Lingering in Fajardo itself is pointless; focus instead on the varied ecosystems of the Reserva Natural Cabezas de San Juan and Laguna Grande before exploring the reef-encrusted islands of La Cordillera. Optimum days for viewing are based not only on the phases of the moon but also the actual time the moon rises – check before you go. The average temperature of the forest is 73˚F (21˚C), but in winter, the highest peaks can be 20 degrees cooler than the coast (53˚F, 12˚C). Tucked within this greenery is the Puerto Rican green parrot or Cotorra Puertorriqueña, the most celebrated and endangered inhabitant of the forest. These daytrips include snorkeling gear and a picnic lunch as well as both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. It also has the Hawaiian localism to a certain extent. While it can get insufferably busy on weekends, it’s well worth a pit stop during the week and a couple of attractive hotels mean you can stay the night (and use it as a base for El Yunque).  You can feel the embrace of nature’s beauty as you walk along a lush line of tall palm trees and listen to the Caribbean Sea waves…, Beautiful, pampering, resort-style private island with white sand and Pirates of the Caribbean worthy turquoise waters. Isla Palomino is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) long and maximally 1,722 feet (525 m) wide, measures 102 acres (41 ha) in area and reaches a height of 165 feet (50 m). Nearby, the Reserva Natural Cabezas de San Juan is another protected area of untrammelled mangrove swamp and dry forest, also containing Laguna Grande, one of Puerto Rico’s spellbinding bioluminescent bays. Justly regarded as the boating capital of Puerto Rico, it’s no surprise that the real appeal of FAJARDO lies along the coast. Unless you have local horse-loving friends, the best way to experience the smooth, fine walk of a Paso Fino is to visit a ranch such as Rancho Buena Vista, where experienced guides take groups out on well-trained horses. Population: 50,676 (2011) Unemployment rate: 15.0% (Jun 2014) University: John Dewey College-Juana Diaz Branch This map of Puerto Rico is provided by Google Maps, whose primary purpose is to provide local street maps rather than a planetary view of the Earth. Surfers flock to Luquillo’s Playa La Pared (“the wall”) on weekends for its fairly consistent left beach-break, though it can go flat in the summer: it’s fine for beginners, with a fairly gentle swell and a sandy bottom. Go tailor-made! Luquillo’s town centre lies around Plaza Jesús T. Piñero, just off PR-3, but other than a few places to eat, contains little to see and the beaches are spread out for several miles either side of here. La Cordillera, just offshore, encapsulates most dreams about the Caribbean: uninhabited islands with sugary white sand, piles of multicoloured coral, fish and the odd turtle. The language is Spanish, although English is widely spoken. Conservationists managed to get the undeveloped stretch of coast between here and Balneario Seven Seas (dubbed “the Northeast Ecological Corridor”) designated a nature reserve in 2008, but just over a year later Governor Fortuño rescinded the decision. Though it’s forbidden to actually go ashore, Lopez regales his passengers with facts and amusing yarns about the island throughout the voyage, summoning the monkeys on the beach by blowing a conch shell. A special advisory will be issued soon. Autopista PR-53 ends abruptly at the long causeway over the Río Guayanés wetlands, near the former sugar town of Yabucoa. The main reason to visit Playa Naguabo is to take a trip out to Monkey Island, just offshore. The apexes of the triangle are generally accepted to be Bermuda, Miami, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. You’ll pass the gated entrance to the reserve just beyond the Balneario Seven Seas car park, but the guard will only let you in if you have a reservation: reserve a tour in advance, by phone or online: English tours depart at 2pm. Much of what you see in the forest today – cabins, towers and even highway PR-191 – was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1935 and 1943. Official CBRS Maps The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982 and subsequent amendments established the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS). Right now we have reservations on the west side and I really like the oceanfront apartment in Isabella we have reserved and the area seems rather non-touristy. Heading south along the east coast, you eventually lose the cars, condos and tourists and enter a rural, slower-paced and infinitely more appealing part of Puerto Rico. About 2,000 quakes have shaken Puerto Rico since late December, with the most powerful a 6.4-magnitude temblor that took place last Tuesday (Jan. 7), centered just off the island's southwest coast.  A private secluded island experience and Piña Coladas served on the beach, what else could you possibly need?  You must be a guest of El Conquistador Resort to visit the island.Â. The Digital Coast was developed to meet the unique needs of the coastal management community. Planning to travel here? The minimum wage in Puerto Rico is around 1100$, and even with the minimum wage, most people will be able to afford all basic expenses. Catch a wave and some of Puerto Rico’s best sunsets while enjoying the laid-back surfer vibes of Puerto Rico's west region. It is blessed with good surfing conditions all year and can get pretty big and powerful. Cayo Icacos is one of about 10 small islands that make up the Cordillera Nature Reserve just off the coast of Puerto Rico. Cayo Icacos. The Forest Service maintains thirteen trails ranging from easy, concrete paths to more challenging dirt tracks, but even the trek up to the peak of El Yunque itself (the name refers to both the reserve and the mountain) is manageable for anyone of moderate fitness and well worth the effort for the momentous views from the top. Perched on the balmy Atlantic coast in the shadow of El Yunque, 45km east of San Juan, LUQUILLO combines three of Puerto Rico’s most appealing pastimes: lounging on palm-fringed beaches, world-class surfing and gorging on celebrated cocina en kiosco. Chart 25671, West Coast of Puerto Rico With turtle nesting sites threatened by the construction of mega resorts, the area has attracted a coalition of various groups campaigning for its protection: see for more details. Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, a 500-acre resort on the east coast of Puerto Rico, offering guest rooms and suites nestled between the rainforest and sea. For seventy years after the Spanish conquest the Sierra de Luquillo was a base for resistance against the invaders, but over the following three centuries, farming gradually made headway and large areas of the lower slopes were converted to fruit or coffee plantations. Central Luquillo lies beyond the small headland (“La Punta”) further along, a slightly shabby, sleepy place fronting the rougher beach of Playa La Pared, popular with surfers. A posh hotel was built here in the early 1960s, but went bankrupt soon after and now serves as a luxury vacation home for the owners. One of the treasures of the east coast is La Cordillera Nature Reserve, a group of islands, islets, and cays that capture tropical dreams. Icacos can only be reached … Both routes include local beaches where turtles nest (the beaches are regularly inspected so that nothing is disturbed). Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, lies in the north-eastern Caribbean Sea.  We prefer to enjoy this beach on weekdays from September – mid-March when it’s practically empty. Cayo Icacos (Icacos Cay aka Icacos Island), Luquillo Beach / Balneario Monserrate – Luquillo, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's east and northeast region offers secluded beaches, a legendary rainforest, and island excursions- as well as our Island's capital of San Juan. Guests can spend days relaxing on a secluded golden sand beach, outdoor pool, pampering spa, and playing at the on-site casino, two golf courses, tennis courts. Most tourists visit El Yunque on day-trips, which is a shame – you’ll get a lot more out of the place by staying at one of the enticing guesthouses nearby. The most captivating evidence of this turnaround is El Yunque National Forest, a protected reserve of mist-draped mountains and bubbling cascades. Print on Demand NOAA Nautical Chart Map 25640, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands More like an affluent suburb of southern Florida than Puerto Rico, it’s nevertheless one of the best places to go horseriding on the island and the local dive and boat operators tend to be less swamped than their Fajardo rivals. You might also see dolphins, turtles, barracudas, small tuna and octopus here. Though it’s tiny, it also has wide, sugary-sand beaches – a real desert island. This map shows where Amazon's fulfillment centers are scattered across the country. The official languages are Spanish and English. Puerto Rico has several places where heavy concentrations of microscopic plankton create this mesmerizing phenomenon: Vieques is home to the most celebrated example, but on a dark (and moonless) night, Laguna Grande is almost as magical. General tours (by trolley bus; 2hr 30min) provide a brief taste of some of the diverse environments preserved here, starting with the mangrove forests that surround the lagoon (30 percent of the reserve), where a short boardwalk passes red, black, white and buttonwood mangroves and hordes of crab scuttle for cover. Around 2400 Puerto Ricans were enrolled in this US public works programme, with most of it completed by back-breaking manual labour. The east coast topography is very diverse with a magical tropical rainforest, beach coves, dramatic cliffs, calm bays, mangrove forests, wetlands, offshore cays, and nature reserves. While the modern city of Fajardo has all the charm of a giant shopping mall, the real Caribbean starts in earnest just offshore. Coastal Puerto Rico employs almost 696,000 people annually, earning a total of almost $20 billion. They also run daily snorkelling trips to Lobos ($60) and Culebra ($95), and offer a popular kids’ programme (for 8- to 9-year-olds) known as Bubblemakers – call for details. Loíza is a city and municipality on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, north of Canóvanas; east of Carolina, Puerto Rico; and west of Río Grande, Puerto Rico.  Punta Tuna Beach is a protected nature reserve where you won’t see any buildings along the shore. The website provides coastal data, and the tools, training, and … And be prepared for rain: El Yunque is a rainforest after all, with an average deluge of 605 billion litres each year. Finally, Cayo Diablo (13–15m) has several sites and some of the best diving on the east coast, though swells and high winds often prevent visits. At Playa Lirios you get a chance to see the rocky coast and scrub and the three headlands that give the reserve its name (cabeza means “head”), before ending up at the lighthouse. Mag. The east coast is honestly the shitty part of Puerto Rico lol. Other than birds and insects, the only other wildlife you may encounter are giant iguanas, plodding through the undergrowth. Though only a short drive south of Palmas del Mar, the towns and villages here seem unusually remote and despite jaw-dropping vistas and a smattering of windswept beaches, see far fewer tourists. The reserva is 5km north of the city on PR-987, near the fishing village of Las Croabas, which also contains some of the best places to stay and eat. It’s the oldest monkey colony in the world. The storm continues its path through the Caribbean leaving intense flooding in Puerto Rico.. Whether you have just a couple of hours or a couple of days, there are plenty of things to keep you busy and entertained in the northeast part of Puerto Rico. The quickest route from San Juan is to take Hwy 52 south and then PR 30 to Yabaucoa. Nesting season runs from February through to June. Being relatively close to shore (though still 7km from Villa Marina), it’s a particular favourite of boat operators, which means the best beach areas (on the calmer, leeward side) can get crowded on weekends, but at other times it’s easy to find a secluded spot. In 1938, the University of Puerto Rico established a colony of 409 Indian rhesus monkeys on the 39-acre cay (now thought to number at least 1000) to study their behaviour. Isla Palominitos covers just one acre, 460m off the southern tip of Isla Palominos, and surrounded by a reef perfect for snorkelling. This drive will take you along the south east coast of Puerto Rico with views of Vieques and Culebra islands. As observed on the physical map of Puerto Rico above, the most significant mountain range “Cordillera Central” contains Puerto Rico's highest point, Cerro de Punta at 1,339m ( 4,393 ft). You must rent a car.Driving to the east side is easy (45 min. Horses were introduced to Puerto Rico by the Spanish, the Paso Fino evolving as a cross-breed of the Andalusian, North African Barb and Spanish Jennet. Political Map of Costa Rica. Five-acre Lobos is 2.7km east of Icacos and actually a private island, though it’s permitted to dive or snorkel off its reef. The Caribbean is the region roughly south of the United States, east of Mexico and north of Central and South America, consisting of the Caribbean Sea and its islands. Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. United States Coast Survey. The helpful Oficina de Turismo (Mon–Fri 8am–4.30pm), where PR-3 hits the malecón, usually has English-speakers on hand and plenty of information on Naguabo municipality, but little else. Despite rapid modernization, you’ll come across locals (often sporting baseball caps and mobile phones) steering their horses along busy roads in towns and villages all over the island, families joining cabalgatas (group day rides) organized on weekends in mountain towns and serious international competitions held here every year.