COPAMARINA, GUÁNICA by the sea, oh how satisfied we’ll be
Seek out Puerto Rico‘s the most parched area, the 9,900-acre Guánica Biosphere Reserve on the sparsely inhabited southwest coast, two hrs from San Juan, and you’ll be amazed to reveal a water paradise. The Copamarina Beach Resort is a 20-acre oasis of clipped grass, exotic flowers, and coconut palms. In tin-roofed, plantation-style buildings, the 106 rooms ignore gardens, swimming pools (2 adult, 2 kiddie), as well as a stretch of soft white sand along the Caribbean Sea. The luckiest family members capture one of the two new three-bedroom suites.
Beached at the coastline is every kind of boat (kayaks, catamarans, water-skimming tricycles); moored in shallow waters is a trampoline (it’s well-padded, Mommy), and there’s angling for marlin and snapper from the lengthy white dock. Those that wish to endeavor farther out hop on the resort’s Pro-Jet watercraft to reach a few of the very best diving and snorkeling places in the Caribbean. An on-site PADI diving operation accredits guests (starting age, 10). However a mask and fins are all you’ll have to check out the reef at Gilligan’s Island, 5 minutes away by ferryboat. After dark, a boat trip from nearby La Parguera delivers visitors to Bahía Fosforescente, among Puerto Rico’s most amazing play of light: Take a swim, or dip a finger in water that’s including phosphorescence (720,000 dynoflagellates, the fireflies of the sea, per gallon).
If you could coax your group out of the water, Copamarina is likewise well positioned for landlubber trips. The Guánica Reserve is possibly the best-preserved subtropical dry woodland ecological community worldwide. Treking trails wind with a bonsai-dense landscape of dwarf plants; others result in milkweeds as high as trees. If you drive 45 mins west of Copamarina, up until the road goes out, you’ll discover yourself at just what looks like the side of the globe: sand dunes, salt apartments, and high cliffs where pirates found shelter. Keep in mind the pamphlet coastlines that tempted you to Puerto Rico? They’re all right here (El Combate, Bahía de Boquerón, Bahia Salinas), in this least-visited edge of the island. And also Ponce, 20 miles east of the hotel, seems like Old San Juan– minus the groups. Do not miss the black-and-red-striped 1882 firehouse.