Puerto Rico: Riches on Land and Sea
Puerto Rico by Bareboat Charter Will Turn You Into a Repeat Visitor
Puerto Rico has a history that is as dense and lively as its jungles and rainforests. It is the smallest island within the Greater Antilles, but its food and natural wonders make it an outsized attraction in the Caribbean. Seeing it by sailboat is an incredible experience, allowing you to get up close and personal with the life in its turquoise waters, but you shouldn't neglect the wonders to be found on land.
You’ll fly into San Juan and meet your boat charter in Puerto del Rey, about an hour away. It’s worth arriving a day early to explore San Juan itself. The old city is beautiful and well preserved, with some excellent restaurants. The newer area is where you’ll find nightlife if you feel a need for that before setting sail for tranquil beaches.
This is an absolute must-go destination. The island is worth at least two days of your time in Puerto Rico because you need to see it at night as well as during the day.
All of its beaches are stunning and the coral reefs are in great condition, but a nighttime paddle out into Mosquito Bay to witness the bioluminescence is an experience that’s impossible to find anywhere else. It’s the brightest in the world. The government banned swimming in the bay in 2009 because chemicals from sunscreen and bug spray (two things you really need in Puerto Rico) were killing off the creatures that create the light. Now the bay is healthy and bright once more. Up on the other side of the island, Mosquito Pier has great snorkeling with sea turtles and colorful fish.Do not touch the turtles, coral or other sea life.
Be sure to sample the street food favorite, empanadillas, beef turnovers with a thin, crispy covering.
Next stop: more white sand beaches and turquoise waters on the neighboring island of Culebra. Much of the island is under environmental protection and it is free from large hotels and overdevelopment. There is only one town, Dewey, but it boasts some good food. The beaches of Brava, Resaca and Carlos Rosario have trails behind them for a walk among the plants and trees. You might also want to hit Flamenco Beach, which has made many a list of World’s Best Beaches. The island even has a tiny museum.
Culebra is actually the largest in an archipelago of 18 islands, and cruising among them by boat is richly rewarding, with more unspoiled land and waters. On Culebrita you can hike to points with incredible views and visit tide pools.
Puerto Rico could keep you busy for weeks on end, and you’ll never get tired of the seafood, citrus-infused chicken, savory black beans and rice. It is definitely worth stay of at least seven days, and you’ll no doubt want a repeat visit.