San Juan Stories and Tips

La Paragua (Water Village?)

On the South West corner of the Island is Puerto Rico is a cute little village named La Paragua, which I think means water village in Spanglish *(the mix of Spanish and English that the Puerto Ricans speak). Spanglish is not any kind of official language, just what I call the broken Spanish that most Puerto Ricans speak. La Paragua is truly a village; don't think that I'm trying to make the place sound "quaint" by choosing that word. There might be a population of 200, when all the fishermen are on dry land.

There are a couple of things that make this place very special. First, every evening, when all the fishermen return from the hard day at work, the village starts its nightly street party. That's the liberal way to say it, more to the point; it's when all the town folk (*plus a few tourists) gather at one of the three open-air bars for some rum drinks and to talk about the day. Second, this is one of the few places on Earth with a bioluminescent bay - the water actually lights up after dark. A walk on the beach can turn into something much more with just a kick of the water. For a scuba diver this place is beyond words. Charter one of the two dive boats and you're in for a real treat. The wake of the boat turns all the colors, and once you enter the water, each kick of the fins leaves for a safe trail home.

The hotels are very limited in La Paragua, so try Aguadilla (only 20 minutes by car), and make certain to get one with air conditioning. When I was there it was 90 degrees at 8am. Take plenty of sunscreen; the skin really scorches this close to the equator. Enjoy the lazy days, and festive nights!

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