and several hotel courses give preference to guests. Greens fees start at about $20 and go up as high as $150. The Puerto Rican Golf Association (58 Calle Caribe, San Juan, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/721-7742, www.prga.com) is a good source for information on courses and tournaments.

Willowbend Golf Management manages three properties with reciprocity privileges on the island, including the 27-hole course set among sugarcane fields at the Costa Caribe Golf & Country Club (1150 Ave. Caribe, Ponce, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/848-1000) and the two inspirational 18-hole courses designed by Greg Norman and George and Tom Fazio at the Westin Río Mar Beach Resort (6000 Río Mar Blvd., Río Grande, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/888-6000) that use El Yunque as a backdrop.
Developed on what was once a coconut plantation, the public, 18-hole course at the Bahía Beach Plantation (Rte. 187, Km 4.2, Río Grande, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/256-5600, www.golfbahia.com) is an old-time favorite that skirts a slice of the east coast.

The 7,100-yard course at Dorado Del Mar (Rte. 693, Dorado, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/796-3065) is a Chi Chi Rodríguez signature course with narrow fairways that can be a challenge to hit when the wind picks up.

Four world-class Robert Trent Jones-designed 18-hole courses are renowned classics at the Hyatt Dorado Beach & Country Club (Rte. 693, Km 11.8, Dorado, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/796-1234 Ext. 3238).

Palmas del Mar Resort (Rte. 906, Humacao, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/285-2256) features the Rees Jones-designed Flamboyán course, named for the flamboyant trees that pepper its fairway and the Gary Player-designed course that has a challenging par 5 that scoots around wetlands.

Prices are hard to beat at oceanfront Punta Borinquen Golf Club (Golf St., Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/890-2987) where the daily fee is $20 and equipment rental goes for $10.

The 18-hole Arthur Hills-designed course at El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa (1000 Av. El Conquistador, Fajardo, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/863-6784) is famous for its 200-foot changes in elevation. The trade winds make every shot challenging.

Airport

Puerto Rico Airport

Getting to Puerto Rico almost always means flying to Luis Muñoz Marín (LMM) International Airport – Phone  809-791-4670. The gleaming white terminal located just outside of San Juan is ranked 34th among passenger airports in the United States.
Most U.S. and many international airlines offer direct flights to Puerto Rico.

Documents for Arrival
There are no passports or visas necessary for United States citizens, which mean that US citizens can travel freely in and out of the island without going through immigration or customs.  Citizens of other countries have the same requirements as for entering the USA.

Approximate Flights Times
2 ½ hours from Miami
3 ¼ hours from Atlanta
3 ¼ hours from New York
3 ½ hours from Washington, DC
4 ¼ hours from Toronto
4 ½ hours from Chicago and Dallas
7 ½ hours from Los Angeles
5 ¾ hours from Mexico City
11 hours from Sao Paolo
7 ¾ hours from Madrid
10 hours from Paris
12 hours from London

Airport Transfers
Major car rental agencies are located at the airport and others offer free transportation to their off-airport sites.  Transferring from the airport to your villa is also possible by taxi, private car, and airport shuttle.
Your Villas Caribe Concierge will be happy to arrange your airport transfer for you.

Puerto Rico Departure Tax
There is not an airport departure tax when leaving Puerto Rico.

Communications

Puerto Rico Communications

Communication with friends and family in the United States or elsewhere should not be a problem from Puerto Rico.  All villas come quipped with telephones, many with internet connections and fax machines.
Cell phone rentals and internet cafes are also readily available in-town as well.

Villa Telephones:
The Villas in Puerto Rico all come with their own telephones.
This number will be given to you prior to your trip.
Long distance calls using any major credit card will usually be possible from these house telephones.
 
Cell Phones:
Most cell phone carriers operate in Puerto Rico to service to the U.S.  Check with your cell phone provider.  Cell phone rentals are available also.

Electricity:
The electrical service in Puerto Rico is the same as the United States – 120 volts.

Nightlife

Puerto Rico Nightlife

In Old San Juan, Calle San Sebastián is lined with bars and restaurants. Salsa music blaring from jukeboxes in cut-rate pool halls competes with mellow Latin jazz in top-flight nightspots. Evenings begin with dinner and stretch into the late hours at the bars of the more upscale, so-called SoFo (south of Fortaleza) end of Old San Juan. Well-dressed visitors and locals alike often mingle in the lobby bars of large hotels, many of which have bands in the evening. An eclectic crowd heads to the Plaza del Mercado off Avenida Ponce de León at Calle Canals in Santurce after work to hang out in the plaza or enjoy drinks and food in one of the small establishments skirting the farmers' market. Condado and Ocean Park have their share of nightlife, too. Most are restaurants and bar environments.

Just east of San Juan along Route 187, funky Piñones has a collection of open-air seaside eateries that are popular with locals. On weekend evenings, many places have merengue combos, Brazilian jazz trios, or reggae bands. In the southern city of Ponce, people embrace the Spanish tradition of the paseo, an evening stroll around the Plaza las Delicias. The boardwalk at La Guancha in Ponce is also a lively scene. Live bands often play on weekends. Elsewhere en la isla, nighttime activities center on the hotels and resorts.

Wherever you are, dress to impress. Puerto Ricans have flair, and both men and women love getting dressed up to go out. Bars are usually casual, but if you have on jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt, you may be refused entry at nightclubs and discos.
By law, all casinos are in hotels, primarily in San Juan. The government keeps a close eye on them. Dress for the larger casinos is on the formal side, and the atmosphere is refined. Casinos set their own hours but are generally open from noon to 4 AM. In addition to slot machines, typical games include blackjack, roulette, craps, Caribbean stud (a five-card poker game), and pai gow poker (a combination of American poker and the Chinese game pai gow). Hotels with casinos have live entertainment most weekends, as well as restaurants and bars. The minimum age to gamble is 18.

Car rental

Puerto Rico Car Rental & Transportation

Most of the major car rental companies have offices at the airport, in San Juan and in the larger cities and towns. Roads are clearly marked and maps are available. Note that speed limits are indicated in miles per hour, but distances are shown in kilometers.

Ground transportation in Puerto Rico can mean a taxi, a tour bus, a rental car, a ferry, a small plane, a charter boat, a Metrobus, or a público. In the near future, you will also be able to get around part of greater San Juan in a shiny new Urban Train.

Driving
Driving is on the right side in Puerto Rico.

Weddings

Puerto Rico Weddings

Puerto Rico is romance. A moonlight walk along the beach. A swim in a phosphorescent bay. A stroll along a rain forest trail. A slow dance as the sun sets. A drink under a lavish crystal chandelier. A horseback ride through a coffee plantation. A carriage ride through the Pearl of the South.

From our opulent villas to delightful restaurants and sizzling clubs, from wind surfing to lazing in the sun, from gallery hopping to serious shopping, Puerto Rico has the perfect settings for weddings and honeymoons.

Puerto Rico offers a wide variety of services for those wishing to get married in paradise. Your Villas Caribe concierge can assist you with fine tuning the intricate details for your special day.

Shopping

Puerto Rico Shopping

San Juan has the island's best range of stores, but it isn't a free port, so you won't find bargains on electronics and perfumes. You can, however, find excellent prices on china, crystal, fashions, and jewelry. Shopping for local crafts can also be gratifying: you'll run across a lot that's tacky, but you can also find treasures, and in many cases you can watch the artisans at work. Popular items include santos (small carved figures of saints or religious scenes), hand-rolled cigars, and handmade mundillo lace from Aguadilla, vejigantes (colorful masks used during Carnival and local festivals) from Loíza and Ponce, and fancy men's shirts called guayaberas.

Shopping from the Caribbean and beyond are drawn to metropolitan San Juan, Plaza Las Americas in Hato Rey is the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean, containing 190 stores, including J.C. Penney’s, Sears, Macy’s, and dozens of smaller stores for clothing, gifts, electronics, cosmetics, etc.  Other commercial centers include:  Plaza Carolina in Carolina, Rio Hondo in Levittown, Plaza del Carmen in Caguas and Mayaguez Mall in Mayaguez, Plaza de Aguadilla in Aguadilla, and Plaza del Caribe in Ponce.

Do not forget that Puerto Rico is a large producer of rum, with many different types ranging from light rums for mixing with soft drinks to dark brandy-type rums.  Hand made cigars can still be found in Old San Juan and Puerta de Tierra.  A wide variety of imported goods from all over the world are available.  Local artesanias include wooden carvings, musical instruments, lace, ceramics, hammocks, masks and basket-work.

Sights

Puerto Rico Activities & Beaches

Baseball
The late, great Roberto Clemente is just one of many Puerto Rican ballplayers to find success in the U.S. major leagues after honing their skills at home. The island's pro season runs from October to February. Santurce, Ponce, Carolina Caguas, Arecibo, and Mayagüez all have teams. Contact the tourist office for details on baseball games, or call Professional Baseball of Puerto Rico (PHONE: 787/765-6285, www.ebaseballpr.com).

Cycling
Selected areas lend themselves to bike travel. Avoid main thoroughfares, as the traffic is heavy and the fumes are thick. The Paseo Piñones is an 11-mi bike path that skirts the ocean east of San Juan. The entire southwest coast of Cabo Rojo also makes for good biking, particularly the broad beach at Boquerón. Parts of oceanside Road 466 in Isabela that are still development-free make gorgeous rides with breathtaking views.

Hot Dog Cycling (5916 Av. Isla Verde, Isla Verde, San Juan, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/982-5344, www.hotdogcycling.com) rents Fuji mountain bikes for $30 a day and organizes group excursions to El Yunque and other places out on the island. If you want to bike the Paseo Piñones, you can rent bikes for about $5 an hour from Pulpo Loco By the Sea (Rte. 187, Km 4.5, Piñones, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/791-8382).

Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is a well-establised family pastime in Puerto Rico, with cabalgatas (group day rides) frequently organized on weekends through mountain towns. Campo Allegre (Rte. 127, Km 5.1, Yauco, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/856-2609) is a 204-acre horse ranch that conducts ½-hour, 1-hour, and 2-hour rides through the hills surrounding Yauco. There are also pony rides for children. The on-site restaurant serves Yauco's specialty: chuletas can can, which are basically Puerto Rican meatballs. The family-run Hacienda Carabalí (Rte. 992, Km 4, at Mameyes River Bridge, Barrio Mameyes, Río Grande, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/889-5820 or 787/889-4954) in eastern Puerto Rico is a good place to see Puerto Rico's Paso Fino horses in action. Riding excursions ($45 an hour) include a one-hour jaunt along Río Mameyes and the edge of El Yunque and a two-hour ride along Balneario de Luquillo. Rancho de Caballos de Utuado (Rte. 612, across from Hotel La Casa Grande, Utuado, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/894-0240) offers three- to four-hour horse rides along a river, lake, and through mountain forests. Tropical Trail Rides (Rte. 4466, Km 1.8, Isabela, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/872-9256, www.tropicaltrailrides.com), in the northwest, offers guided tours of secluded beaches, tropical trails, and cliff caves, with stops for swimming and exploring. Tropical Paradise Horse Back Riding (Off Rte. 690, west of Hyatt Dorado Beach & Country Club, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/720-5454) arranges rides along Cibuko Beach on beautiful Paso Fino horses.

Sightseeing Tours
In Old San Juan, free trolleys can take you around, and the tourist board can provide you with a copy of Qué Pasa, which contains a self-guided walking tour. The Caribbean Carriage Company (PHONE: 787/797-8063) gives Old City tours in horse-drawn carriages. Look for these buggies at Plaza Dársenas near Pier 1; the cost is $30 to $60 per couple. Cordero Caribbean Tours (PHONE: 787/786-9114; 787/780-2442 evenings). Normandie Tours, Inc. (PHONE: 787/722-6308). Rico Suntours (PHONE: 787/722-2080 or 787/722-6090, www.ricosuntours.com). Tropix Wellness Outings (PHONE: 787/268-2173). United Tour Guides (PHONE: 787/725-7605 or 787/723-5578, www.unitedtourguides.com). Wheelchair Getaway (PHONE: 787/883-0131).

Aventuras Tierra Adentro (268-A Piñero Av., University Gardens, Puerto Rico. PHONE: 787/766-0470, www.aventuraspr.com) will take you into the literal heart of the island. The local pioneer organizes full-day adventures for groups, including rappelling, spelunking (caving), and river body rafting for $150 per person.

Puerto Rico is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and its hundreds of miles of coastline harbor an almost endless selection for the beach connoisseur. Beaches come in every size, color, and form, from the pure white dunes of Isabela to the black volcanic sands near Punta Santiago. You can find a beach for any level of seaside activity, from a stroll in the shimmering shallow waters at Luquillo to a thrilling ride in the boisterous surf of Rincón.


Villas Caribe Puerto Rican Beach Selections

The selected beaches featured below are just a few suggestions. Ask a local, and you will get a dozen more!

Isla Verde:
Imagine living in a large city and having a beautiful beach as your back yard. That is exactly what the million or so residents of San Juan enjoy every day. There's no need to go far to enjoy a beautiful tropical day at the beach.  A tranquil place during the week, Isla Verde really comes alive on weekends. Beach lovers stream in from everywhere to get some sun, splash in the sea, party with family and friends, play beach volleyball, or walk along the sandy shores. There is no shortage of places to eat or drink. There are many restaurants and bars adjacent to the beach.

Shacks:
Among the favorite beaches in Isabela is Shacks. It has an international reputation as one of the premier windsurfing spots in the world and is often compared with Maui. Despite its worldwide reputation, Shacks is never crowded.  With trade winds streaming along at a constant 15 to 18 knots during the winter months, Shacks provides an ideal setting for windsurfing, wave jumping and kite surfing. During the rest of the year, you can stroll among the sea grapes in search of the perfect seashell, or simply bask in the warm, tropical sun. Most visitors also include a stop at Jobos Beach, a couple of miles down the road, where the snorkeling and SCUBA diving are excellent.

Luquillo:
For generations families have made the trek from San Juan and all over the eastern region for a day at Luquillo Beach. A vacation in Puerto Rico was considered incomplete without a visit to this well-loved place on the coast. The view from the beach is spectacular: a long gold crescent of sand lined by countless coconut palms, with the misty mountains of the rainforest towering in the distance.

Today Luquillo remains one of the island’s most popular beaches, and with good reason. Offshore reefs keep the waters calm, so families can relax knowing that lifeguards are on duty and that rough surf and deep waters are far, far away. Ample parking, changing and rest rooms, and souvenir and food stands are nearby. Boat access, rentals, windsurfing and camping areas are available.  Among the facilities is the “Sea Without Barriers” program, staffed by professionals who help visitors in wheelchairs join their family and friends for a dip in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Another attraction is the array of brightly colored kiosks near the entrance to the public beach. From simple shacks to fancy mini-restaurants, each booth serves everything from ice-cold beer and refreshments and hand made coconut candies to traditional seafood fritters and full scale meals. Each also seems to prefer its own exuberant tropical music!  Luquillo Beach is a natural – and national – treasure.

Cana Gorda:
Located on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico between Ponce and Mayagüez, Guánica is a town where life is intrinsically tied to the sea. Many islanders have summer homes in the area, and it is one of the few places where houseboats are a common sight. Guánica’s Caña Gorda Public Beach is a favorite among local families and visitors for its tranquil emerald waters and broad white coral beachfront.

You can hike along the coast and discover a beach of your own, or take a side trip to the nearby Guánica Forest Reserve, a 1,570-acre treasure grove for bird watchers – with, of course, a few wonderful secluded beaches.  The sea around Guánica is dotted with tiny cays, many of them unnamed and none inhabited, except by rare species of plants and birds. The small islet called Gilligan’s Island is a snorkeler’s dream, surrounded by crystal clear shallow waters brimming with sea life.

Other Puerto Rican Beaches:

Seven Seas
Puerto Santiago
Flamenco
Sun Bay
Caja De Muerto
Ballenas
Boqueron
Rincon Bay
Crashboat
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