A May 2007 trip
to Puerto Rico by feralnomad
Quote: This journal documents a trip to Puerto Rico in which my girlfriend and I rented a car and drove around and through the entire island, from North to South, East to West, in 5 days. No highfalutin resorts, no venturing only to San Juan.
This was by no means a luxury hotel, and was quite a bargain off-season. The beach at the hotel, by daylight, was not at all nice. It was full of large rocks and almost imposible to swim. It looked turquoise, but upon entering it was really brown from seaweed and other washed up natural debris. The SE corner in general is not the place to stay for beaches.
Other than this, however, this was a great place to stay for budget and quiet. Each room has an ocean view and all doors to rooms open up onto the beach. And in off-season, there is almost no one here. You can slip off down their beach and make love under a palm tree without anyone noticing. Hell, you can get naked in the pool late at night without anyone noticing. And Patillas is so quaint and colorful, it is a true Puerto Rican experience. And the hotel is so close to the ocean, just 30 feet or so, that the sound of lapping waves will help you drift off to sleep.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 14, 2007
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 14, 2007
104 Fortaleza St.
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901
Attraction | "Casa Bacardi Visitor Center"
Bacardí Rum Distillery
Bay View Industrial Park Route 165, Km. 2.6
Catano, Puerto Rico 00962
By far the best place I've been to kayak (and I've kayaked in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Florida etc.).The trip takes place in the dark of night, which makes it feel like a creepy adventure. Kayakers are divided up between those who speak Spanish and those who don’t, so an appropriate guide can be assigned. The kayaks are tandem, so two kayakers per boat, paddling at the same time. The guide will explain rowing, synchronizing, turning etc. You don’t have to have experience kayaking. The water, despite this being an ocean kayak trip, is extremely calm in the areas where you will kayak, making the rowing much easier than in moving water.
Once everyone has donned a life jacket and been given instructions, kayakers follow their guide or the people in front of them, single file. Just a short row away and you are guided into a mangrove canal (a narrow lane of shallow water arched over by mangrove trees). It is in this channel, covered by mangroves, that you will see the best bioluminescence, because the tree branches block out the light of the moon.
TIPS: Make sure you schedule your trip for a night when the moon is not going to be full. The best night to choose will be the night the moon is the smallest and least bright, because the light of it diminishes your ability to see bioluminescense in the water.
The guide leads his group down the mangrove channel, and will explain the growth of the mangroves, their importance and structure. He will also point out other natural wonders of interest. Then you will paddle farther down the channel, taking almost an hour to reach the Great Lagoon, a large lagoon that the channel opens out into. Before this, however, you will begin to recognize and see the glow in the water. Run your hand in the water next to your kayak as you drift along. Trails, much as the trails seen in a photograph when the photographer has moved as he take the picture, are visible. In the darkest, most covered areas is where you will see the most shocking luminosity.
Once in the lagoon your guide will tell you about the bay, that it is one of only 5 like it in the world now, and those left diminishing from human pollution and in great danger of destruction. In just this past year one of the last 6 bays, in Jamaica, was destroyed, leaving only 5. My girlfriend and I had the touching opportunity to be two of the last people allowed to slip out of our kayaks and swim in the bay, as new regulations have just been passed disallowing anyone to swim in the bays any longer, due to their great endangerment, and the killing of bioluminescent plankton by the use of human sunscreen, bug spray, perfumes, etc.
Brooklyn, New York