1. Culebra Island – Flamenco Beach
Beautiful turquoise water, soft white sand, gorgeous palm trees, what more can one ask for? Flamenco beach is the perfect tropical getaway and is frequently voted each year as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and even camping! Yes, you can camp on the beach too. However, spots are limited so it’s best to make a reservation well in advance. There is also an old military relic on the beach, a U.S. Navy battle tank that is colorfully decorated with some impressive artistic graffiti.
My favorite moment on the island was watching a local boy shimmy up a palm tree to get a coconut. He came down from the tree, pulled out a knife from his bag and used it to cut open the coconut. As he started to drink from it, he noticed how curious everyone was. He then climbed back up the tree and was kind enough to get coconuts down and open them up for all of us curious tourists.
2. Bioluminescent Bay at night
The experience is magical. It looks like a million twinkling stars and with every splash of water they get brighter. It’s the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world and is a must see at least once. The tour begins by taking you in kayaks through mangroves. Look for the iguanas hanging out on the branches. As you make it through the mangroves closer to the lagoon, you’ll start to see the water light up with each stroke of your paddle. You’ll paddle your way to the center of the bay where your bilingual tour guide explains the phenomenon. Then you are free to scatter across the bay and dip your hands and paddles in the water and watch the dinoflagellates (microscopic organisms) light up. You’ll also notice that the sky above you is incredibly bright and you can clearly make out all the constellations. It’s incredibly romantic. We suggest trying to go during a new moon phase when it’s darkest, so you can see the dinoflagellates and the sky light up at their brightest.
3. La Mina Waterfall in the El Yunque Rainforest
Swimming under a waterfall in the rainforest is absolutely exhilarating! We suggest you pack a picnic lunch, a pancho and strap on your hiking shoes. Oh, and don’t forget your swimsuit! Make your way to the El Yunque Rainforest to hike up the La Mina trail through lush green foliage where you’ll see many incredible birds, insects, frogs, lizards and flowers. Feel free to make a pit stop at one of the picnic areas along the trail to have your lunch. Then get back on the trail and keep going until you reach La Mina falls. Sometimes there will be others joining you, but at other times you may have the waterfall all to yourself depending on the day and time of year. It’s definitely one of the top things we recommend doing while visiting Puerto Rico.
To Exciting Travels!