For these in search of wealthy historical past and tradition, pristine white sand seashores, misty rainforests tucked into majestic mountains, and journey — all while not having a passport — Puerto Rico’s East Coast is the sun-kissed Caribbean paradise that provides up superb adventures.
A vacation spot of beuno gente (native slang for “form and pleasant”) individuals and pure leisure, Puerto Rico’s East Coast is roughly an hour drive from the capital of San Juan and is nicely well worth the journey. I attended knowledgeable convention just lately in San Juan, and whereas the town was spectacular with tradition, meals, and historical past, I’m a sucker for the wild locations.
Whereas on a hosted journey to the island’s east coast, I did all the pieces from sail upon a catamaran and snorkel the reefs to discover the verdant inexperienced of the U.S.’s solely rainforest nationwide park by horseback. Staying on the Wyndham Palmas Seaside & Golf Resort, situated in Humacoa’s posh resort group, gave me a house base that was each luxurious and near all of the adventures that I wanted.
In case you are headed to Puerto Rico, don’t restrict your self to the town areas. As a substitute, take the brief drive and uncover these 5 superb adventures on Puerto Rico’s East Coast the place you’ll discover adrenaline, leisure, a number of the finest meals on the island, and a laid-back pure vibe that appeals to grandchildren, teenagers, grandparents, and everybody in between.
1. Snorkel The Reefs
Exploring the crystal blue waters surrounding Puerto Rico was tops on my listing of adventures to do, so on the primary day of my journey, I headed out to Villa Marina to take the Culebra Energy Boat Snorkeling & Seaside Tour with Sail Getaways, which presents personal and public boat excursions and snorkeling journeys in Puerto Rico.
On our approach to the gem island of Culebra, we loved a quick and generally rocky 45-minute boat experience to the world the place snorkeling and seashore exploration are celebrated. The workers of Sail Getaways supplied us with sodas and juice earlier than we reached certainly one of Culebra’s lovely reefs to snorkel for about an hour and a half over a dwelling coral reef.
Don’t fear when you aren’t an knowledgeable at snorkeling; the workers additionally gives float belts for individuals who want a simple time of it. In the course of the hour or so of snorkeling, we paddled gently over the dwelling coral reef with its waving fan-like vegetation to stare upon colleges of greater than 60 sorts of fish, stingrays, and sea turtles.
After working up an urge for food from exploring the reef that few individuals get to expertise, the workers of Sail Getaways fed us a boxed lunch and, thank heavens, began pouring the rum drinks. As we stuffed our faces and sipped on the hearty Pina Coladas, our explicit tour made its approach to one of many high 10 most lovely seashores on the planet, Flamenco Seaside.
Professional Tip: In case you are liable to seasickness, take movement illness tablets earlier than the boat experience. Additionally, sunscreen is an absolute should in Puerto Rico, as I realized the laborious method. After a day on the boat and the seashore, I turned crimson as a tomato.
2. Don’t Miss The Seashores
After snorkeling, we spent the following two hours or so on the world-famous Flamenco Seaside. It’s simple to see why this seashore is constantly ranked as one of many high 10 seashores on the planet with its glowing turquoise waters and blindingly-white sand stretch of seashore.
As we moored close to the seashore, we hopped off the boat to wade within the practically wave-less waters to play within the sand, take in the sturdy Puerto Rico solar, or discover the world. Whereas distant, you’ll have entry to facilities like altering rooms and loos, parking and showers, however you too can store at completely different kiosks that promote genuine Puerto Rican crafts and meals.
If seashore bumming will get boring (how may it?), take a stroll down the practically mile-long seashore to see certainly one of Flamenco Seaside’s most iconic sights — The Tank.
For a larger a part of the twentieth century, the U.S. Navy used the island of Culebra for coaching, and in 1936, for bombing follow. The graffiti-covered and rusted tanks on the seashore are a vivid reminder of war-time America, but additionally make for hanging pictures and historical past.
Relying on climate and sea situations different seashores it’s possible you’ll go to can embody Luis Peña, Carlos Rosario, Melones, or Punta Soldado.
Professional Tip: Take snacks alongside the best way as this day-long journey is roughly 4 to six hours. Once more, sunscreen and a solar hat are extremely really helpful.
3. Zipline By means of The Rainforest
Puerto Rico’s East Coast is residence to El Yunque, the one subtropical rainforest in america. Tucked into the towering mountains of the coast, this rainforest is filled with mountain climbing trails, vistas of the encompassing forests, waterfalls, and extra.
It’s additionally a terrific place to soar over the timber by zipline. One morning, we donned our adventurous spirit to fly alongside eight completely different ziplines with Rainforest Zipline Park. House to one of many longest ziplines within the space at 2,300 ft, the park presents up a singular approach to expertise the rainforest.
Nonetheless, you’ll want to have the ability to climb steep steps and be okay with stopping your flight with a leather-clad glove, however the feeling of flying by means of the air is certainly one of my favorites.
4. Discover The Trails By Horseback
After a hearty lunch at Carabali Bar & Grill on the Carabali Journey Park in El Yunque, we geared as much as discover the 600-acre journey ranch and surrounding rainforest trails by horseback. My horse was a relaxed fellow named Manuel who took his sluggish, candy time alongside the rocky trails, permitting me the posh of enjoyable and taking within the streams, towering timber, and views of the peaks within the distance.
Led by native horsemen, the hour-long experience took us alongside the Mameyes River within the foothills of the El Yunque vary, however you too can guide a 2-hour possibility that additionally takes you for a experience alongside Puerto Rico’s well-known seashores.
If horseback driving isn’t your jam, the journey park additionally presents 2-hour ATV excursions, side-by-side UTV rides, and even a hayride that permits you to discover the 600-acre ranch in enjoyable fashion.
In case you are in Puerto Rico for an intergenerational journey with everybody from toddlers to grandparents, this journey park presents somewhat one thing for each age and skill.
Professional Tip: Carabalí Bar & Grill Restaurant is a Western-themed outpost that features the restaurant, a hopping little bar, and a present store. If you happen to eat on the restaurant, you will need to attempt the Carabali 12-ounce Angus skirt steak, for which the restaurant is legendary. Enjoyable reality of the day — this restaurant claims that it “invented” the pina colada. Whether or not that’s really true or not, they do make a scrumptious cocktail.
5. Style The Tradition
For these whose thought of journey runs extra alongside the culinary theme, Puerto Rico’s East Coast presents up a large bevy of locally-sourced and culturally-important meals and eating places to attempt.
For a extra upscale eating expertise, you don’t should go farther than your Palmas Seaside and Golf Resort room to Trova Narrative Delicacies. As a part of the huge renovations and upgrades being undertaken at Palmas, Trova was designed to “inform a narrative” with its meals. Led by Chef Yia Madina, the menu showcases daring flavors and historic dishes starting from beef tartare to complete roasted fish.
For a style of Puerto Rican barbecue, head to Smokey Joe Caribbean Grill, however come hungry as a result of proprietor Joe Padilla will feed the heck out of you with Angus meat, sausages, smoked pork and birria tacos, marinated grilled rooster tacos, fish tacos, and Joe’s Well-known Smoked Pulled Pork Tacos. The eatery is situated alongside a hopping little buying district, and it’s an area favourite as nicely. Joe himself is a personality and extremely keen about barbecue and his culinary creations; in truth, he just lately gained a world cooking competitors for his paella dish in Spain!
For some really nice seafood, you may’t go flawed with La Pasion por el Fogón, which makes a speciality of meals the “method grandmothers used to cook dinner” with firewood. Open since 2001, the restaurant excels with its ceviches, shark bites served with selfmade tartar sauce, Puerto Rican fried cheese, lobster flutes, and naturally, recent fish. In addition they specialise in mofongo, a conventional Puerto Rican dish manufactured from mashed plantains and pork or rooster, seasoned with garlic and spices.
Professional Tip: If you happen to aren’t renting a automobile to get to your adventures on Puerto Rico’s East Coast, then Bespoke Way of life Administration is a superb firm to work with for transfers and transportation. You’ll want to substantiate your reservations for airport transfers, tour transportation, and journeys to the east coast roughly 24-48 hours previous to your service, however it’s a simple approach to get across the island.
Bespoke additionally arranges excursions just like the El Yunque Rainforest Tour, snorkeling excursions, meals excursions, and even excursions out to the bioluminescent bays on Puerto Rico’s west coast. We used them the entire time throughout our hosted journey to the East Coast, which made getting round tremendous simple.