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5 amazing adventures on the east coast of Puerto Rico

For those looking for rich history and culture, clean white sand beaches, misty rainforests tucked away in majestic mountains and adventure - all without the need for a passport - Puerto Rico’s East Coast is a sun-kissed Caribbean paradise that offers stunning adventures .

A destination of beuno people (local argo for “good and friendly”) people and natural relaxation, the East Coast of Puerto Rico is about an hour’s drive from the capital San Juan and well worth the trip. I recently attended a professional conference in San Juan, and while the city has been spectacular with culture, food and history, I am a lover of wildlife.

During a trip on the east coast of the island, we did everything from sailing a catamaran and snorkeling on the reef to exploring the green of the only tropical rainforest national park in the United States on horseback. Staying at the Wyndham Palmas Beach & Golf Resort, located in the elegant resort community of Humacoa, gave me a home base that was both luxurious and close to all the adventures I needed.

If you’re heading to Puerto Rico, don’t limit yourself to city areas. Instead, take a short drive and discover these five amazing adventures on the East Coast of Puerto Rico, where you will find adrenaline, relaxation, some of the best food on the island and a relaxed natural atmosphere that attracts grandchildren, teenagers and grandparents. , and everyone in between.

Coral reef on the island of Culebra
Coral reef on the island of Culebra
(Chad Zuber / Shutterstock.com)

1. Snorkel on the reefs

Exploring the crystal clear blue waters around Puerto Rico was at the top of my to-do list, so on the first day of the trip, I headed to Villa Marina for a snorkeling tour and Culebra Motorboat Beach. Getaways, which provides private services. and public boat trips and snorkeling trips in Puerto Rico.

On our way to the island of Culebra, we enjoyed a quick and sometimes rocky 45-minute boat ride to the area where snorkeling and beach exploration are celebrated. Sail Getaways staff gave us juices and juices before heading to one of the beautiful reefs in Culebra to snorkel for about an hour and a half over a living coral reef.

Don’t worry if you’re not a snorkeling expert; the staff also offers floating belts for those who need a light time of it. During snorkeling lessons, we paddled lightly over the living coral reef, with its plants fluttering like a fan, to watch the schools of over 60 types of fish, rays and sea turtles.

After the urge to explore the reef that few people end up experiencing, Sail Getaways staff fed us a canned lunch and, thank heavens, began pouring our rum drinks. As we filled our faces and sipped from the lush Pina Coladas, our special tour made its way to one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, Flamenco Beach.

Tip: If you are prone to seasickness, take motion sickness pills before boating. Also, sunscreen is an absolute must in Puerto Rico, as I learned hard. After a day on the boat and on the beach, I blushed like a tomato.

Flamenco Beach in Puerto Rico
Beach Flamenco
(Photo credit: Heide Brandes)

2. Don’t miss the beaches

After snorkeling, we spent the next two hours and something at the famous Flamenco beach. It is easy to understand why this beach is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, with its bright turquoise waters and dazzling white sand beach.

As we anchored by the beach, we jumped out of the boat to take you for a walk in the shallow waters to play on the sand, enjoy the bright Puerto Rican sun, or explore the area. Although you are at a distance, you will have access to facilities such as locker rooms and bathrooms, parking and showers, but you can also shop at various kiosks selling authentic Puerto Rican crafts and food.

If the noise on the beach gets boring (how could it be?), Take a walk along the beach for almost a mile to see one of the most iconic attractions of Flamenco - Tank beach.

For much of the 20th century, the US Navy used the island of Culebra for training, and in 1936, for bombing. Graffiti-covered and rusty beach tanks are a vivid reminder of wartime America, but they also take amazing photos and history.

Depending on the weather and sea conditions, other beaches you can visit may include Luis Peña, Carlos Rosario, Melones or Punta Soldado.

Tip: Have snacks along the way, as this day trip takes about 4 to 6 hours. Again, sunscreen and a sun hat are highly recommended.

Puerto Rico's rainforest, El Yunque
Puerto Rican rainforest
(Photo credit: Heide Brandes)

3. Tyrolean through the rainforest

The east coast of Puerto Rico is home to El Yunque, the only subtropical rainforest in the United States. Hidden in the towering mountains of the coast, this rainforest is full of hiking trails, views of the surrounding forests, waterfalls and more.

It is also a great place to fly over zip lines. One morning, we dressed in our adventurous spirit to fly along eight different zip lines with Rainforest Zipline Park. Home to one of the longest zip lines in the area, at 2,300 feet, the park offers a unique way to experience the rainforest.

However, you will need to be able to climb steep steps and agree to stop the flight with a glove in leather, but the feeling of flying through the air is one of my favorites.

A route to El Yunque, Puerto Rico
A route to El Yunque
(Jonathan Metz / Shutterstock.com)

4. Explore the riding trails

After a hearty lunch at Carabali Bar & Grill at Carabali Adventure Park in El Yunque, we set out to explore the 600-acre adventure farm and the trails around the rainforest. My horse was a calm guy named Manuel, who spent his time slowly and sweetly on the rocky paths, allowing me the luxury of relaxing and admiring the streams, towering trees, and views of the distant peaks.

Guided by local riders, the hour-long drive took us along the Mameyes River to the foot of the El Yunque Chain, but you can also book a 2-hour option that takes you for a walk along Puerto’s famous beaches. Rico.

If riding is not a gem, the adventure park also offers 2-hour ATV tours, UTV rides side by side, and even a hay ride that allows you to explore the 600-acre farm in a relaxing style. .

If you are in Puerto Rico for an intergenerational trip with everyone, from toddlers to grandparents, this adventure park offers something for every age and skill.

Tip: Carabalí Bar & Grill is a western-themed outpost that includes a restaurant, a small bar and a gift shop. If you eat at the restaurant, you should try the 12-ounce Angus Carabali steak, for which the restaurant is famous. Funny fact of the day - this restaurant claims to have “invented” pina colada. Whether it’s true or not, they make a delicious cocktail.

Fresh seafood in Puerto Rico
Fresh seafood
(Photo credit: Heide Brandes)

5. Taste the culture

For those whose adventure idea is based more on the culinary theme, the East Coast of Puerto Rico offers a wide range of food and restaurants from local and culturally important sources to try.

No less exceptional is the hotel’s easy access to the city’s myriad attractions and landmarks, such as Palmas Beach and Golf Resort and Trova Narrative Cuisine. As part of the massive renovations and modernizations undertaken in Palmas, Trova was designed to “tell a story” with its food. Led by chef Yia Madina, the menu features bold flavors and historic dishes, from beef tartare to fried whole fish.

To taste the Puerto Rican grill, go to the Smokey Joe Caribbean Grill, but come hungry because owner Joe Padilla will feed you the damn Angus meat, sausages, smoked pork and tacos birria, grilled marinated tacos, fish tacos and Joe’s famous smoked pork taco. The restaurant is located along a small shopping district and is also a local favorite. Joe himself is a character and incredibly passionate about barbecue and his culinary creations; in fact, he recently won an international cooking competition for his paella in Spain!

For some really great seafood, you can’t go wrong with La Pasion por el Fogón, which specializes in “grandma’s cooking” food with firewood. Opened in 2001, the restaurant excels at ceviche, shark bites served with homemade tartar sauce, Puerto Rican fried cheese, lobster butterflies and, of course, fresh fish. They also specialize in mofongoa traditional Puerto Rican dish made from mashed plantains and pork or chicken, seasoned with garlic and spices.

Tip: If you do not rent a car to reach your adventures on the East Coast of Puerto Rico, then Bespoke Lifestyle Management is an excellent company to work with for transfers and transportation. You will need to confirm your reservations for airport transfers, tourist transport and east coast excursions approximately 24-48 hours before the service, but it is an easy way to get around the island.

Bespoke also organizes tours such as the El Yunque Rainforest, snorkeling tours, culinary tours and even tours of the bioluminescent bays on the west coast of Puerto Rico. We used them all the time during our trip to the East Coast, which made the trip very easy.

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