Most travelers to eastern Puerto Rico come to see and hike El Yunque, the island's second-most-visited tourist destination after Old San Juan, and probably the world's most user-friendly rain forest. Others come for the east coast's three sprawling resort hotels, half a dozen excellent golf courses, the US Navy base, and one of the biggest yachting and sailing charter ports in the Caribbean. But this side of the island has much to offer that eludes most visitors to Puerto Rico, from a glorious, six-mile stretch of deserted beach between Luquillo and Las Cabezas de San Juan, to the red cliffs and lonely lighthouse in the southeast. As with most places, you have to scratch the surface to find the hidden rewards here. Spend a day or two wandering around Loíza Aldea and talking to locals (or attending their fiestas patronales in late July) to get a deeper understanding of Afro-Caribbean culture. One of the old fishermen of Las Croabas may take you cay-hopping in his wooden sloop, setting you down on some deserted islet to swim in opaque waters. Local surfers gather at a few little-known breaks. Or visit one of the two other nature reserves on the east coast – Las Cabezas to San Juan and Humacao – where exotic waterfowl, mangrove and dry tropical forest ecosystems and a bioluminescent lagoon await.
Reviews of the complete guide to Puerto Rico:
"It offers a mix of practical travel information along with details of adventurous activities, which should be fun for everyone no matter what their age or ability. The volume provides information on the history, culture, climate and geography of the area, covering its people and their roots, museums, historic sites and local attractions. The adventures include birdwatching, hiking and cycling. Then there is advice on where to eat and stay, transportation, practical concerns, useful websites, e-mail addresses, tourism offices and detailed regional and town maps, that feature walking and driving tours. This fourth edition explores archaeological sites, preserves and rugged rainforest environments. It includes tips on how to manage the local bus system and advice on safety for women travellers.
By far the best guidebook ever to have been published about the island, and the most complete.--Rosario Ferré, acclaimed Puerto Rican novelist"
"The most complete book that I have seen about my island. These guys have been everywhere. I'm impressed...." --Javier Gomez, musician with Vivanativa, a popular Puerto Rican rock group
"This is a strong guide for active, nature-loving travellers but also includes information on Internet cafes, bicycle rentals, and the bus system in San Juan. We especially appreciated the list of unusual accommodations. Our favorite was Casa Cubuy on the south side of El Yunque. We had a lovely and memorable stay at this guest house thanks to a friendly host, interesting guests, and stunning views of the rain forest. Other accommodations we enjoyed included Hotel Belgica in Ponce and Villa Cofresi, an affordable resort in Rincon. The book also includes detailed information on the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan, live music spots, and the Arecibo Observatory. The volume shortchanges the striking Rio Camuy Cave Park and lists Old San Juan attractions in a confusing order, but it has interesting extras, such as the blurb about the curious Boiling Nuclear Superheater in Rincon and an explanation of a local pirate, Roberto Cofresi. The concise road maps helped us navigate smaller highways while the hiking maps for the Guanica Forest Reserve and El Yunque helped us guestimate the time needed for an adequate visit. We were especially glad we didn't miss the Bahia Fosforescente (Phosphorescent Bay). The tabs along the edge of the book (south coast, etc.), made for particularly quick reference." --Amazon.com reviewer
"A down-to-earth guide. Information-packed, offering comprehensive and interesting facts about every aspect of the island." --Anton Community Newspaper
About Kurt Pitzer
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Published September 9, 2009
by Hunter Publishing.