There are so many things to do in western Puerto Rico. Even if you are staying in the eastern or metro San Juan region, a drive out to the west coast is well worth the trip and will give you an inside glimpse to a whole different Puerto Rico. The western side of Puerto Rico is much drier – you will see lots of cactus and the days will be hot and sunny, rather than humid like the eastern half of the island. Going to the West for a roadtrip or mini-vacation is a favorite pastime of the Crew at Caribbean Trading Company. After many years of trips out there, here is our list of the Top 5 Things to Do in Western Puerto Rico:
Rincon is considered the mecca of surfing. Hosts of the 1968 Surfing Championships, and this year a host of the RipCurl Pro Tour, it is considered the surf capital of the Caribbean. There are several beaches with great surfing, and it is known for it’s consistent excellent waves. For a real unforgettable scuba diving and snorkeling experience then book a tour to Mona Island or Desecheo Island, two of the offshore uninhabited islands of Puerto Rico where you can explore a colorful and healthy underwater world.The vibe in this town is very relaxed and chill – grab a breakfast burrito and head to the beach to watch the sun rise and then hit the waves! This area is great for a weekend stay- there are lots of little shops, great restaurants, a fun nightlife, and lots of great beaches to keep you busy.
2. Guanica and Gilligan’s Island
Located on the Southwestern area, this
You can visit the Guanica State Forest, a Biosphere Reserve where you can hike, or take a scenic drive through the subtropical forest and roads along the coast with spectacular Caribbean Sea views. Also, take the ferry out to Gilligan’s Island, a small island off the coast and part of the Reserve. It is perfect for children and has excellent snorkeling.
3. Cabo Rojo – Salts Flats and the Lighthouse
Cabo Rojo is located in the Southwestern point of Puerto Rico and is known for its’ Salt Flats. Upon arrival, you can take an interpretative tour and there is a lookout tower as well. The lighthouse is the most scenic location on the island of Puerto Rico. No words to describe the beauty of this place, you just have to get there to see it. Photographers’ haven, great sunsets.
4. Mayaguez – Home of the Brazo Gitano
Mayaguez is the 3rd largest city in Puerto Rico, and has some great cultural offerings. Granted, it is difficult to find your way around the city if you are unfamiliar with it, but it is worth the effort. First off, enjoy a Brazo Gitano direct from the source. Click here for more info. Also worth visiting is the Zoo, great for children, or visit the Tropical Agricultural Research Station where you can walk their parks filled with all manner of tropical fruits and flowers.
5. Aguadilla -
Aguadilla is fast becoming a tourist attraction in it’s own right these days, fueled by the International Airport located there. It also is known for its’ excellent beaches, particularly Crash Boat with its’ crystal clear waters, and the surfing is stellar. Gas Chambers and Wilderness are also excellent beaches. It particularly makes our list because of the many activities that are great for kids. It’s Parque Acuático Las Cascadas is a modern aquatic theme park, and the biggest in the Caribbean. There is also a skate park and the Aguadilla Ice Skating Arena (tel. 787-819-5555), the only ice skating facility in the Caribbean region.
Bonus #6: The Sunsets. The Sunsets on the west coast are a sight to behold, and each time we go there we are on the lookout for that green flash you get when the sun hits the horizon – and more often than not, one will see it. Filled with brilliant colors of orange and reds, the sunsets are not to be missed!
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